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Section 35 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1117(a), provides a remedy in false advertising, trademark infringement and dilution cases allowing for a plaintiff’s recovery of illicit profits earned by a defendant that are attributable to its wrongful conduct. For more than two decades, Lanham Act plaintiffs in the Second Circuit have been required to make a showing that the defendant engaged in willful misconduct as a prerequisite to a disgorgement award. While this approach is consistent with that of the First, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits, no such requirement exists in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, or Eleventh Circuits, which allow disgorgement as a remedy without requiring a threshold showing of willfulness. Rather, the defendant’s intent is merely one factor in an analysis under “principles of equity” in those circuits. See, 15 U.S.C. §1117(a).
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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.