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The Third Circuit has adopted McCarthy’s “ownership” test in determining whether a manufacturer or distributor owns a trademark in the absence of an express agreement between the parties. In Covertech Fabricating, Inc. v. TVM Building Products, Inc. et.al., No. 15-3893 (3d Cir. 2017), the court adopted McCarthy’s test as the formal rule of the circuit, specifically replacing the “first use” test that typically decides trademark ownership disputes. The McCarthy test was first enumerated in Professor Thomas McCarthy’s seminal treatise on trademark law. See, McCarthy on Trademarks & Unfair Competition (4th ed. 2017). The Covertech case may prove to be a “win” for manufacturers as opposed to exclusive distributors when ownership of trademarks is not specified in their contract.
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By Jennifer Bush
Perhaps the largest impact that Director Vidal has had upon the PTAB is has been via Director Reviews. The U.S. Supreme Court mandated Director Reviews to correct procedural defects in the way that administrative patent judges are appointed to the PTAB.
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