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Sarah Bro is the office managing partner for the Firm’s Orange County office. She focuses her practice on trademark prosecution, enforcement and brand portfolio management, as well as licensing, due diligence, copyright, right of publicity and domain name matters. Read Sarah Bro's full bio. 

2020 IP Law Year in Review: Trademarks


By and on Jan 21, 2021
Posted In Trademarks

Executive Summary 2020 was a year like no other, so you’d be forgiven if the year’s biggest headlines in trademark law didn’t quite catch your attention. In 2020, the US Supreme Court shaped trademark jurisprudence through a trio of notable decisions. A pandemic and shelter-in-place orders pushed more consumers to virtual marketplaces, forcing brand owners,...

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This Mashup Is Not a Place You’ll Go – Seuss Copyright Will ‘Live Long and Prosper’


By on Jan 7, 2021
Posted In Copyrights, Trademarks

Presented with a publishing company defendant’s mashup of Dr. Seuss’ copyrighted works with Star Trek in a work titled Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit tackled claims of both copyright and trademark infringement, including the defense of fair use and the use of trademarks in expressive...

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Fifth Circuit Says No Preliminary Injunction in Boozy Beverage Trademark Fight


By on Dec 17, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

The maker of BRIZZY-brand hard seltzer claimed that consumers would confuse a product branded VIZZY hard seltzer with its own. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit disagreed, however, and affirmed the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction with an explanation as to how the plaintiff failed to demonstrate a substantial...

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“You’ve Changed!”—New Trademark and TTAB Fees Incoming


By on Dec 10, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

Effective January 2, 2021, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is increasing and adding certain trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) fees. The changes come after a nearly three-year fee status quo. The following TTAB fees will increase anywhere from $25 to $200: Petition to cancel filed through the Electronic System...

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Making Waves: Post-Employment Contract Assignment Provision Invalid Under California Law


By on Dec 3, 2020
Posted In Patents

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invoked “precedents that are relevant but not directly on point” to examine when employment contract provisions may require assignment of inventions conceived post-employment and without use of the former employer’s confidential information, finding that an intellectual property assignment provision in the employer’s predecessor’s employment agreement was...

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Trademark Cancellation Is Appropriate Sanction for Misconduct


By on Nov 4, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

In upholding a grocery store chain’s standing to petition for cancellation of a US trademark registration, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB’s) express authority to impose cancellation of a trademark by default judgment as a sanction in a TTAB proceeding. Corcamore, LLC v. SFM,...

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Eye Don’t: No Counterfeiting Without Likelihood of Confusion


By on Oct 15, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

Referring to the act of counterfeiting as “hard core” or “first degree” trademark infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the first time confirmed that the Lanham Act requires a likelihood of confusion in order for the trademark holder to prevail on a counterfeiting claim. Arcona, Inc. v. Farmacy Beauty, LLC,...

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Diamonds to Dust? Too Many Factual Disputes Precludes Summary Judgment


By on Aug 26, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a district court’s summary judgment grant in favor of a fine jewelry producer for trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition because factual disputes exist around whether the accused infringer’s use of the word “Tiffany” was merely descriptive of a particular ring setting, thereby supporting a...

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“Salacious” Content Doesn’t Bar Discovery in Copyright Infringement Suit


By on Jul 30, 2020
Posted In Copyrights

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit preserved discovery options for copyright owners fighting online piracy when it reversed the district court’s refusal to allow a subpoena of an alleged online infringer’s internet service provider. The DC Circuit found that the district court abused its discretion by relying heavily on the...

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Knock It Off, Knockoffs? Ninth Circuit Affirms Trade Dress Rights but Not Fame


By on Jul 9, 2020
Posted In Trademarks

Taking on issues of functionality and fame relating to trade dress rights, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s judgment after a jury trial on claims of infringement and dilution of trade dress rights in furniture. The Ninth Circuit distinguished utilitarian functionality from...

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