November 2017
Recent Developments

THAT'S OFFENSIVE!®: Trademarking Disparaging Words
By Brian Downey of Barnes & Thornburg
 
To most businesses, it would make no sense to trademark an offensive slogan. After all, why would you narrow your customer base by intentionally insulting or disparaging a subset of consumers? Of course, in today's polarized climate, some businesses now capitalize on societal rifts and target one side of any issue with their products, which often aim to ridicule and belittle the other side.
 
To function as a trademark, a slogan must identify a source. Slapping "I Hate Republicans" on a coffee mug or "I Hate Democrats" on a T-shirt would not identify your business as the source of the products, but only be "merely ornamental." Of course, you could put either of those phrases on hang tags, labels, and packaging in a manner that would be trademark use. Up until earlier this year, had you done just that, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would have not permitted you to register the mark.
 
For years, the Lanham Act prohibited the registration of any trademark that disparaged or brought into contempt or disrepute any persons, living or dead. In a nutshell, if the USPTO found your mark to be offensive, or potentially offensive, to any individual or group, it would deny your application to register that mark. The initial applications of the Washington Redskins made it through the registration process years ago; however, the Washington football team has been fighting a long battle to stop those marks from now being cancelled under this provision.
 
While trademark registration is not necessary in order to use, claim rights in, and enforce a trademark, it does bestow valuable legal benefits. Registration provides others with constructive notice of your rights in the mark and gives you a presumably exclusive right to use the mark throughout the U.S. Owners of registered trademarks may also stop the importation of infringing goods.
 
So, should the government be permitted to deny you a trademark registration if it deems your mark to be disparaging or offensive to any person? Many would argue that the government should not have to "endorse" hatred or bigotry by providing anyone with a federal registration of an offensive term. Others may argue that making the government the arbiter of what is offensive is a slippery slope and violates freedom of speech guarantees provided under the First Amendment.
 
The Supreme Court recently settled the issue.
 
In 2011, Simon Tam sought to register the name of his band "The Slants." The USPTO refused registration, finding "slants" to be a derogatory term for persons of Asian descent. Tam, himself an Asian-American (as are all members of the band), stated that the band selected the name to help "reclaim" the term and "drain it of its denigrating force." Tam would end up appealing this refusal in a case that bounced its way through the USPTO, appellate courts, and all the way up to the Supreme Court.
 
Tam argued that the provision of the Lanham Act allowing the government to deem a mark "offensive" and thus refuse registration violated his First Amendment rights. While admitting that the determination of whether a mark is disparaging is "highly subjective," the government argued that the prohibition against registering offensive marks passed constitutional muster.
 
All eight justices (Gorsuch did not take part) agreed that the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. Justice Alito summed up the opinion as follows:
 
"Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express "the thought that we hate."
 
Simon Tam's stated intent of draining "slants" of its denigrating force is laudable. The result of Tam's legal battle, however, means that anyone using a hateful, offensive term in commerce as a trademark may now register that mark regardless of their intent in selecting and using the mark. While it makes little sense for most businesses to adopt offensive trademarks, the registration process is now open to those that do.
 
Originally published in themetropreneur.com Please contact David Spooner (202-371-6377, DSpooner@btlaw.com or Brian Downey (614-628-1424, BDowney@btlaw.com ) of Barnes & Thornburg.

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USPTO
 
 
Utility patents issued in the month of October:
 
