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Posts Tagged ‘trademark’

A Tale of Two Farm Boys

by Bruce Jobse

“Thumb’s Up” to the CAFC for last month’s precedential ruling in Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc. v. FF Acquisition, LLC. The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law and, hopefully, add some clarity to our decision-making processes with their respective rulings.  Well, we think the CAFC recently did just that when, rather than considering all thirteen factors of the traditional DuPont test for likelihood of confusion between two trademarks, the Court held that the issue of confusion can be determined solely by considering the visual similarities or dissimilarities of the respective marks.  At issue, on this appeal, was the likelihood of confusion between the two farm boy design marks indicated below:

Applicant’s applied-for farm boy mark

Opposer’s registered farm boy mark

Would you be confused that each of these marks identifies the same source of goods or services?  What specific visual items are different in each mark? You be the judge (an appellate judge, of course).  Read the rest of this entry »


The Rapper and The Slugger

by Bruce Jobse

Can it be that the intense rivalry between two of Major League Baseball’s oldest and most famous teams, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, which is already global in nature, has spilled over into the world of intellectual property? Apparently so.

Last week notorious Yankee fan and successful rapper/producer Jay-Z brought an action in US District Court in New York alleging that the online advertising of a nightclub named “Forty Forty” in Santo Domingo by David “Big Papi” Ortiz, one of the Red Sox heavy hitters, infringes Jay-Z’s trademark for “40/40 Club” as used on a chain of sports-oriented nightclubs. Seems that Big Papi was photographed a few seasons back, partying at the New York location of the 40/40 Club. That alone was probably enough to irritate local patrons, including New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. But apparently Mr. Ortiz’s club opening on his native Dominican Republic turf with an alleged confusingly similar mark was more inflammatory to Jay-Z than watching Mr. Rodriguez being called out after slapping the ball from Bronson Arroyo’s glove during the 2004 ALCS playoffs.

So is this high and outside fastball aimed towards Big Papi’s ear really about the Lanham Act and trademark infringement? Although the 40/40 Club has locations in various cities in the US as well as Japan and China, it seems that Ortiz may take a swing at hitting this one out of the US District Court’s jurisdiction. It will be interesting to hear the official call, especially since Jay-Z is seeking an injunction. One thing for sure, the fans will enjoy watching both benches of lawyers rumble.