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Disgorgement of Profits Appropriate Remedy for Breach of Contract, Trademark Infringement

In a trademark infringement and breach of contract case involving real estate companies with a shared name, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the trademark owner, including almost $43 million in profit disgorgement. Dewberry Engineers v. Dewberry Group, Case Nos. 22-1622; -1845 (4th Cir. Aug. 9, 2023) (Gregory, Thacker, JJ.) (Quattlebaum, J., dissenting).

Dewberry Engineers and Dewberry Group (formerly Dewberry Capital) operate in the same states, and both provide commercial real estate services. Dewberry Engineers started in the mid-1950s as a civil engineering and surveying firm in northern Virginia. Over time, its business expanded to include real estate development services such as architecture and site development. Dewberry Group similarly provides real estate development services through its affiliates, including the Dewberry Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 2006, Dewberry Group sent Dewberry Engineers a cease-and-desist letter, asserting that Dewberry Group had “senior common law rights” to use “Dewberry” in real estate. In response, Dewberry Engineers sued Dewberry Group for infringing its federally registered DEWBERRY trademark. That litigation ended in 2007 when the parties entered a confidential settlement agreement (CSA). Among other things, the CSA stated that Dewberry Group:

  • Would not challenge Dewberry Engineers’ trademark registrations
  • Could use its “Dewberry Capital” name except in enumerated geographical areas where it instead must use “DCC”
  • Would use no logo other than its “column” logo.

In 2017, Dewberry Group rebranded and attempted to register DEWBERRY GROUP and other marks, which the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) repeatedly rejected.

In 2020, Dewberry Engineers filed suit claiming breach of contract and trademark infringement under the Lanham Act and Virginia common law. The district court granted summary judgment to Dewberry Engineers on the contract claim, finding that Dewberry Group had violated the unambiguous CSA by changing its logo, among other offenses. The district court also granted summary judgment to Dewberry Engineers on its trademark infringement claim, finding that Dewberry Engineers’ mark was not only valid, it was incontestable since it had been in continuous use for more than five years. The district court also found that the likelihood-of-confusion factors favored infringement. The district court entered a permanent injunction against Dewberry Group’s use of “Dewberry” and granted Dewberry Engineers its attorneys’ fees and profit disgorgement. Because the court believed the tax information Dewberry Group provided did not show the true “economic reality” of the close relationship between Dewberry Group and its affiliates, the disgorgement calculation also included some of Dewberry Group’s affiliated companies’ profits. Dewberry Group appealed, challenging the summary judgment grant, the permanent injunction and the monetary awards.

The Fourth Circuit began by noting that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that Dewberry Group used the DEWBERRY trademark, used a logo other than its column logo and failed to use “DCC” in restricted areas, all in breach of the undisputedly valid CSA. The Court therefore affirmed the district court’s finding that Dewberry Group breached the CSA.

The Fourth Circuit next addressed the trademark infringement claim. The Court rejected [...]

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Burst That Bubble: Specific Knowledge Necessary to Prove Contributory Trademark Infringement

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed contributory trademark infringement for the first time, finding that specific knowledge is required for liability to attach. Y.Y.G.M. SA, DBA Brandy Melville v. Redbubble, Inc., Case Nos. 21-56150; -56236 (9th Cir. July 24, 2023) (Callahan, Nelson, Thomas, JJ.)

Brandy Melville manufactures clothing and home goods and owns multiple trademarks, including the Brandy Melville Heart and LA Lightning marks. Redbubble is an online marketplace where individual artists upload designs for printing on demand on various articles and Redbubble handles payment, manufacturing and shipping.

In 2018, on two consecutive days, Brandy Melville notified Redbubble of infringing products on its marketplace. Redbubble removed them. One year later, Brandy Melville sued Redbubble for trademark infringement. The district court granted summary judgment to Redbubble on several of its claims. The case then went to trial on Brandy Melville’s contributory infringement and counterfeiting claims. The jury found Redbubble liable for contributory counterfeiting of the Brandy Melville Heart and LA Lightning marks, contributory infringement of those marks and contributory infringement of various unregistered trademarks. However, the court granted Redbubble judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) as to the contributory counterfeiting claim for the Heart mark. Brandy Melville moved for a permanent injunction, attorneys’ fees and prejudgment interest. The district court denied each of Brandy Melville’s motions.