Pat. No.             Title                                                                             Assignee
9,804,301           Article Having a Plurality of Optical Structures                                                                    NIKE, Inc.
9,803,299           Knitted Component For an Article of Footwear                                                                     NIKE, Inc.
9,803,080           Orthopaedic Splinting System                                                                                          ONBONE OY
9,802,343           Process for Foaming Thermoplastic Elastomers                                                                    NIKE, Inc.
9,801,431           Regrind Polyurethane w/ Glycol or Polyol Additive                                                             NIKE, Inc.
9,801,430           Footwear w/ Tensile Element w/ Deposition Layer                                                               NIKE, Inc.
9,801,429           Instep Cover and Shoe Upper                                                                             Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd.
9,801,428           Tethered Fluid-Filled Chamber w/ Tether Configs .                                                                NIKE, Inc.
9,801,427           Climbing Shoe                                                                                 Calzaturificio S.C.A.R.P.A. S.p.A.
9,801,426           Flexible Sole & Upper for an Article of Footwear                                                                  NIKE Inc.
9,799,192           Intelligent Shoe for the Blind                                                  Boe Technology Group Co., Ltd.; et al.
9,796,851           Hydraulic Crumb Silicone and Orthotic                                          The Trustees of the Univ. of Penn.
9,795,190           Traction Cleat and Receptacle                                                   Pride Manufacturing Company, LLC
9,795,189           Drawstring Clamping Device                                                                                              Thingz, LLC
9,795,188           Lace Securement Device                                                                                                                  None
9,795,187           Adjustable Heel Support Member for Footwear                                                                    NIKE, Inc.
9,795,186           Soles for Sports Shoes                                                                                                            Adidas AG
9,795,185           Shoe Outsoles & Systems & Methods of Manuf.                                           The Topline Corporation
9,795,184           Shoe Positioning Plate for Bicycle Shoes                                                                           Shimano Inc.
9,795,183           Slipper or Sandal Worn Bi-Directionally                                                                                         None
9,795,182           Silicon Rubber Healthcare Footwear Article                                                                                   None
9,795,181           Articles and Methods of Manufacture of Articles                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
D799,810           Shoe Lace Tightening Reel                                                                                     Boa Technology Inc.
9,791,235           String Damper Having Aperture                                                                                       MCP IP, LLC
9,789,644           Methods Of Vacuum Forming Articles Of Wear                                                                    adidas AG
9,789,584           Buffing Expanded Foam Items                                                                                               NIKE, Inc.
9,788,612           Method of Custom Fitting of Footwear, Apparatus                                                                NIKE, Inc.
9,788,611           Method of Using Inflatable Member to Customize                                                                NIKE, Inc.
9,788,610           Footwear, Footwear Vamp, and Processes                                                                       Grendene S.A.
9,788,609           Article of Footwear w/ Adjustable Fitting System                                                                 NIKE, Inc.
9,788,608           Shoe Upper Having Multiple Weld Zones                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
9,788,607           Article of Footwear Incorporating Printed Portions                                                               NIKE, Inc.
9,788,606           Soles for Sports Shoes                                                                                                            Adidas AG
9,788,605           Insulated Sole for Article of Footwear                                                                                             None
9,788,604           Articles and Method of Manufacture of Articles                                                                    NIKE, Inc.
9,788,603           Articles and Methods of Manufacture of Articles                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
9,788,602           Basketball Insole                                                                                                 Implus Footcare, LLC
