Lodestar Anstalt v. Bacardi & Co. Ltd.

31 F.4th 1228 (2022)

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Lodestar Anstalt v. Bacardi & Co. Ltd.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
31 F.4th 1228 (2022)

  • Written by Philip Glass, JD

Facts

On October 4, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granted extension of protection to Lodestar Anstalt (Lodestar) (plaintiff) for its Liechtenstein-registered Untamed trademark. Lodestar did not furnish proof of the Untamed trademark’s commercial use but had shown the mark in commercials as far back as 2011. In January 2013, during a trademark-clearance search, Bacardi & Co. Ltd. (Bacardi) (defendant) learned of Lodestar’s Untamed trademark. In July 2013, Bacardi began to apply for extension of protection in the United States, under the Madrid Protocol, for its Liechtenstein-registered trademark Bacardi Untameable. In November 2013, Bacardi began advertising its Bacardi Untameable brand in the United States. In 2014, Lodestar began to promote its Wild Geese rum in the United States. Sales of Wild Geese rum using the Untamed trademark started in January 2015. Bacardi’s use of the Bacardi Untameable mark ended in 2017. Lodestar began an opposition to Bacardi’s July 2013 extension-of-protection application for Untameable in April 2015, filing suit for infringement in August 2016. Bacardi filed counterclaims to terminate Lodestar’s Untamed word and design marks. In May 2019, Bacardi filed a summary-judgment motion, contending that Lodestar failed to make bona fide commercial use of the mark before Bacardi and that no probability of market confusion existed. The district court granted Bacardi’s summary-judgment motion on likelihood of confusion but denied summary judgment on abandonment. Lodestar appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Collins, J.)

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