INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
NATIONAL LEGISLATION - USA
Trademark Laws and Regulations
Laws: Title 15, §§
1051 - 1127, United States Code
15 U.S.C. § 1118 Destruction of infringing articles
In any action arising under this Act, in which a violation of any right of the registrant of a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office, or a violation under section 43(a), shall have been established, the court may order that all labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles, and advertisements in the possession of the defendant, bearing the registered mark or, in the case of a violation of section 43(a), the word, term, name, symbol, device, combination thereof, designation, description, or representation that is the subject of the violation, or any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation thereof, and all plates, molds, matrices, and other means of making the same, shall be delivered up and destroyed. The party seeking an order under this section for destruction of articles seized under section 34(d) (15 U.S.C. 1116(d)) shall give ten days' notice to the United States attorney for the judicial district in which such order is sought (unless good cause is shown for lesser notice) and such United States attorney may, if such destruction may affect evidence of an offense against the United States, seek a hearing on such destruction or participate in any hearing otherwise to be held with respect to such destruction.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 36, 60 Stat. 440; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, § 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98-473, Title II, Ch. XV, § 1503(3), 98 Stat. 2182; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title I, § 130, 102 Stat. 3945.)
15 U.S.C. § 1119 Power of court over registration
In any action involving a registered mark the court may determine the right to registration, order the cancellation of registrations, in whole or in part, restore canceled registrations, and otherwise rectify the register with respect to the registrations of any party to the action. Decrees and orders shall be certified by the court to the Commissioner, who shall make appropriate entry upon the records of the Patent and Trademark Office, and shall be controlled thereby.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 37, 60 Stat. 440; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, § 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)
15 U.S.C. § 1120 Civil liability for false or fraudulent registration
Any person who shall procure registration in the Patent and Trademark Office of a mark by a false or fraudulent declaration or representation, oral or in writing, or by any false means, shall be liable in a civil action by any person injured thereby for any damages sustained in consequence thereof.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 38, 60 Stat. 440; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, § 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)
15 U.S.C. § 1121 Jurisdiction of Federal courts; State and local requirements that registered trademarks be altered or displayed differently; prohibition
(a) The district and territorial courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction, the courts of appeal of the United States (other than the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia shall have appellate jurisdiction, of all actions arising under this Act, without regard to the amount in controversy or to diversity or lack of diversity of the citizenship of the parties.
(b) No State or other jurisdiction of the United States or any political subdivision or any agency thereof may require alteration of a registered mark, or require that additional trademarks, service marks, trade names, or corporate names that may be associated with or incorporated into the registered mark be displayed in the mark in a manner differing from the display of such additional trademarks, service marks, trade names, or corporate names contemplated by the registered mark as exhibited in the certificate of registration issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 39 [§§ 39, 39a], 60 Stat. 440; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, § 32, 62 Stat. 907; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 127, 63 Stat. 107; April 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, § 148, 96 Stat. 46; Oct. 12, 1982, Pub. L. 97-296, 96 Stat. 1316; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title I, § 131, 102 Stat. 3946.)
15 U.S.C. § 1121a [Transferred]
15 U.S.C. § 1122 Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials
(a) Any State, instrumentality of a State or any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity, shall not be immune, under the eleventh amendment of the Constitution of the United States or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity, from suit in Federal court by any person, including any governmental or non-governmental entity for any violation under this Act.
(b) In a suit described in subsection (a) for a violation described in that subsection, remedies (including remedies both at law and in equity) are available for the violation to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation in a suit against any person other than a State, instrumentality of a State, or officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity. Such remedies include injunctive relief under section 34, actual damages, profits, costs and attorney's fees under section 35, destruction of infringing articles under section 36, the remedies provided for under sections 32, 37, 38, 42 and 43, and for any other remedies provided under this Act.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 40, as added Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102-542, § 3(b), 106 Stat. 3567.)