9,788,601           Systems, Devices & Methods for Controlling Fluid                                                                        None
9,788,600           Customized Footwear, and Systems and Methods                                     New Balance Athletics, Inc.
9,788,599           Torsion Control Bridge for Shoe                                                      Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.
9,788,598           Soles for Sports Shoes                                                                                                            Adidas AG
9,788,597           Proprioceptive/Kinesthetic Apparatus and Method                   Apos--Medical and Sports Tech. Ltd.
9,788,596           Article of Footwear Including a Sizing System                                                                     NIKE, Inc.
9,788,595           Article of Footwear w/Interchangeable Features                                                                             None
9,788,594           Articles and Methods of Manufacture of Articles                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
9,782,125           Athletic or Other Performance Sensing Systems                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
9,781,976           Shoe Treatment                                                                                                                     Dukoz LLC
9,781,975           Footwear Securement System                                                                                                          None
9,781,974           Soles For Sports Shoes                                                                                                           Adidas AG
9,781,973           High Heel Shoe                                                                                                       Thesis Couture, Inc.
9,781,972           Footwear w/ Impact Absorber and Having Upper ...                                                               NIKE, Inc.
9,781,971           Integrated Medical Shoe Device                                                                                                      None
9,781,970           Cushioning Element for Sports Apparel                                                                                Adidas AG
9,781,969           Footwear w/ Integrally Formed Auxetic Structure                                                                 NIKE, Inc.
9,781,968           Apparatus for a Shoe                                                                                                      Technoslips Inc.
9,781,967           Footwear with Refractive Internal Illumination                                                                               None
9,781,778           Customized Microwaving Energy Distribution...                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
9,778,688           Flexible System-In-Package Solutions for Devices                                                    Intel Corporation
9,778,027           Apparatus and Method for Imaging Feet                                   Northwest Podiatric Laboratory, Inc.
9,777,412           Footwear Incl. Monofilament Knit Element                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
9,776,067           Heeling Apparatus                                                                                             Heeling Sports Limited
9,775,736           Ankle Brace                                                                                                                                      None
9,775,409           Material for Shoe Upper                                                                                                          adidas AG
9,775,408           Footwear w/ Auxetic Ground Engaging Members                                                                 NIKE, Inc.
9,775,407           Footwear Incl. Bladder Element w/ Cushioning                                                                    NIKE, Inc.
9,775,406           Footwear w/ Sole Assembly w/ Bladder Element                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
9,775,405           Footwear w/ Sole Member w/ Regional Patterns                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
9,775,404           Custom Footwear and Method of Making the Same                                                                        None
9,775,403           Sole Structure for a Running Shoe                                                                             On Clouds GmbH
9,775,402           Shoe Sole Having Outsole and Midsole                                                                    Asics Corporation
9,775,401           Sole System for Footwear w/ Knitted Component                                                            NIKE, Inc.
9,775,400           Foot Arch Support Device                                                                         Big Hill Industrial Co., Ltd.
9,775,399           Transitional Shoe with Screw-On Heel                                                                                            None
9,775,398           Device Which Fits Over Shoe and Method of Use                                                                          None


