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Justices Tackle Equity, Intent for Trademark Profits Awards (1)

Jan. 14, 2020, 6:46 PM

The Supreme Court pressed attorneys about the concept of equity in grappling with a case that could determine whether companies can be ordered to forfeit profits if they infringe a trademark negligently, but not intentionally.

The justices zeroed in on a section of U.S. trademark law that says profit awards for infringed trademarks “are subject to the principles of equity” during oral argument in Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc. Circuit courts are split on whether trademark owners need to prove willfulness to collect profits if the infringer isn’t a direct competitor.

“Can we say anything about what principles of...

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