15 U.S.C. § 1123 Rules and regulations for conduct of proceedings in Patent and Trademark Office
The Commissioner shall make rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, for the conduct of proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office under this Act.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VI, § 41, 60 Stat. 440; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, § 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)
15 U.S.C. § 1124 Importation of goods bearing infringing marks or names forbidden
Except as provided in subsection (d) of section 526 of the Tariff Act of 1930, no article of imported merchandise which shall copy or simulate the name of the [any] domestic manufacture, or manufacturer, or trader, or of any manufacturer or trader located in any foreign country which, by treaty, convention, or law affords similar privileges to citizens of the United States, or which shall copy or simulate a trade-mark registered in accordance with the provisions of this Act or shall bear a name or mark calculated to induce the public to believe that the article is manufactured in the United States, or that it is manufactured in any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which it is in fact manufactured, shall be admitted to entry at any customhouse of the United States; and, in order to aid the officers of the customs in enforcing this prohibition, any domestic manufacturer or trader, and any foreign manufacturer or trader, who is entitled under the provisions of a treaty, conviction, declaration, or agreement between the United States and any foreign country to the advantages afforded by law to citizens of the United States in respect to trademarks and commercial names, may require his name and residence, and the name of the locality in which his goods are manufactured, and a copy of the certificate of registration of his trademark, issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act, to be recorded in books which shall be kept for this purpose in the Department of the Treasury, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, and may furnish to the Department facsimiles of his name, the name of the locality in which his goods are manufactured, or of his registered trade-mark, and thereupon the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause one or more copies of the same to be transmitted to each collector or other proper officer of customs.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VII, § 42, 60 Stat. 440; Oct. 3, 1978, Pub. L. 95-410, Title II, § 211(b), 92 Stat. 903.)
15 U.S.C. § 1125 False designations of origin and false descriptions forbidden
(a) Civil action.
(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which--
(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or
(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person's goods, services, or commercial activities,
shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.
(2) As used in this subsection, the term “any person” includes any State, instrumentality of a State or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity. Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this Act in the same manner and to the same extent as any non-governmental entity.
(b) Importation. Any goods marked or labeled in contravention of the provisions of this section shall not be imported into the United States or admitted to entry at any customhouse of the United States. The owner, importer, or consignee of goods refused entry at any customhouse under this section may have any recourse by protest or appeal that is given under the customs revenue laws or may have the remedy given by this Act in cases involving goods refused entry or seized.
(c) Remedies for dilution of famous marks.
(1) The owner of a famous mark shall be entitled, subject to the principles of equity and upon such terms as the court deems reasonable, to an injunction against another person's commercial use in commerce of a mark or trade name, if such use begins after the mark has become famous and causes dilution of the distinctive quality of the mark, and to obtain such other relief as is provided in this subsection. In determining whether a mark is distinctive and famous, a court may consider factors such as, but not limited to--
(A) the degree of inherent or acquired distinctiveness of the mark;
(B) the duration and extent of use of the mark in connection with the goods or services with which the mark is used;
(C) the duration and extent of advertising and publicity of the mark;
(D) the geographical extent of the trading area in which the mark is used;
(E) the channels of trade for the goods or services with which the mark is used;
(F) the degree of recognition of the mark in the trading areas and channels of trade used by the marks' owner and the person against whom the injunction is sought;
(G) the nature and extent of use of the same or similar marks by third parties; and
(H) whether the mark was registered under the Act of March 3, 1881, or the Act of February 20, 1905, or on the principal register.
(2) In an action brought under this subsection, the owner of the famous mark shall be entitled only to injunctive relief unless the person against whom the injunction is sought willfully intended to trade on the owner's reputation or to cause dilution of the famous mark. If such willful intent is proven, the owner of the famous mark shall also be entitled to the remedies set forth in sections 35(a) and 36, subject to the discretion of the court and the principles of equity.
(3) The ownership by a person of a valid registration under the Act of March 3, 1881, or the Act of February 20, 1905, or on the principal register shall be a complete bar to an action against that person, with respect to that mark, that is brought by another person under the common law or a statute of a State and that seeks to prevent dilution of the distinctiveness of a mark, label, or form of advertisement.
(4) The following shall not be actionable under this section:
(A) Fair use of a famous mark by another person in comparative commercial advertising or promotion to identify the competing goods or services of the owner of the famous mark.
(B) Noncommercial use of a mark.
(C) All forms of news reporting and news commentary.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title VIII, § 43, 60 Stat. 441; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title I, § 132, 102 Stat. 3946.)
(As amended Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102-542, § 3(c), 106 Stat. 3568; Jan. 16, 1996, Pub. L. 104-98, § 3(a), 109 Stat. 985.)
15 U.S.C. § 1126 International conventions
(a) Register of marks communicated by international bureaus. The Commissioner shall keep a register of all marks communicated to him by the international bureaus provided for by the conventions for the protection of industrial property, trade-marks, trade and commercial names, and the repression of unfair competition to which the United States is or may become a party, and upon the payment of the fees required by such conventions and the fees required in this Act may place the marks so communicated upon such register. This register shall show a facsimile of the mark or trade or commercial name; the name, citizenship, and address of the registrant; the number, date, and place of the first registration of the mark, including the dates on which application for such registration was filed and granted and the term of such registration; a list of goods or services to which the mark is applied as shown by the registration in the country of origin, and such other data as may be useful concerning the mark. This register shall be a continuation of the register provided in section 1(a) of the Act of March 19, 1920.