Redbubble appealed the denial of JMOL on contributory infringement claims and the finding of willful contributory counterfeiting of the LA Lightning mark. Brandy Melville appealed the grant of JMOL on contributory counterfeiting of the Brandy Melville Heart mark and the denial of permanent injunction, attorneys’ fees and prejudgment interest.

Addressing Redbubble’s appeal, the Ninth Circuit considered contributory infringement and contributory counterfeiting together. The issue of the applicable standard in questions of contributory liability was novel for the Ninth Circuit. The Lanham Act provides a cause of action when a party intentionally induces trademark infringement or when the party continues to supply products to a third party, despite knowing or having reason to know that the third party is engaging in trademark infringement. This case dealt with the latter.

In other contexts, the Ninth Circuit has applied the “knows or has reason to know” standard as satisfying the willful blindness (in lieu of actual knowledge) element. Willful blindness requires a subjective belief that infringement is likely occurring and deliberate actions were taken to avoid knowledge of that infringement. Redbubble argued that willful blindness requires specific knowledge, while Brandy Melville argued that there is a duty to take reasonable corrective action once a party obtains general knowledge of infringement. The Court noted that for contributory copyright infringement, specific knowledge is not required. In keeping with its sister circuits, the Court held that “willful blindness for contributory trademark liability requires the defendant to have specific knowledge of infringers or instances of infringement.” The Court, therefore, vacated and remanded for the district court to reconsider Redbubble’s JMOL motion under this standard for contributory trademark infringement.

The Ninth Circuit next considered Brandy Melville’s appeal, beginning [...]

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Elevate the $: Geographic Isolation Helps Defeat Trademark Infringement Claim

In a case between similarly named banks, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit confirmed expert disclosure requirements, conducted a de novo likelihood of confusion analysis and ultimately upheld a finding of no trademark infringement. Elevate Federal Credit Union v. Elevations Credit Union, Case No. 22-4029 (10th Cir. May 10, 2023) (Bacharach, Moritz, Rossman, JJ.)

Elevate is a federal credit union with almost 13,000 total members, operating exclusively in three rural Utah counties. Elevations is a Colorado state-chartered credit union with more than 150,000 members. The parties’ respective logos are shown below:

Elevate filed a suit seeking declaratory judgment of noninfringement, and Elevations counterclaimed for trademark infringement. After excluding testimony from Elevations’s expert, the district court found no infringement and granted summary judgment in favor of Elevate. Elevations appealed.

Elevations raised two issues on appeal:

  1. Did the district court abuse its discretion in excluding Elevations’s expert’s testimony?
  2. Did the district court err in granting summary judgment to Elevate on likelihood of confusion?

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court on the first issue. Elevations’s expert conducted a survey that involved showing marks from internet searches to consumers and asking whether they thought any came from the same company. While this survey type is legitimate, the expert did not keep records of his searches, write down his search terms, identify his search engines, or justify why he conducted multiple internet searches but showed consumers only results from Bing and the Apple App store. The Tenth Circuit found that the district court could have reasonably considered this information “facts or data” considered by the expert that needed to be—but was not—disclosed. Because the expert failed to meet his disclosure obligations and because this failure was not excused by justification or harmlessness, the lower court did not abuse its discretion.

The Tenth Circuit also affirmed the summary judgment of no likelihood of confusion. The Court conducted a de novo review and analyzed the six factors below. The Court concluded that the following five factors weighed against the likelihood of confusion:

  1. Level of care exercised by purchasers. When customers look to open bank accounts or borrow money, they exercise a great level of care. This is especially true here because credit unions have statutory membership restrictions, meaning consumers need to confirm they qualify for membership before applying.
  2. Strength of senior mark. While Elevations’s marks are “suggestive” and therefore “fall[] midway in the range of conceptual strength,” many other businesses in Colorado use the root term “elevat,” which weakens Elevations’s mark. Elevations’s marks also are weak where Elevate operates in Utah due to lack of advertising.
  3. Degree of similarity. While the marks have some similarities in appearance and sound, they differ in fonts, alignment, background colors, graphics and number of syllables. The Court also stated that the “significance of the similarities fades away” in light [...]

