Federal Circuit Stomps Out Recognition of Separate Registered and Common-Law Trademarks

By Sofia Bonfiglio

Converse, Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm., Inc., 909 F.3d 1110 (Fed. Cir. 2018), concerns the alleged infringement of Converse’s trade dress rights arising from its trademark registration and from common law. U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4,398,753 (“the ’753 trademark”), issued to Converse on September 10, 2013, describes the trade-dress configuration: three design elements making up the midsole of Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. The court held that ITC erred in applying the wrong standards regarding its invalidity and infringement determinations, vacating and remanding the case for further proceedings. 

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