Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lessons In Trademarks: Consent Agreements

Parties at odds over the use of the same or similar trademarks sometimes enter into Settlement or Consent Agreements with each other, rather than litigate in court or the like.  One recognized case that focused on the validity and enforceability of such agreements was T&T Manufacturing Co. v. A.T. Cross Co., U.S.C.A., 1st Cir., 587 F.2d 533 (1978).

In reaching its decision, the Court "evaluated the competing interests of contract enforcement with any harm the public might experience due to confusion arising between the products..."  As a result of this analysis, the Court ruled that any harm to the public was not significant, and, therefore, the "policy of holding a party to its contractual obligations become dominant.


Comment:  Litigation is not the only tool or remedy when there is an allegation of confusion or deception.  Trademark owners should also evaluate whether there is a contractual resolution available.


The TTABlog® by John L. Welch

Precedential No. 50: TTAB Says Consent and License from Registrant Require Reversal of 2(d) Refusal of WACKER NEUSON over NEUSON for Machinery

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Respectfully submitted,

William E. Maguire

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