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First Sale Defense Bars Trademark Infringement Where Trademarked Component Is Adequately Disclosed

A US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel vacated a grant of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, holding that the first sale doctrine applies when a trademarked product is incorporated into a new product. Bluetooth SIG Inc. v. FCA US LLC, Case No. 21-35561 (9th Cir. Apr. 6, 2022) (per curiam).

Bluetooth SIG administers standards for Bluetooth technology. SIG owns and licenses the trademarks below to product manufacturers:

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) makes cars that contain Bluetooth-equipped head units. The head units are made by third-party suppliers that have been qualified by SIG, but FCA has not taken steps to qualify the Bluetooth capabilities in its cars. FCA uses the SIG trademarks on its head units and publications.

SIG sued FCA under the Lanham Act for trademark infringement. In its defense, FCA asserted the first sale doctrine. Under the doctrine, the right of a producer to control the distribution of its trademarked product does not extend past the first sale of the product. For example, a purchaser who stocks, displays and resells a producer’s product under a producer’s trademark violates no trademark rights under the Lanham Act. The district court granted partial summary judgment for SIG on the first sale issue, finding that the first sale doctrine was inapplicable because FCA’s conduct went beyond “stocking, displaying, and reselling a product.” FCA appealed.

The Ninth Circuit found that the lower court erred when it took a narrow view of the Ninth Circuit’s 1995 decision in Sebastian Int’l, Inc. v. Longs Drugs Stores Corp., in which the Court stated that “it is the essence of the ‘first sale’ doctrine that a purchaser who does no more than stock, display, and resell a producer’s product under the producer’s trademark violates no right conferred upon the producer by the Lanham Act.” The panel noted that the Sebastian Court never purported to articulate the outer bounds of the first sale doctrine; instead it simply captured the unauthorized resale of genuine goods.

The Ninth Circuit explained that the first sale doctrine also applies when a trademark is used to refer to a component incorporated into a new end product as long as the seller adequately discloses how the trademarked product was incorporated. The Court cited to the 1925 Supreme Court precedent in Prestonettes, Inc. v. Coty, which effectively extends the first sale doctrine beyond the examples stated in Sebastian. In Prestonettes, the Supreme Court held that trademark law did not prohibit a manufacturer from using a trademark, not to indicate the goods, but to say that the trademarked product was a component in a product being offered as new and changed. The Ninth Circuit also noted its 1998 holding in Enesco Corp. v. Price/Costco, in which it found that the first sale doctrine protected a retailer that resold dolls in allegedly inadequate packaging to the extent the repackaging was disclosed. The Enesco Court explained that if the public was adequately informed that [...]

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Texas Hammer Nails Trademark Infringement Appeal

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of an initial confusion trademark complaint, finding that the plaintiff alleged a plausible claim of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. Adler v. McNeil Consultants, LLC, Case No. 20-10936 (6th Cir. Aug. 10, 2021) (Southwick, J.)

Jim Adler is a personal injury lawyer who trademarked and used several terms, including JIM ADLER, THE HAMMER and TEXAS HAMMER, to market his business, including via keyword advertisements. McNeil Consultants, a personal injury lawyer referral service, purchased keyword ads using Adler’s trademarked terms, which allowed McNeil’s advertisements to appear at the top of any Google search of Adler’s trademarked terms. McNeil’s advertisements used generic personal injury terms, did not identify any particular law firm and clicking on the ads placed a phone call to McNeil’s call center rather than directing the user to a website. The call center used a generic greeting so consumers did not realize with whom they were speaking.

Adler filed suit against McNeil, asserting Texas state law claims as well as trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. McNeil moved to dismiss, arguing that its keyword ads did not create a likelihood of confusion. The district court agreed and dismissed Adler’s complaint. Adler appealed.

