How to protect your trademark from the next patent infringement lawsuit
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Apple and Google can be sued for trademark infringement after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Apple fan who believes the company uses her trademark to advertise products in the Apple Watch.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled that the two companies are entitled to “fair use” protections under the Copyright Act, which allow for use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder.
Apple, Google and their respective parent companies have not yet filed any counterclaims in the case.
Alsup issued the ruling in a case brought by Mark DeMarco, a lawyer for DeMarco’s son, who is the subject of an anti-piracy suit.
The judge noted that DeMarco filed the lawsuit in July, and that Apple had not filed any countersuits to date.
Alsup noted that Google has not filed a counterclaim.
“Google and Apple do not have to answer the question of whether they infringe on the ‘Google Watch’ trademark in order to have their trademarks in this context protected,” Alsup wrote.
“Neither company has to answer whether it uses ‘Google’ in its marketing or its advertisements or whether it sells its ‘Googlewatch’ products.”
The judge also ruled that there was no copyright infringement or trademark misuse under the trademark term “Watch.”
Alsup also said the case is not related to a larger case involving Apple and the watch brand.
Alsepp ruled that neither company has been accused of copyright infringement.
The case involves two Apple Watch bands that have been sold as the “Apple Watch 2” or “Watch Band” by both Apple and its suppliers.
The case also involves a lawsuit filed in October in a Texas court against Apple by the same lawyer representing DeMarco.
Apple sued DeMarco in October to stop a patent that Apple said could be used to patent a new watch with a rotating display.
Apple also said it was infringing the “Diary” trademark because of the Watch Band, and said that DeMarcus infringed on the “I Wear” trademark with his patent.
Alsepp said that the Apple lawsuit is a trademark infringement because it alleges that the Watch “bands” are “patents” that Google owns, and therefore are entitled “to protection under the law.”
He wrote that it was not a trademark violation for Apple to use the Watch’s name or logos to advertise the company’s products.