Supreme Court to Decide Extraterritorial Reach of Trademark Statute

Today the Supreme Court granted review in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. to consider when the federal trademark statute, known as the Lanham Act, applies extraterritorially. In Steele v. Bulova Watch (1952), the Court held that the act applied extraterritorially to the infringement of a U.S. trademark in Mexico. But lower courts have developed different tests for implementing Steele, creating a…

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Territoriality v. Extraterritoriality in Intellectual Property

A core principle in U.S. intellectual property (IP) law is that IP rights are territorially limited. A U.S. patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret affords the holder exclusive rights solely within the United States. This principle also exists at the international level, as reflected in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS)….

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Solicitor General Recommends That Supreme Court Hear Extraterritorial Trademark Case

Last Friday, the Solicitor General (SG) recommended that the Supreme Court hear Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. to consider when the federal trademark statute, known as the Lanham Act, applies extraterritorially. A jury found that five German and Austrian companies infringed Hetronic International’s trademarks and awarded damages of more than $90 million for violations…

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