To successfully plead a trademark infringement claim under Fifth Circuit law, the holder of a protectable trademark must establish that the alleged infringing use “creates a likelihood of confusion as to source, affiliation, or sponsorship.” To determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists, the Court weighs a non-exhaustive list of several confusion factors, including the similarity of the marks, the similarity of the products, the defendant’s intent and the care exercised by potential consumers.

The Fifth Circuit explained that Adler alleged initial interest confusion, which exists where the confusion creates consumer interest in the infringing party’s services even where no sale is completed because of the confusion. The Court noted that this case presented the first opportunity for the Fifth Circuit to consider initial interest confusion as it pertains to search engine keyword advertising. Relying on Ninth Circuit precedent and parallel reasoning to its own opinions on initial interest confusion in the context of metatag usage, the Court concluded that Adler’s complaint alleged a plausible claim of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act.

The Fifth Circuit noted that initial interest confusion alone is not enough to raise a Lanham Act claim. The Court explained that if a consumer searches TOYOTA and is directed to search results containing a purchased ad clearly labeled as selling VOLKSWAGEN products, a consumer who clicks on the VOLKSWAGEN ad has been distracted, not confused or misled into purchasing the wrong product. Distraction does not violate the Lanham Act. However, the Court explained that where the use of keyword ads creates confusion as to the source of the advertisement—not mere distraction—an infringement may have occurred. Because McNeil’s advertisements were admittedly generic and could have been associated with any personal injury law firm, the Court found that the keyword [...]

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Injunctive Relief Available Even Where Laches Bars Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition Damage Claims

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed a district court’s conclusion that laches barred an advertising and marketing company’s claims for monetary damages for trademark infringement and unfair competition, but remanded the case for assessment of injunctive relief to protect the public’s interest in avoiding confusion between two similarly named companies operating in the advertising sector. Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group, Inc. v. Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group, LLC, Case No. 19-15167 (11th Cir. Aug. 2, 2021) (Branch, J.)

Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group (Pinnacle Illinois) is an Illinois-based company and owner of two registered trademarks including the name “Pinnacle.” Pinnacle Illinois learned of a Florida-based company operating under almost the same name that was also in the advertising and marketing space—Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group (Pinnacle Florida) —through potential clients and a magazine’s accidental conflation of the two unrelated companies. Several years later, Pinnacle Illinois sued Pinnacle Florida for trademark infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting. Pinnacle Florida filed a counterclaim seeking to cancel Pinnacle Illinois’s trademark registrations and also alleged that Pinnacle Illinois’s claims were barred by the doctrine of laches.

Following a jury trial, the district court granted Pinnacle Florida’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on Pinnacle Illinois’s cybersquatting claim. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Pinnacle Illinois on its claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition, awarding Pinnacle Illinois $550,000 in damages. The district court then granted Pinnacle Florida’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on its laches defense, concluding that Pinnacle Illinois’s trademark infringement and unfair competition claims were barred by laches because it waited more than four years to bring suit after it should have known that it had a potential infringement claim against Pinnacle Florida. The district court also cancelled Pinnacle Illinois’s registrations because it concluded that Pinnacle Illinois’s marks were merely descriptive and lacked secondary meaning. Pinnacle Illinois appealed.

Pinnacle Illinois argued that the district court abused its discretion in finding that Pinnacle Illinois’s claims were barred by laches, and that even if laches did bar Pinnacle Illinois’s claims for money damages, the district court should have considered whether injunctive relief was proper to protect the public’s interest in avoiding confusion between the two companies. Pinnacle Illinois also argued that the district court erred when it cancelled its registrations without regard to the jury’s findings of distinctiveness and protectability or the presumption of distinctiveness afforded to its registered marks.

The 11th Circuit found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that laches barred Pinnacle Illinois from bringing its trademark infringement and unfair competition claims for monetary damages. Pinnacle Illinois sued after the Florida four-year statute of limitations had passed, and the Court found that the company was not excused for its delay because it did not communicate with Pinnacle Florida about the infringement until it filed suit. Pinnacle Florida also suffered economic prejudice because it invested significant time and money, including around $2 million, in developing its business under [...]

