Tag: Trade dress

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Towards a Uniform Theory of Patent Law: The Federal Circuit Declines to Create Design-Patent-Specific Rules for Exhaustion or Repair
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U.S. Court finds Adidas’ Stan Smith shoe trade dress protectable
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No Interlocutory Injunction? No Sweat

Towards a Uniform Theory of Patent Law: The Federal Circuit Declines to Create Design-Patent-Specific Rules for Exhaustion or Repair

On Tuesday July 23, 2019, the Federal Circuit declined to fashion design-patent-specific doctrines of exhaustion or repair. Automotive Body Parts Ass’n v. Ford Global Techs., LLC, Case No. 2018-1613, slip op. at 2 (Fed. Cir. July 23, 2019).

Instead, the court reemphasized that the same rules apply to utility patents and to design patents unless otherwise provided by law. Id. Also concluding that “aesthetic appeal” is not functional, the court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in Ford’s favor. Id. The decision is notable for its widening of the gap between trade dress and design patents and for its reaffirmation of the principle that design patents and utility patents should, whenever possible, receive identical treatment under the law.

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U.S. Court finds Adidas’ Stan Smith shoe trade dress protectable

It’s game, set, match for Adidas when it comes to the protectable trade dress in its iconic Stan Smith tennis shoe. In a dispute between Adidas and Skechers over the “Skecherizing” of the Stan Smith shoe, the District Court for the District of Oregon denied Skechers’ motion for summary judgment finding that Adidas could show it has protectable trade dress in its well-known shoe design because the design was recognizable to consumers and not functional. Adidas America Inc. et al. v. Skechers USA Inc., D. Or (August 3, 2017) (order granting in part and denying in part motion for summary judgment).

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No Interlocutory Injunction? No Sweat

Unilever Australia Ltd v Revlon Australia Pty Ltd (no.2) [2014] FCA 875

This case is the latest skirmish between two personal product giants, Unilever and Revlon, before war breaks out on 15 September 2014 when the trial begins.

The case concerns ‘clinical’ anti-perspirant deodorant products; Revlon’s product sold under the brand name Mitchum Clinical and Unilever’s products sold under the brand names ‘Rexona’ and ‘Dove’. 

The first interlocutory injunction hearing was brought by Unilever against Revlon in May 2014 concerned misleading representations alleged to have been made by Revlon in advertising. On balance, the Court refused to grant the injunction as it would have a serious adverse impact on the worldwide marketing campaign for Revlon and the trial could be held in July 2014. The July trial was eventually adjourned to 15 September 2014. Read More

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