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In Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), prohibiting the federal registration of potentially disparaging trademarks and service marks, violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The eight justices participating in the case agreed that the prohibition constituted a viewpoint-based government restriction, but they divided evenly on the constitutional significance of that consideration. Whatever the resolution of that division ultimately may be, though, the outcome of the litigation is unlikely to affect the validity of most — but not necessarily all — of the Lanham Act’s other prohibitions on registration.
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By Sarah Benowich
Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc.
The Supreme Court, settling a circuit split, held that, although highly important, willfulness is not a prerequisite for a trademark infringement plaintiff to obtain a profits award.
By Anthony J. Dreyer
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
By Shaleen J. Patel and Sushmitha Rajeevan
Machine learning allows certain AI to create entirely new content based upon the materials it used to learn. In the process of creating new content, AI may create copies of copyrighted works in memory storage as a byproduct of its overall output sequence. This article explores authorship and ownership of such AI-generated content, and to what extent, if any, can copyrights be infringed upon when AI reproduces copyrighted works for machine learning.
By Rudy Kim and Chris Han
Holding that the parties’ executed agreement mooted the issues in the case, the Federal Circuit recently reversed a district court’s decision to grant summary judgment of non-infringement despite the parties’ agreement. The decision builds upon prior Federal Circuit case law giving effect to settlement agreements.