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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 Matthew Siegal
University of Massachusetts v. L’Oréal
Absent an express disclaimer or special definition of how a term is to be interpreted, it can be frustrating to get a court to reject the plain and ordinary meaning of claim language read in a vacuum, based on the subtleties of how a term is used in a patent or its prosecution history.
By Robert W. Clarida and Thomas Kjellberg
On July 7, 2022, the Southern District of Florida denied a motion to dismiss in Morford v. Cattelan, which began by posing the following question: “Can a banana taped to a wall be art?”
By Stephen M. Kramarsky and John Millson
In the absence of a federal statutory scheme specifically aimed at digital advertising practices, the courts have focused on consumer-facing issues covered by existing law, such as privacy, transparency, and deceptive or misleading advertising practices. But digital advertising technology can also present new challenges in copyright and trademark protection.
By Stan Soocher
How far back from accrual of a claim may a plaintiff reach for copyright damages?