The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously that so-called trademark tacking is a factual question that should be dealt with by juries. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the decision in Hana Financial Inc. v. Hana Bank is significant.
James Donoian, McCarter & English LLP
“Of particular significance is Justice Kennedy’s inquiry into the possible impact on the likelihood of confusion. His inquiry, seemingly based largely on amicus briefs, may signal that the court is ready to hear a case on the more complex issue of whether likelihood of confusion is a jury question, which would represent seismic change at trial. The tacking issue is a rarer and more finite analysis limited to the commercial impression of the marks, whereas likelihood of confusion is the essence of all trademark cases. Each factor has its own nuances and related case law. Juries don’t usually understand all the factors or the overlap among them.”