Posted on Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:55 pm by Andrew Hamm
This week, certification requests are highlighted asking the Supreme Court, among other things, to determine how humor affects brand liability and what a prosecutor's duty is to correct false statements.
Jack Daniels Properties Inc. v VIP Products LLC is a trademark between the Tennessee whiskey distillery and an Arizona company that makes chew toys for dogs. Jack Daniels not only sells alcohol, but also licenses its brands. VIP Products sells chew toys that combine alcohol and soda brands with bath and dog humor. The company's merchandise includes bottle-shaped toys with logos such as "ButtWiper", "Heini Sniff & # 39; n" and in this case "Bad Spaniels". VIP products were not licensed from Jack Daniel prior to the use of the fake logo. Jack Daniel was sued for trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of VIP products. In the event of a violation, the 9th Circle determined that the VIP Products humor made the dog toy expressive and protected through an increased First Amendment test. Regarding the dilution, the 9th Circuit decided that the humorous message made the use "non-commercial" and therefore excluded from liability for the dilution. In his petition, Jack Daniels argues that the lower courts are split over liability for humorous use of trademarks and calls on the judges to review both aspects of the 9th Circuit decision.
In Brady v Maryland in 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that in the event of a criminal prosecution, the government must turn all exculpatory evidence to the defendant. Since then, the lower courts have agreed whether the government is breaking due process if it knowingly relies on false testimony in a criminal case – provided it properly discloses the evidence at the time of discovery. Mitchell Stein, the in-house attorney for a public company, was convicted of fraud in an attempt to increase the company's share price. As part of the government's evidence that Stein had made purchases and orders for three press releases, two company witnesses testified that they had never received any documents proving Stein's alleged "phantom" orders. However, within the 1.75 million pages of documents the government obtained during its investigation, there was an email, check, and deposit slip showing that the two witnesses had indeed received information about Stein's orders. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found there was no breach of due process because the government has not suppressed evidence to prove the falseness of the testimony. In the Stein v. United States case, Stein urged the judges to claim that prosecutors' use of false evidence is not excused simply because it exposed evidence of falsehood.
These and other petitions of the week are listed below:
Gibson v Securities and Exchange Commission
problem: Whether Congress has implicitly removed the jurisdiction of the federal district courts to rule on challenges to the separation of powers when the administrative judges of the Security and Exchange Commission have the authority to lead the enforcement process.
Bass v. Greve
Problems: (1) Whether under the fourth amendment, officer Austin Bass likely had cause for arrest when the suspect admitted entering a closed and locked building breaking a door handle but making a questionable allegation of innocent state of mind when Explain to Bass his behavior; and (2) whether Bass, even if there was no probable reason for arresting Patrick Greve for a crime, was entitled to qualified immunity because the law was not clearly stated in that regard.
Stone versus United States
problem: Whether the due process clause excuses the government's knowledgeable use of false testimony in a prosecution so long as the government discloses evidence during the discovery that suggests the testimony was false.
Arctic Cat Inc. v Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.
problem: Whether the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals wrongly found that "informed of the infringement" and "such notice" under 35 U.S.C. § 287 (a) applies only to communications from the patentee.
Jack Daniels Properties Inc. v VIP Products LLC
Problems: (1) Whether a commercial product that uses humor is subject to the same likelihood of confusion analysis that applies to other products under the Lanham Act or must receive increased initial customization protection from trademark infringement claims if the trademark owner is required to demonstrate the use of the trademark by the defendant is either "not artistically relevant" or "specifically misleads the consumer". and (2) whether a commercial product's use of humor makes the product "non-commercial" under 15 U.S.C. Section 1125 (c) (3) (C), which excludes tariff dilution under the Lanham Act.
Trump versus New York
Problems: (1) Whether a group of states and local governments acted under Article III of the Constitution against a memorandum dated July 21, 2020 by President Donald Trump instructing the Secretary of Commerce to include in his report on the 2020 census information that the President to exclude non-citizens from the base population to split seats in the House of Representatives; and (2) whether the memorandum is a permissible exercise of the President's discretion under the provisions of the Act on the Division of Congress.
Petitions of the Week: "Bad Spaniels", false testimony and more,
SCOTUSblog (October 16, 2020, 3:55 p.m.),