Today, World Intellectual Property Review published an article from Potomac Law Trademark Partner Julia Anne Matheson titled “Jack Daniel’s: Ninth Circuit’s decision causes headaches” in which Matheson analyzes the fundamental legal principles raised by one of the most consequential trademark cases to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly a decade.
The case is on appeal from a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit, reversing a lower court’s finding of trademark infringement, and finding that the humorous dog toy at the center of the conflict – which mimics the trade dress of Jack Daniel's most iconic whiskey – qualifies for First Amendment protection. Matheson offers an overview of the basic principles underlying both trademark and First Amendment protection and explains why the Ninth Circuit’s approach raises significant concerns for brand owners. Read more background on the case and a thorough legal analysis of the issues presented. (Subscription may be required.)