In Bloomberg Article, Jeff Van Hoosear Discusses Supreme Court Case on Foreign Infringement and How U.S. Trademark Law Applies to International Sales

| Jeff Van Hoosear

In the article “High Court Case on US Trademark Law’s Limits Stretches Beyond IP,” published by Bloomberg Law, partner and co-chair of Knobbe Martens’ trademark practice group Jeff Van Hoosear discusses the oral arguments from the Abitron v. Hetronic International Inc. U.S. Supreme Court case.

In the case, Hetronic International Inc. convinced both the district and appeals courts that Abitron’s radio remote control foreign sales that never reached U.S. consumers still injured the company and should be calculated in the damages calculation along with the sales made in the U.S. The Supreme Court addressed the issue of the extraterritorial reach of the Lanham Act, and when conduct solely outside the U.S. can result in trademark liability and damages.

Commenting on the Tenth Circuit’s decision affirming damages on sales that did not affect any U.S. consumers, Van Hoosear said he was shocked by the decision and that “[t]rademark law has always been very territorial.”

Van Hoosear said disputes among former licensees as well as competitors, manufacturers, and retailers are “pretty common,” but said affirming the award would “open up U.S. courts to hundreds of these types of disputes.”

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