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April / May 2024 Cantor Colburn IP Newsletter

Reverse confusion claim over trademark logo doesn’t make the cut
A party in a trademark infringement case can seek a preliminary injunction to block the opposing party’s use of a mark during litigation. The outcome can provide a window into whether the party should expect to prevail at trial. This article looks at a recent case in which a trademark owner asserting a reverse confusion theory of infringement received a discouraging result. A short sidebar discusses why the defendant also was unlikely to succeed in establishing a likelihood of “forward confusion” caused by the junior trademark owner’s mark.
Grubhub Inc. v. Relish Labs LLC, No. 22-1950 (7th Cir. Sept. 12, 2023).

Loud and clear: Court shoots down “continuation” strategy for expanding patents
A recent patent infringement ruling did more than just reverse a hefty damages award against Google. It also questions a common strategy used to obtain protection for new claims using an existing patent, and in turn provides accused infringers a potential avenue to invalidate the patents in question. This article covers how this case may upend the practice of targeted continuations.
Sonos, Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 20-06754 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 6, 2023).

Are law firm emails protected in patent litigation?
Intraoffice emails can come back to haunt law firms if they end up in court — and not just in the case the emails are a part of. This article reviews a case in which the plaintiff in an Ohio patent infringement case had an email with material it deemed confidential made public, potentially providing a roadmap to competitors on how to avoid infringing its patents.
Woodstream Corp. v. Nature’s Way Bird Products, LLC, No. 23-00294 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 20, 2023).

What to know about contributory copyright infringement
Contributory copyright infringement — when a defendant causes or significantly contributes to another’s infringing activities and knows of the infringement — is often misunderstood. This article reviews a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in which the court provided some welcome clarity for a frequent point of confusion: the types of behavior that support a contributory copyright infringement claim.
Greer v. Moon, No. 21-4128 (10th Cir. Oct. 16, 2023).

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