Panko Quoted on Major Trademark and Copyright Cases Pending Before SCOTUS

Managing IP
Partner Ross Panko was quoted on three major cases pending in the US Supreme Court that could greatly impact both copyright and trademark laws.

Ross said, “It’s kind of a treat for us trademark and copyright practitioners to have this many cases in front of the Supreme Court.”

One of those cases involves whether a dog toy manufacturer using the Jack Daniel’s trade dress should be subject to a likelihood of confusion analysis under the Lanham Act or if it is protected under the First Amendment as an expressive work.

If the Court decides the latter, Ross said that as a result, brands could be modified and put on other products by companies with no connection to the trademark owner and trademark owners would be without recourse.

He added that companies should maintain strong brand enforcement programs and watch out for products in related industries, not just those in their sectors.

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