 
Patent applications published in the month of October:
                                                                                                                      
Pub. App. No.   Title                                                                             Applicant
20170309150     Anti-Theft, Radio Frequency Locator & Safety...                                                     Brandon F. Forbes
20170308066     Assembly Line Article Tracking System                                                                                NIKE, Inc.
20170308044     Bladders, Compartments, Chambers or Sipes...                                                         Frampton E. Ellis
20170306539     Footwear & Articles Formed by Jet Extrusions                                   The North Face Apparel Corp.
20170304683     Swim Fin                                                                                                                             Jianxiong He
20170304102     Manually Operated Rotative Locking Devices                                                                   F.G.P. S.R.L.
20170303827     System & Method for Analyzing Athletic Activity                                                               NIKE, Inc.
20170303644     Tension Limiting Mechanisms for Closure Devices                                              Boa Technology Inc.
20170303643     Closure Devices Incl. Incremental Release Mech.                                                 Boa Technology Inc.
20170303642     Device, Method to Facilitate Open/Close- Ski Boot                                             Bird With Fry, Corp.
20170303641     Shoelace Centering Device                                                                                                      David Lee
20170303640     Shoelace Securing Device and Method of Use                                                                  Robert Peliks
20170303639     Shoe Upper and Shoe Including the Shoe Upper                                                  Mizuno Corporation
20170303638     Adjustable Bladder System for Article of Footwear                                                              NIKE, Inc.
20170303637     Sole Structure, Electrically Controllable Element                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
20170303636     Footwear w/ Sole Member with Regional Patterns                                                                NIKE, Inc.
20170303635     Selectively Textured Footbed                                                                     Alexander Sidney Kazarian
20170303634     Footwear Heel Design                                                                               Larry Raymond Macdonald
20170303633     Sole Structure w/ Customizable Bladder Network                                                                 NIKE, Inc.
20170303632     Rapid-Entry Footwear w/ Rebounding Fit System                                                   Kizik Design, LLC
20170303631     Footwear with Removable Midsole and Outsole                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
20170303630     Footwear Having Memory Foam                                                                 totes lsotoner Corporation
20170303629     Non-Toxin Adhesiveless Slipper and Method                                                                  Ziliang Zhang
20170303628     Article of Footwear Having a Textile Upper                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
20170303627     Modular Shoe                                                                                                                          adidas AG
20170303600     A Footlet and Method for Producing Such a Footlet                                                Steps Holding B.V.
20170298548     Bulk Fill Material                                                                                 The North Face Apparel Corp.
20170297287     Production Method of Glueless Pasted Shoe Sole                                      Eefoam Materials Co., Ltd.
20170297286     Apparatus, Method for Customization of Footwear                                             Tecnica Group S.P.A.
20170297207     Pick-Up Tool with Integrated Light Source                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
20170296373     External Ankle Brace                                                                                                TayCo Brace, LLC
20170295897     Apparatus and Methods for Carrying Footwear                                                  Gavrieli Brands, LLC
20170295889     Footwear w/ Removable Motorized Adjustment                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
20170295888     Apparatus & Method for Tighten, Loosen Lace                                                            Chin-Chu Chen
20170295887     Material for Developing/Maintaining Motor Skills                                             Charisse Torres; et al.
20170295886     Footwear w/ Midsole w/ Winding and Methods                                    Reebok International Limited
20170295885     Hybrid Material                                                                                                       Douglas Evan Stern
20170295884     Modified Footwear                                                                                        Aurora Enterprises, LLC
20170295883     Shoe Insert                                                                                                                              Mark Frey
20170295851     Socks & Other Footwear w/ Friction Reducing                                                          Lee L. Thibodeau
20170290937     Ultraviolet Illuminator for Footwear Treatment                             Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc.
20170290393     Shoe Fastening Device and Method                                                                               Karl Von Saxon
20170290392     Shoelace Securing Device                                                                                        Kevin E. Schreiner
20170290391     Footwear Manufacturing with an Origin                                                                                NIKE, Inc.
20170290390     Signaling Sole for Shoes, Shoe and Kit                                                                            Vibram S.p.A.
20170288180     Fabric-Friendly Type Secondary Battery Package                                                                  Jenax Inc.
20170287212     Systems and Methods for Fitting Product                                                                                 Bao Tran
20170284875     Footwear Having Sensor System                                                                                            NIKE, Inc.
20170281391     Foot and Ankle Support Article                                                                              Under Armour, Inc.
20170280829     Selectively Applied Particulate on Substrates                                                                        NIKE, Inc.
20170280828     Digital Last                                                                                                                              adidas AG
20170280827     Adjustable Shoelace Fastener and Method of Use                                                            James Parker
20170280826     Footwear w/ Upper w/ Member w/ Support Arm                                                                  NIKE, Inc.
20170280825     Strand-Wound Bladder                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
20170280824     Quick Change Shock Mitigation Outsole Insert                                                B&B Technologies L.P.
20170280823     Article of Footwear with Adaptive Fit                                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
20170280822     Article of Footwear with Adaptive Fit                                                                                   NIKE, Inc.
20170280821     Footwear with Zoned Insulation                                                                         Cabela's Incorporated
20170280820     Reusable Custom Insoles                                                                                                     David Green
20170280819     Athletic Gear or Other Articles - Expandable                                                          Bauer Hockey Ltd.
20170280818     Ski Boot                                                                                                             Rossignol Lange S.R.L.
20170280817     Article Having a Knitted Component with a Strap                                                                NIKE, Inc.
20170280816     Custom Article of Footwear & Method of Making                                            Robert Michael Lyden
20170280815     Footwear with Integrated Magnets                                                                                      Peter Oppici
 
 
Trademarks published in the month of October:
(Note: 0 = design mark only)

