Why SCOTUS' ‘narrow path’ in Spaniels could cause ripples


Mark Stallion

Why SCOTUS' ‘narrow path’ in Spaniels could cause ripples

Brandon Bourdages / Shutterstock.com

The landmark Jack Daniel’s case involving a dog toy leaves questions over the Rogers test and could see a shift in infringement standards, says Mark Stallion of Greensfelder.

In the Jack Daniel’s Properties v VIP Products case on appeal before the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), the court sided with the whiskey maker, vacating a decision that had overturned a district court’s ruling in a dispute over whether a dog toy called ‘Bad Spaniels’ infringed the trademark rights of Jack Daniel’s.

Earlier this month, SCOTUS remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with the court’s opinion.

SCOTUS did not decide, however, whether the Rogers test for trademark infringement (see Rogers v Grimaldi, 1989) is ever appropriate or when it should be applied, or how far the ‘non-commercial use’ exclusion extends in relation to dilution.

SCOTUS, Bad Spaniels, brands, infringement, Greensfelder, Jack Daniel's, trademarks, IP rights, likelihood of confusion, whiskey