ROMAG FASTENERS, INC. v. FOSSIL GROUP, INC., FKA FOSSIL, INC., ET AL., No. 18–1233.

by John Roberts on April 23, 2020

Resolving a longstanding split among the circuits, today the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff in a trademark infringement or unfair competition suit under the Lanham Act is no longer required to show that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff’s trademark as an absolute precondition to a profits award. However, willfulness will still be very important in the analysis:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-1233_5he6.pdf

Prior to today’s ruling, six circuits required a willfulness finding to award profits—the First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, while six other circuits—the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits—did not require willfulness.

Accordingly, trademark plaintiffs now hold a stronger hand in the First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits.

–John

18-1233_5he6.pdf

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