Partner Pina Campagna Co-Participant for Amicus Curiae In Lee v. Tam Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court

  • Dec 1 2016
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  • Category: News

By: Pina Campagna 

CDFS Partner Pina M. Campagna participated in the preparation of an amicus brief together with the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (“NYIPLA”) urging the U.S. Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) to clarify the scope of trademark protection available to unregistrable marks under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.

The amicus brief was written for the case Lee v. Tam, in which the Court will determine whether the bar to trademark registration for “disparaging” marks under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act is constitutional.

Although NYIPLA does not comment as to whether Section 2(a) is constitutional, the brief requests that the Court clarify whether the owner of a mark that was refused registration under Section 2(a) because an applied-for mark was found to be disparaging, may nevertheless still seek relief under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act with an unfair competition claim.

The brief urges the Court to confirm that owners of common law marks should not be precluded from asserting unfair competition claims, even if the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office found the mark to be disparaging and refused registration under Section 2(a).

The full text of the amicus brief can be found here.