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Supreme Court: Profit Disgorgement Available Remedy for Trademark Infringement, Willful or Not

Resolving a split among the circuits regarding whether proof of willfulness is necessary for an award of a trademark infringer’s profits, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a unanimous decision holding that the plain language of the Lanham Act has never required a showing of willful infringement in order to obtain a profits award in a suit for trademark infringement under §1125(a). Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., et al. Case No. 18-1233 (Supr. Ct. Apr. 23, 2020) (Gorsuch, Justice) (Alito, Justice, concurring) (Sotomayor, Justice, concurring).

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No Standing to Invalidate Trademark without Threat of Infringement Suit

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that when a party obtains a declaratory relief finding that it does not infringe a trademark, it no longer has Article III standing to pursue invalidation of the mark. San Diego County Credit Union v. Citizens Equity First Credit Union, Case Nos. 21-55642; -55662; -56095; -56389 (9th Cir. Feb. 10, 2023) (Bea, Ikuta, Christen, JJ.)

Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) registered a trademark for the term “CEFCU. NOT A BANK. BETTER,” and further claimed to own a nearly identical common-law trademark for “NOT A BANK. BETTER.” In 2014, San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) obtained a registration for “IT’S NOT BIG BANK BANKING. IT’S BETTER.” CEFCU petitioned the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board to cancel SDCCU’s registration, claiming that it covered a mark that was confusingly similar to CEFCU’s registered and alleged common-law marks.

SDCCU sought declaratory relief in the district court seeking a noninfringement finding of CEFCU’s registered and common-law marks, an invalidity finding of CEFCU’s registered and common-law marks, and a finding that CEFCU falsely or fraudulently registered its mark. CEFCU unsuccessfully filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction. SDCCU persuaded the district court that during the course of the cancellation proceedings, it became apprehensive that CEFCU would sue SDCCU for trademark infringement. The district court granted SDCCU’s motion for summary judgment on noninfringement and CEFCU’s motion for summary judgment on SDCCU’s fraudulent registration claim. The parties agreed to dismiss the claim that CEFCU’s registered mark was invalid. The only issue remaining was SDCCU’s count seeking declaratory relief to invalidate CEFCU’s common-law mark. After a bench trial, the district court determined that CEFCU’s common-law mark was invalid, entered final judgment and awarded SDCCU attorneys’ fees. CEFCU appealed.

In an appeal that raised a “bevy of issues,” the Ninth Circuit concluded that the district court lacked Article III jurisdiction to invalidate CEFCU’s common-law mark following the grant of summary judgment in favor of SDCCU on its noninfringement claims. Citing the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in MedImmune v. Genentech and Ninth Circuit precedent, the Ninth Circuit applied the “reasonable apprehension” test to determine whether a controversy exists in a declaratory judgment action regarding trademark infringement. Under this test, a party has standing to seek declaratory relief of noninfringement if the party demonstrates “a real and reasonable apprehension that [the party] will be subject to liability” if the party’s course of conduct continues. Concrete threats of a trademark infringement suit are not required to create live controversy to provide standing to seek declaratory relief action.

The Ninth Circuit concluded that justiciable controversy existed at the pleading stage, pointing to CEFCU’s cancellation petition, CEFCU’s testimony that it was just a “matter of time” before actual confusion occurred in California, and CEFCU’s affirmative refusal to stipulate that SDCCU was not infringing CEFCU’s marks. However, once the district court rendered its declaratory judgment of noninfringement, the record lacked any evidence that an ongoing threat of liability was causing [...]

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Delay in Enforcing Trademark Measured from When Infringement Became Actionable

Addressing laches and progressive encroachment, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed and remanded a district court’s grant of summary judgment based on laches because the district court failed to “conduct a meaningful analysis” as to when the trademark infringement first became actionable. A.I.G. Agency, Inc. v American International Group, Inc., Case No. 21-1948 (8th Cir. May 13, 2022) (Loken, Gruender, Grasz, JJ.)