(b) Benefits of section to persons whose country of origin is party to convention or treaty. Any person whose country of origin is a party to any convention or treaty relating to trade-marks, trade or commercial names, or the repression of unfair competition, to which the United States is also a party, or extends reciprocal rights to nationals of the United States by law, shall be entitled to the benefits of this section under the conditions expressed herein to the extent necessary to give effect to any provision of such convention, treaty or reciprocal law, in addition to the rights to which any owner of a mark is otherwise entitled by this Act.
(c) Prior registration in country of origin; country of origin defined. No registration of a mark in the United States by a person described in subsection (b) of this section shall be granted until such mark has been registered in the country of origin of the applicant, unless the applicant alleges use in commerce. For the purposes of this section, the country of origin of the applicant is the country in which he has a bona fide and effective industrial or commercial establishment, or if he has not such an establishment the country in which he is domiciled, or if he has not a domicile in any of the countries described in subsection (b) of this section, the country of which he is a national.
(d) Right of priority. An application for registration of a mark under sections 1, 3, 4, 23, or 44(e) of this Act filed by a person described in subsection (b) of this section who has previously duly filed an application for registration of the same mark in one of the countries described in subsection (b) shall be accorded the same force and effect as would be accorded to the same application if filed in the United States on the same date on which the application was first filed in such foreign country: Provided, that—
(1) the application in the United States is filed within six months from the date on which the application was first filed in the foreign country;
(2) the application conforms as nearly as practicable to the requirements of this Act, including a statement that the applicant has a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce;
(3) the rights acquired by third parties before the date of the filing of the first application in the foreign country shall in no way be affected by a registration obtained on an application filed under this subsection (d);
(4) nothing in this subsection (d) shall entitle the owner of a registration granted under this section to sue for acts committed prior to the date on which his mark was registered in this country unless the registration is based on use in commerce.
In like manner and subject to the same conditions and requirements, the right provided in this section may be based upon a subsequent regularly filed application in the same foreign country, instead of the first filed foreign application: Provided, That any foreign application filed prior to such subsequent application has been withdrawn, abandoned, or otherwise disposed of, without having been laid open to public inspection and without leaving any rights outstanding, and has not served, nor thereafter shall serve, as a basis for claiming a right of priority.
(e) Registration on principal or supplemental register; copy of foreign registration. A mark duly registered in the country of origin of the foreign applicant may be registered on the principal register if eligible, otherwise on the supplemental register herein provided. The application therefor shall be accompanied by a certification or a certified copy of the registration in the country of origin of the applicant. The application must state the applicant's bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce, but use in commerce shall not be required prior to registration.
(f) Domestic registration independent of foreign registration. The registration of a mark under the provisions of subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section by a person described in subsection (b) shall be independent of the registration in the country of origin and the duration, validity, or transfer in the United States of such registration shall be governed by the provisions of this Act.
(g) Trade or commercial names of foreign nationals protected without registration. Trade names or commercial names of persons described in subsection (b) of this section shall be protected without the obligation of filing or registration whether or not they form parts of marks.
(h) Protection of foreign nationals against unfair competition. Any person designated in subsection (b) of this section as entitled to the benefits and subject to the provisions of this Act shall be entitled to effective protection against unfair competition, and the remedies provided herein for infringement of marks shall be available so far as they may be appropriate in repressing acts of unfair competition.
(i) Citizens or residents of United States entitled to benefits of section. Citizens or residents of the United States shall have the same benefits as are granted by this section to persons described in subsection (b) of this section.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title IX, § 44, 60 Stat. 441; Oct. 3, 1961, Pub. L. 87-333, § 2, 75 Stat. 748; Oct. 9, 1962, Pub. L. 87-772, § 20, 76 Stat. 774; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title I, § 133, 102 Stat. 3946.)
15 U.S.C. § 1127 Construction and definitions; intent of chapter
In the construction of this Act, unless the contrary is plainly apparent from the context--
The United States includes and embraces all territory which is under its jurisdiction and control.
The word “commerce” means all commerce which may lawfully be regulated by Congress.
The term “principal register” refers to the register provided for by sections 1 through 22 hereof, and the term “supplemental register” refers to the register provided for by sections 23 through 28 thereof.
