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Intellectual Property Litigation Trademarks United States Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects ‘Defense Preclusion’ in Trademark Suit

On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split, finding that any preclusion of litigation defenses must comply with traditional res judicata principles, and ruling that Lucky Brand was not precluded from asserting its defenses in its long-standing trademark litigation against Marcel Fashions Group

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On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split, finding that any preclusion of litigation defenses must comply with traditional res judicata principles, and ruling that Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. (Lucky Brand) was not precluded from asserting its defenses in its long-standing trademark litigation against Marcel Fashions Group, Inc. (Marcel). The Supreme Court’s decision in Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., et al. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc., 590 U.S. ___ (2020), has substantial implications for all litigants, but, as the Court noted, it is particularly important in the trademark context, where the relevant facts supporting a claim or defense can change drastically in a short period of time.

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