Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Federal Circuit Clarifies Trademark Fraud

In what will certainly be the most talked about court decision of 2009 for trademark practitioners, the Federal Circuit reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Bose Corp. v. Hexawave, Inc., 88 USPQ2d 1332 (T.T.A.B. 2007), which found that Bose had committed fraud when it filed a renewal for goods that it no longer sold under the mark WAVE. See In re Bose Corporation, Appeal No. 2008-1448 (Fed. Cir., Aug. 31, 2009).

The Court found that the Board had erroneously lowered the fraud standard to a simple negligence standard. The Federal Circuit went on to make its holding on fraud quite clear:

Thus, we hold that a trademark is obtained fraudulently under the Lanham Act only if the applicant or registrant knowingly makes a false, material representation with the intent to deceive the PTO.

The TTABlog® discusses the decision here (and make sure to check out the numerous comments), Finnegan provides a detailed summary of the decision here, while Registration Ruminations opines about the decision here.

1 comment:

Trademark Lawyer - Pittsburgh said...

This is a good decision. The word Fraud is a very strong word. It should require an intent.