For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, August 8, 2016, we will discuss the following:

Pom Wonderful LLC and The Wonderful Company v. Robert Hubbard et al. (C.D. Cal June 29, 2016) (available here). Pom Wonderful has been selling pomegranate-flavored juices under the trademarks “POM” and “POM WONDERFUL” since 2002.  The defendant, a competing pomegranate-flavored beverage manufacturer, has sold its products under the trademark “PUR POM” since 2013. Here, The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgments.  The court granted PW’s summary judgment motion and denied Pur’s, finding that PW had not abandoned its mark by use of use of the mark as a stylized mark with a heart-shaped “O”.  Judge Klausner held that this qualified as use of the “Pom” and that stylized lettering did not alter the pronunciation or perception of the word.  Klausner also found defendant’s argument that “Pom” had become a generic, shorthand term for “pomegranate”, as unpersuasive, and Klausner held there was undisputed evidence that there was a likelihood of confusion.

In re Morgan Brown (TTAB, Serial No. 86362968, July 14, 2016 ) (citable) (available here). Here, the examining attorney refused registration of the mark “Herbal Access” for “retail store services featuring herbs.”  The record evidenced that marijuana would be sold as as an herb under this brand.  The EA stated that, regardless of individual state laws that allow marijuana retail products and services, Marijuana still remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law and was subject to the prohibitions of the  Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”).  Because Brown’s retail store services were illegal under federal law, the mark could not be registered as unlawful under the CSA.

All are invited to join us on Monday, August 8, 2016, at noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Elisha Manzur by 9 am Monday morning.