Trademark

Supreme Court Roundup (October Term 2022)

During its 2022 Term, which ended four weeks ago, the Supreme Court decided five cases with important implications for transnational litigation. The questions included whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to criminal proceedings; the standard for aiding and abetting under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA); whether states may exercise general personal jurisdiction over foreign…

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Abitron Eliminates Circuit Tests but Causes More Confusion

During the oral argument in Abitron Austria GMBH v. Hetronic International, Inc., Justices Alito, Sotomayor, Gorsuch, and Barrett all expressed concern over whether the Court should overrule its 1952 decision in Steele v. Bulova Watch Co (1952). A reader of the Court’s majority decision by Justice Alito might be surprised to see that the majority…

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Two New Supreme Court Decisions on the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

The end of the Supreme Court’s term brought two decisions on the presumption against extraterritoriality, a significant and contested interpretive canon for federal statutes. Yegiazaryan v. Smagin ruled 6-3 that a civil RICO suit based on an alleged scheme to fraudulently conceal assets belonging to a U.S. judgment debtor had sufficient domestic content to fit…

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What is a “Domestic Application” of the Lanham Act? The Supreme Court Creates More Questions than It Answers

In Abitron Austria Gmbh v. Hetronic International, Inc., the Supreme Court appears to have returned to its recent preference for bright-line rules in cases assessing the extraterritoriality of federal statutes, but the brightness of this rule will dim as other fact patterns are considered.

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Stare Decisis and Extraterritoriality

In a recent post, Curt Bradley suggested that the hardest problem the Supreme Court faces as it revisits the geographic scope of the Lanham (Trademark) Act in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. is what to do about existing precedent. In Steele v. Bulova Watch Co. (1952), the Court held that the Act applies to…

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Supreme Court to Revisit Extraterritorial Scope of Trademark Law

On March 1, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc., which concerns the extraterritorial scope of the Lanham (Trademark) Act. In resolving this case, the Court will need to decide what to do about an old precedent that appears to be inconsistent with the Court’s modern approach to…

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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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SDNY Rejects Service by Email on Chinese Companies

In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-US, a federal court in the Southern District of New York (Judge Gregory Woods) rejected service by email on Chinese companies in a trademark and copyright infringement case. China and the United States are parties to the Hague Service Convention. The court reasoned that the Convention precludes service by email,…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Chukwuma Okoli

University of Birmingham
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Haley Anderson

University of California Berkeley
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Brian D. Hulse

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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Wenliang Zhang

Renmin University of China Law School
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Haoxiang Ruan

Renmin University of China Law School
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Melissa Kucinski

MKFL
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