'Naked' use: the Fed Circuit’s interpretation of standing


Julia-Anne Matheson

'Naked' use: the Fed Circuit’s interpretation of standing

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The Federal Circuit’s finding that an Australian contraceptive wholesaler can challenge a rival’s US registration stands after the US Supreme Court declined a request for a review. Julia Anne Matheson of Potomac Law unpacks the decision.

The case, Australian Therapeutic Supplies v Naked (2020), analyses the requirements for establishing “standing” to challenge a mark—in this case a registration—in an action before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Both the challenger, an Australian contraceptive wholesaler who sold ‘Naked’ branded condoms into the US market, and US company Naked, began use of the identical mark for the same goods within months of each other.

The Australian company started shipping its ‘Naked’ condoms into the US in April 2003. The US company filed a US application to register the Naked mark for condoms a couple of months later—in August 2003.

USPTO, mark, Australian Therapeutics, Naked, rights, abandonment, TTAB, condoms, US Supreme Court, Federal Circuit, trademark, contraceptive, wholesaler