Argument Recap / Panel Activity

Argument Recap – In re Elster

This past week, the court heard oral argument in In re Elster, an appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. We have been following this case because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, Elster argues a refusal of his trademark registration based on section 2(c) the Lanham Act violates of the Constitution’s First Amendment. Section 2(c) recites that “[n]o trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it . . . [c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent . . . .” The United States argues that section 2(c) is constitutionally legal and applied correctly in this case. The amicus brief in this case was filed by Matthew Handel, an individual who says he has trademark applications similar to Elster. Judges Dyk, Taranto, and Chen heard the argument. This is our argument recap.

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Court Week / Panel Activity

Court Week – What You Need to Know

This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. Arguments are being held in person absent granted motions for leave to appear remotely, and the Federal Circuit is also providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene 14 panels to consider about 59 cases. Of these 59 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 52. Of these argued cases, three attracted amicus briefs: an Equal Access to Justice Act case, a trademark case, and a tax case. Here’s what you need to know about these three cases.

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Argument Preview

Argument Preview – In re Elster

This week we are previewing three cases scheduled to be argued next week at the Federal Circuit that attracted amicus briefs. Today we highlight a trademark case, In re Elster. In this case, Elster asks the Federal Circuit to hold that the Lanham Act’s prohibition on any trademark that “[c]onsists of or comprises a name . . . identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent” violates the Constitution’s First Amendment. This is our argument preview.

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