In Transatlantic Law Journal, Catherine Holland Examines Trademark Parody Cases

| Catherine Holland

Knobbe Martens partner Catherine Holland co-authored an article titled, “Trademark Parodies – a Transatlantic Comparison in Light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bad Spaniels Decision No. 22-148 of 8 June 2023,” published in the August issue of the Transatlantic Law Journal.

The article examines cases in the American and German courts that involve parodies of trademarks. In the recent Jack Daniel’s Property Inc. v. VIP Products case, the Supreme Court held that the “artistic expression defense” of the Rogers test and the “fair use parody defense” do not apply to defendants who are using allegedly infringing material as a trademark to identify their own goods or services. This holding helps harmonize conflicting American case law on the issue.  A review of German case law reveals that German courts reach a similar result when considering the property rights of trademark owners versus the rights of others to engage in free speech and artistic expression.

Read the full article here.