Design patents issued in the month of October:
                                                                                                                         
Pat. No.             Title                                                                             Assignee
D801,039           Linking Sock                                                                                                                                    None
D801,038           Sock and Gel Pad Set                                                                                                                       None
D801,037           V-Cut Foot Thong                                                                                                            Spanteez, LLC
D801,036           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,035           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,034           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,033           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,032           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,031           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,030           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,029           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,028           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,027           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,026           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,025           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,024           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,023           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D801,022           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D801,021           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D801,020           Insole                                                                                                                                                None
D801,019           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D801,018           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D801,017           Shoe Sole                                                                                                                                NIKE, Inc.
D801,016           Shoe Sole                                                                                                                                NIKE, Inc.
D801,015           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D801,014           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                     Converse Inc.
D801,013           Footwear                                                                                                                                 Crocs, Inc.
D801,012           Shoe                                                                                                                         CRIS CONF. S.P.A.
D801,011           Footwear                                                                                                                                  Crocs, Inc.
D801,010           Sandal                                                                                                                                               None
D800,911           Orthopedic Boot Insert                                                                                                                     None
D800,440           Sock                                                                                                          Okamoto Corporation; et al.
D800,439           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D800,438           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D800,437           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D800,436           Footwear Upper                                                                                     Deckers Outdoor Corporation
D800,435           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D800,434           Shoe Pad                                                                                                             APA Enterprises, LLC
D800,433           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D800,432           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D800,431           Footwear                                                                                                                     Sorel Corporation
D800,430           Sole                                                                                                                                ECCO SKO A/S
D800,429           Shoe Accessory                                                                                                                    JQ4 Pty Ltd
D800,428           Shoe                                                                                                                      GTS Global Co., Ltd.
D799,812           Martial Arts Sock                                                                                                                             None
D799,811           Form Fitting Sock                                                                           Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc.
D799,810           Shoe Lace Tightening Reel                                                                                     Boa Technology Inc.
D799,809           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,808           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,807           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,806           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,805           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,804           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D799,803           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D799,802           Sole for Footwear                                                                 Sports Care Seitai Institute Corporation
D799,801           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D799,800           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                     Converse Inc.
D799,799           Internal Foot Shell for a Skate                                                                           POWERSLIDE GmbH
D799,798           Internal Foot Shell for a Skate                                                                           POWERSLIDE GmbH
D799,198           Sock                                                                                                                                        NIKE, Inc.
D799,197           Double Ankle Sock                                                                                                                           None
D799,196           Spur Strap                                                                                                  Penelope Denise Ploughman
D799,195           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,194           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,193           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,192           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,191           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,190           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,189           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,188           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,187           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,186           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D799,185           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D799,184           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D799,183           Shoe Midsole Periphery                                                                                    Skechers U.S.A., Inc. II
D799,182           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D799,181           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D799,180           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D799,179           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D799,178           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D799,177           Footwear                                                                                                                     Sorel Corporation
D799,176           Shoe                                                                                                               Sea Star Beachwear, LLC
D799,175           Shoe                                                                                                               Sea Star Beachwear, LLC
D799,174           Slipper                                                                                                                        Bottega Veneta SA
D799,173           Shoe                                                                                                                                Alpargatas S.A.
D799,172           Shoe Heel                                                                                                                                          None
D799,171           Boot                                                                                                                  LaCrosse Footwear, Inc.
D799,170           Boot                                                                                                                  LaCrosse Footwear, Inc.
D799,169           Ballet Slipper                                                                                                           Rachel Abramowitz
D798,583           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,582           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,581           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,580           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,579           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,578           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,577           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,576           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,575           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,574           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,573           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,572           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,571           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,570           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,569           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,568           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,567           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,566           Shoe Upper                                                                                                                             NIKE, Inc.
D798,565           Footwear Article                                                                                                        Fuerst Group, Inc.
D798,564           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D798,563           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D798,562           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D798,561           Shoe Outsole                                                                                                                           NIKE, Inc.
D798,560           Shoe                                                                                                                                         adidas AG
D798,559           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,558           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,557           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,556           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,555           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,554           Shoe Sole                                                                                                                        Cole Haan LLC
D798,553           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,552           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,551           Shoe Midsole                                                                                                                          NIKE, Inc.
D798,550           Footwear Sole                                                                                                Wolverine Outdoors, Inc.
D798,549           Footwear                                                                                                                        J. Choo Limited
D798,548           Sandal                                                                                                                                               None
D798,547           Shoe                                                                                                        Reebok International Limited
D798,546           Boot Cover                                                                                                     Taylor Rose Designs LLC

