trademark infringement

Hailey Bieber recently founded her own line of skincare products under the trade name Rhode, which is her middle name. Unfortunately, her latest venture was not warmly received by everyone. The founders of the fashion line RHODE almost immediately filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Mrs. Bieber in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In short, the fashion brand contends that Mrs. Bieber’s use of Rhode in connection with skin care products is likely to create consumer confusion, despite the fact that their federal trademark registration does not include skin care products. To that end, the fashion brand claims it has common-law trademark rights concerning such goods.
Continue Reading The Southern District of NY Catches Bieber Fever and Denies Injunction

In this episode of The Briefing by the IP Law BlogScott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss a trademark infringement dispute between the Seattle Space Needle and a local coffee shop over the cafe’s use of the Space needle’s image in its logo.
Continue Reading The Briefing by the IP Law Blog: Seattle Space Needle Pokes at Local Coffee Shop’s Logo

Hard seltzer first hit the marketplace about five years ago and rapidly grew in popularity with sales exceeding $4.5 billion in 2020.  Wanting to ride the wave of success, many companies have introduced hard seltzers into this now crowded space.  But what is a hard seltzer?  Is it a form of beer or something else?  Based on its popularity, most would say, “Who cares whether hard seltzer is beer, just give me one.”  However, Modelo Grupo (“Modelo”) and Constellation Brands (“Constellation”) would say there is a lot riding on the answer.

Modelo, whose parent is Anheuser-Busch InBev (“AB”), created the Corona brand.  In 2013, Constellation acquired perpetual, irrevocable, and exclusive license rights in the Corona marks, which gave Constellation the right to sell products under the Corona trademark.  Then in 2020, Constellation introduced Corona Hard Seltzer, which is a sugar-based, fermented beverage produced in Coahuila, Mexico.  Corona Hard Seltzer is now the fourth most popular hard seltzer in the United States, competing directly with Bud Light Seltzer and other AB hard seltzers.

Modelo sued Constellation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over the use of the Corona trademark for Corona Hard Seltzer and for breach of contract, alleging that Constellation only has the right to sell beer products, not hard seltzer, under the Corona brand.   According to Modelo, hard seltzer is not one of the allowable beer beverages.
Continue Reading Beer: You Know It When You Taste It, Or Maybe Not