SCOTUS Says Lanham Act Does Not Reach Extraterritorial Infringement
Joyce Liou spoke to IPWatchdog about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Abitron Austria v. Hetronic International that Sections 1114(1)(a) and 1125(a)(1) of the Lanham Act are not extraterritorial in nature and that “’use in commerce’ provides the dividing line between foreign and domestic applications of these provisions.”
According to Joyce, the “decision changes the landscape for cross-border cases entirely,” and the Court “has curtailed [the Lanham Act’s infringement provisions] to only domestic uses, meaning the defendant’s use in commerce of the plaintiff’s mark must be domestic.”
She added: “This is a significant ruling because multiple circuit courts – not just the Tenth Circuit whose decision was overturned – have looked to…Steele v. Bulova to develop different tests for applying the Lanham Act extraterritorially. Now those circuit courts will need to reevaluate their tests in light of the Abitron decision.”
Read the full article.