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Levy v. Kosher Overseers Association of America, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
104 F.3d 38 (1997)


Rabbi Dan Yoel Levy and Eliezer Levy (plaintiffs) had a kosher certification agency with a specific mark used to certify products as kosher. Levy’s mark is the image of a “K” with a circle around it. Levy’s agency and its predecessors had used this mark since 1936, and it was registered in 1965. Kosher Overseers Association of America (KOA) (defendant) was another kosher certification agency. KOA’s mark was a “K” with a half-moon circle around it, and KOA had used this mark since 1979. In 1989, KOA filed an application to register its mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Levy filed an opposition to KOA’s application. Levy argued that KOA used a certification mark so similar to Levy’s that it would cause confusion among consumers. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) granted Levy’s opposition and found that consumers would likely be confused by the two marks. KOA did not appeal the TTAB’s decision but did continue to use its mark. Levy then sought a permanent injunction to prevent KOA from using its mark. Levy filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the TTAB decision created a collateral-estoppel effect. The district court granted Levy’s motion and permanent injunction. KOA appealed this decision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cabranes, J.)

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