The term “person” and any other word or term used to designate the applicant or other entitled to a benefit or privilege or rendered liable under the provisions of this Act includes a juristic person as well as a natural person. The term “juristic person” includes a firm, corporation, union, association, or other organization capable of suing and being sued in a court of law.
The term “person” also includes any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity. Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this Act in the same manner and to the same extent as any non-governmental entity.
The terms “applicant” and “registrant” embrace the legal representatives, predecessors, successors and assigns of such applicant or registrant.
The term “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.
The term “related company” means any person whose use of a mark is controlled by the owner of the mark with respect to the nature and quality of the goods or services on or in connection with which the mark is used.
The terms “trade name” and “commercial name” mean any name used by a person to identify his or her business or vocation.
The term “trademark” includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof--
(1) used by a person, or
(2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this Act,
to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.
The term “service mark” means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof--
(1) used by a person, or
(2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this Act,
to identify and distinguish the services of one person, including a unique service, from the services of others and to indicate the source of the services, even if that source is unknown. Titles, character names, and other distinctive features of radio or television programs may be registered as service marks notwithstanding that they, or the programs, may advertise the goods of the sponsor.
The term “certification mark” means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof--
(1) used by a person other than its owner, or
(2) which its owner has a bona fide intention to permit a person other than the owner to use in commerce and files an application to register on the principal register established by this Act,
to certify regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of such person's goods or services or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.
The term “collective mark” means a trademark or service mark--
(1) used by the members of a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization, or
(2) which such cooperative, association, or other collective group or organization has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this Act,
and includes marks indicating membership in a union, an association, or other organization.
The term “mark” includes any trademark, service mark, collective mark, or certification mark.
The term “use in commerce” means the bona fide use of a mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark. For purposes of this Act, a mark shall be deemed to be in use in commerce--
(1) on goods when--
(A) it is placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or the displays associated therewith or on the tags or labels affixed thereto, or if the nature of the goods makes such placement impracticable, then on documents associated with the goods or their sale, and
(B) the goods are sold or transported in commerce, and
(2) on services when it is used or displayed in the sale or advertising of services and the services are rendered in commerce, or the services are rendered in more than one State or in the United States and a foreign country and the person rendering the services is engaged in commerce in connection with the services.
A mark shall be deemed to be “abandoned” if either of the following occurs:
(1) When its use has been discontinued with intent not to resume such use. Intent not to resume may be inferred from circumstances. Nonuse for 3 consecutive years shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment. “Use” of a mark means the bona fide use of such mark made in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark.
(2) When any course of conduct of the owner, including acts of omission as well as commission, causes the mark to become the generic name for the goods or services on or in connection with which it is used or otherwise to lose its significance as a mark. Purchaser motivation shall not be a test for determining abandonment under this paragraph.
The term “dilution” means the lessening of the capacity of a famous mark to identify and distinguish goods or services, regardless of the presence or absence of--
(1) competition between the owner of the famous mark and other parties, or
(2) likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception.
The term “colorable imitation” includes any mark which so resembles a registered mark as to be likely to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive.
The term “registered mark” means a mark registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office under this Act or under the Act of March 3, 1881, or the Act of February 20, 1905, or the Act of March 19, 1920. The phrase “marks registered in the Patent and Trademark Office” means registered marks.
The term “Act of March 3, 1881,” “Act of February 20, 1905,” or “Act of March 19, 1920,” means the respective Act as amended.
A “counterfeit” is a spurious mark which is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered mark.
Words used in the singular include the plural and vice versa.
The intent of this Act is to regulate commerce within the control of Congress by making actionable the deceptive and misleading use of marks in such commerce; to protect registered marks used in such commerce from interference by State, or territorial legislation; to protect persons engaged in such commerce against unfair competition; to prevent fraud and deception in such commerce by the use of reproductions, copies, counterfeits, or colorable imitations of registered marks; and to provide rights and remedies stipulated by treaties and conventions respecting trade-marks, trade names, and unfair competition entered into between the United States and foreign nations.
(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, Title X, § 45, 60 Stat. 443; Oct. 9, 1962, Pub. L. 87-772, § 21, 76 Stat. 774; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, § 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-620, Title I, § 103, 98 Stat. 3335; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title I, § 134, 102 Stat. 3946.)
(As amended Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102-542, § 3(d), 106 Stat. 3568; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103-465, Title V, Subtitle B, § 521, 108 Stat. 4981; Jan. 16, 1996, Pub. L. 104-98, § 4, 109 Stat. 986.)