A.I.G. Agency (Agency) is a family-owned insurance broker in Missouri and American International Group, Inc. (International) is a large insurance company. Each company has used its version of an AIG trademark for decades. Agency first adopted the mark in 1958 while International began using AIG sometime between 1968 and 1970. In 1995, International sent a demand letter to Agency notifying it of International’s trademark registration and requesting that Agency cease use of the AIG mark. Agency responded that it had the right to use AIG in Missouri and Illinois because it had been using the trademark in those states long before International obtained its registration. In 2008, International again reached out to Agency demanding that it stop using AIG as a mark. Agency again asserted that it had the right to use the mark in Missouri and Illinois. International responded that it did not object to Agency’s use of AIG in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties in Missouri, but it would contest Agency’s use beyond that limited geographic scope.

Nearly a decade later, in 2017, Agency sued International for common law trademark infringement and unfair competition. International asserted that Agency’s claims were barred by laches and counterclaimed for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition. Both parties moved for summary judgment, and the district court granted summary judgment for International, finding that Agency’s claims were barred by the doctrine of laches. Agency appealed.

The Eighth Circuit explained the difference between the equitable affirmative defense of laches (which is meant to bar claimants from bringing unreasonably delayed claims) and the doctrine of progressive encroachment (under which the period of delay in a trademark infringement case is measured not from when a claimant first learned of the allegedly infringing mark, but from when that infringement first became actionable). The Court explained that “[t]he doctrine [of progressive encroachment] saves trademark holders from being hoisted upon the horns of an inequitable dilemma—sue immediately and lose because the alleged infringer is insufficiently competitive to create a likelihood of confusion, or wait and be dismissed for unreasonable delay.” Here, Agency argued that it did not have an actionable and provable claim for infringement until 2012 when International changed its marketing strategy.

The Eighth Circuit found that the district court failed to “conduct a meaningful analysis” to determine when the infringement became actionable, noting that the district court found that laches barred the claims because “both parties have been using ‘AIG’ in the same markets for decades, each with full knowledge of the other’s activities.” The Court further criticized the district court for not employing a specific test to determine [...]

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Grubhub Relishes Victory Against Trademark Preliminary Injunction

Upholding the denial of a preliminary injunction motion in a trademark infringement dispute, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit concluded that the district court did not err in finding that the trademark owner failed to show a likelihood of success on its reverse confusion theory. Grubhub Inc. v. Relish Labs LLC, Case No. 22-1950 (7th Cir. Sept. 12, 2023) (Lee, Jackson-Akiwumi, Wood, JJ.)

Relish Labs and the Kroger Company (Home Chef) create and deliver meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients that customers can cook at home. Home Chef began using its “HC Home Mark,” which is protected by five federal trademark registrations, in 2014. Home Chef has spent more than $450 million on advertising and reached $1 billion in annual sales in October 2021.

Grubhub is an online food ordering and delivery service that provides on-demand order management, dispatching and procurement. In June 2021, Grubhub was acquired by Netherlands-based Just Eat Takeaway (JET), an international food delivery company that typically combines its “JET House Mark” with the marks of its local brands.

Before finalizing its acquisition of Grubhub, JET filed an international trademark application for the JET House Mark. However, the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) examiner preliminarily rejected the mark, finding it to be “confusingly similar” to the HC Home Mark. JET did not respond and withdrew the application. After acquiring Grubhub, JET adopted the “Grubhub House Logo,” which combined the Grubhub logo with the JET House Mark. Grubhub introduced the new logo in July 2021 and has spent millions of dollars rebranding.

After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Home Chef, Grubhub sued, seeking a declaratory judgment that its logo did not infringe Home Chef’s marks. Home Chef countered with a motion for preliminary injunction, which was referred to a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge recommended that the court grant Home Chef preliminary injunctive relief, but the district court rejected the recommendation and denied Home Chef’s motion, finding that it had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits. Home Chef appealed.

On appeal, the Seventh Circuit began by addressing which Grubhub mark was at issue: the JET House Mark alone or the Grubhub House Logo (which incorporated the logo portion of the JET House Mark). The Court noted that Grubhub had not used the JET House Mark without the Grubhub brand name in the United States and thus agreed with the district court that the accused mark was the Grubhub House Logo:

Turning next to Home Chef’s reverse confusion theory, the Seventh Circuit addressed the relevant four factors from its [...]

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