Litigation        
 
In the Matter of Certain Foam Footwear , 2017 ITC LEXIS 1334, Investigation No. 337-TA-567 (U.S. Int. Trade Commission October 20, 2017). Synopsis: The ITC denies a petition by Double Diamond Distribution Ltd. and U.S.A. Dawgs, Inc. to modify, suspend, or rescind the ITC's general exclusion order and cease and desist against Double Diamond Distribution regarding the '789 patent, which the ITC previously determined was not invalid.

Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. v. Abercrombiesirelands.com , 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169290 (S.D. Fla. October 13, 2017). Synopsis: A federal court grants Abercrombie & Fitch's application for preliminary injunction in a trademark infringement action alleging defendants have infringed Abercrombie & Fitch's trademarks in connection with footwear and clothing items.

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and Wolverine Outdoors, Inc. v. Happy Puppies Athleticwear, Inc. ; Happy Puppies Athleticwear, Inc. v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and Wolverine Outdoors, Inc., 2017 TTAB LEXIS 402 (T.T.A.B. October 11, 2017). Synopsis: The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismisses Wolverine's opposition to register Happy Puppies' HAPPY PUPPIES trademark in connection with athletic clothing based on Wolverine's various registrations for HUSH PUPPIES in connection with retail shoe store services, retail store services featuring footwear, and other goods and grants Happy Puppies' counterclaim to cancel one of Wolverine's trademark registrations for HUSH PUPPIES in connection with clothing.
 
Ex parte Le, Cessor, and Kim , 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 10496 (P.T.A.B. October 3, 2017). Synopsis: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board reverses the Examining Attorney's refusal of certain claims in a patent for a decorated article of footwear.
 
Ex parte Souder , 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 9582 (P.T.A.B. October 2, 2017). Synopsis: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirms in part the Examining Attorney's refusal of certain claims for a patent involving a therapeutic method and apparatus involving exposure to high intensity permanent magnets based on existing claims for magnetic insoles and soles in footwear.

 
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General News Newspaper

 
Aquazzura's Legal Battle With Ivanka Trump Is Over
Footwear News
November 17, 2017
By Katie Abel
 
Aquazzura has agreed to end its trademark infringement lawsuit against first daughter Ivanka Trump.
 
The luxury label filed the suit in June 2016 against Trump, her company IT Collection LLC and its footwear licensee Marc Fisher Holdings LLC, alleging that Trump's Hettie shoe was "virtually identical" to Aquazzura's Wild Thing design.
 
According to Bloomberg, which cited court papers filed on Friday, the case was dismissed after Aquazzura, Trump and other parties, including Marc Fisher, agreed to withdraw the case. No terms were disclosed. The parties were scheduled to go to court in March 2018.
 
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest said in June that Trump had to testify in the dispute.
 
The legal team that represents Trump, who now serves as the special advisor to President Donald Trump, previously argued that she should not have to submit to a deposition in the lawsuit because "she was not involved in the design, promotion or sale of the shoe.
 
However, Aquazzura's legal team argued that her testimony was necessary given her past public statements about heading brand Ivanka's operations and approving designs.
 
Among the comments Trump made, Aquazzura cited her statement from this 2012 FN story: "There's not a shoe I'm not intimately involved in designing."
 
