This morning the Federal Circuit released two precedential opinions. The first comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, vacating the Veterans Court’s decision and remanding the case. Notably, Judge Bryson wrote a dissent disagreeing with the majority’s analysis of causation. The second opinion comes in a trademark case appealed from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, reversing the Board’s decision. Notably, in the second case, Judge Reyna wrote a concurring opinion. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

Long v. McDonough (Precedential)

Walter Long appeals a decision of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims affirming the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denial of an extra-schedular rating for Mr. Long’s bilateral hearing loss. Long v. Wilkie, 33 Vet. App. 167 (2020) (en banc). For the following reasons, we vacate and remand.

BRYSON, Circuit Judge, dissenting.

I do not disagree with the majority’s analysis of the causation issue. But Mr. Long forfeited his argument that he is entitled to extra-schedular benefits for his ear pain because he failed to show “indicia of an exceptional or unusual disability picture, such as marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization.” Thun v. Shinseki, 572 F.3d 1366, 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2009). For that reason, the decision of the Veterans Court should be upheld.

Meenaxi Enterprise, Inc. v. Coca-Cola Co. (Precedential)

The Coca-Cola Company (“Coca-Cola”) distributes a Thums Up cola and Limca lemon-lime soda in India and other foreign markets. Meenaxi Enterprise, Inc. (“Meenaxi”) has distributed a Thums Up cola and a Limca lemon-lime soda in the United States since 2008 and registered the THUMS UP and LIMCA marks in the United States in 2012. Coca-Cola brought cancellation proceedings under § 14(3) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1064(3), asserting that Meenaxi was using the marks to misrepresent the source of its goods. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) held in Coca-Cola’s favor and cancelled Meenaxi’s marks. Meenaxi appeals. Because we conclude that Coca-Cola has not established a statutory cause of action based on lost sales or reputational injury, we reverse.

REYNA, Circuit Judge, concurring.

I write separately to express my belief that this case is governed by the territoriality principle. The majority bases its decision exclusively on two factual inquiries—(1) whether Coca-Cola proved lost sales in the United States, and (2) whether Coca-Cola proved reputational injury among U.S. consumers. In my view, these inquiries are directly reflective of the territoriality principle and the well-known mark exception.