Trump formally stepped away from her company earlier this year to focus on her role in the White House.
  
 

ITC Keeps Clog Import Ban Despite Crocs' Loss At USPTO
Law360
October 27, 2017
By Kyle Jahner (editing by Breda Lund)
 
The U.S. International Trade Commission has retained its ban on the import of Crocs competitors despite a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invalidation of the shoe company's patent, again deciding such a ruling cannot undo an exclusion order until appeals are exhausted.
 
Despite arguments to the contrary from Crocs competitor U.S.A. Dawgs Inc. and its distributor Double Diamond Distribution Ltd., the ITC said the case did not fundamentally differ from one with similar circumstances between Arista Networks and Cisco Systems. In that case the Federal Circuit has upheld an ITC decision to not stay its bar on infringing Arista products despite Arista's win invalidating the underlying patent at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
 
"The commission finds that the circumstances here are no different from Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components (II), where the commission determined that it would not disturb any issued remedial order, i.e., modify, suspend, or rescind the order, based solely on a final rejection from the PTO," the Oct. 20 order from ITC Secretary Lisa R. Barton said.
 
Competitors of Crocs have accused it of trying to maintain a monopoly on clog-shaped colorful shoes made from ethyl vinyl acetate that it has sold since 2002. Crocs sued competitors and eventually secured an ITC exclusion order in 2011 over patents it secured in 2006, though competitors say Crocs merely added a strap to footwear technology and styles that long predate the company.
 
An inter partes reexamination initiated in 2012, just before the America Invents Act went into effect, invalidated a key Crocs patent in a 2013 ruling finalized by a USPTO examiner in 2016. Crocs is appealing the examiner's decision to the PTAB, but even if the board upholds the decision, Dawgs remains in the same position in the process as Arista, which failed to sway the ITC in July and Federal Circuit in September that a PTAB ruling invalidating the underlying patent justified halting an exclusion order.
 
The decision further cemented the apparent ITC view that a patent invalidation by the USPTO, an executive body, needs to become final in the courts before an exclusion order can be revisited.
 
Dawgs argued to the ITC that its case was different from Arista's since Cisco was moving to quickly appeal to the Federal Circuit following its loss in inter partes review, a more streamlined process since it was initiated post-AIA. Crocs, on the other hand, "has promised to delay the appeal process as long as it can, and has already started lengthening it as much as it can," Dawgs' brief said.
 
Also, Dawgs argued Crocs has benefited from the order for more than six years, whereas the May remedial order in the Cisco-Arista case would have never been effective had Arista prevailed. The ITC order did not address Dawgs' particular arguments in detail, and simply said the circumstances did not differ.
 
Dawgs lawyer David J. Kaplan said that despite the differences, the ruling was not unexpected; he said the company would appeal that ruling among other litigation efforts in its fight against Crocs.
 
"We're not too surprised ours went the same way [as the Arista ruling], but we don't necessarily think the ITC is correct," Kaplan told Law360.
 
Kaplan said he thought that if Dawgs gets a ruling in one of multiple cases, it could change the ITC's stance that nothing changed. He said Dawgs will appeal the Oct. 20 ITC ruling upholding the ban to the Federal Circuit, and will also work to cement the USPTO examiner's decision in the PTAB and, if successful, presumably before the Federal Circuit.
 
A Colorado federal judge last month declined to dismiss Dawgs' Lanham Act false claims lawsuit against 18 individual current and former Crocs' leaders, which is now consolidated with a 2016 lawsuit against the company. In both cases, the judge did toss antitrust claims that alleged Crocs used sham patent prosecution and litigation to create a monopoly, finding the pre-2012 legal success of those efforts undercut allegations that they were bogus.
 
Counsel for Crocs did not respond to a request for comment.

Click here to see the article online.
 

Barnes & Thornburg LLP. If you have questions regarding any article, would like further information, or have suggestions about future articles, please contact David Spooner at david.spooner@btlaw.com