Posted by Andrew Hamm on Friday, October 16, 2020 3:55 pm
This week, we focused on the petitions, which ask the Supreme Court to decide, among other things, how humor affects trademark liability and the scope of prosecutors’ responsibility to correct false testimony.
Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC It is a trademark case between a Tennessee Whiskey Distillery and an Arizona company that produces chew toys for dogs. In addition to selling alcohol, the Jack Daniel trademark is also licensed. VIP products sell chew toys that combine alcohol and soda brands with the bathroom and dog humor. The company’s products include bottle-shaped toys with logos, such as “ButtWiper”, “Heini Sniff’n”, and in this case also “Bad Spaniels”. VIP products were not licensed by Jack Daniel’s before using the deceptive logo. Jack Daniel’s sued for trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, but the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of VIP products. At the time of the infringement, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that VIP Products’ humor made the dog toy expressive and was strictly protected by the First Amendment. Regarding dilution, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the humorous information was used “non-commercial” and therefore did not bear the responsibility for dilution. Jack Daniel’s argued in his petition that the lower courts are divided on the responsibility for humorous use of trademarks and asked the judge to review two aspects of the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
In the 1963s Brady v. Maryland, The Supreme Court ruled that in a criminal prosecution, the government must transfer all evidence of innocence to the defendant. Since then, as long as the government knows to rely on false testimony in criminal trials, as long as it appropriately leaked evidence during the discovery process, the lower courts have divided whether the government violated due process. Mitchell Stein, an internal consultant for a publicly listed company, was convicted of fraud for attempting to increase the company’s stock price. As part of the government’s purchase order proving Stein fabricated three press releases, two company witnesses testified that they had never received any documents proving Stein’s so-called “phantom” order. However, among the 1.75 million pages of documents obtained during the government investigation, there was an email, a check and a deposit slip showing that the two witnesses had actually received information about Stan’s order. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that because the government did not suppress evidence that showed that the witness’s testimony was false, there was no due process violation.in Stan v. United States, Stein asked the justice to rule that the prosecutor’s use of false evidence cannot be forgiven just because he disclosed false evidence.
These and others Petition this week as follows:
Gibson v. Securities and Exchange Commission
problem: Did Congress secretly deprive the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court to give the Administrative Law Judge of the Security and Transaction Commission the power to preside over enforcement procedures by ruling the challenge of the separation of powers?
Bath v Grave
problem: (1) When the suspect admitted that he tried to enter a closed and locked building and broke the doorknob in the process, is it possible that Officer Austin Bath was arrested under the Fourth Amendment, but in the following circumstances To make a suspicious claim of innocence mentality: explain his behavior to Bass; (2) Even if there is no possible reason to arrest Patrick Greve for any crime, Bass is still entitled to a qualified immunity Right, because the law does not clearly stipulate this.
Stan v. United States
problem：As long as the government leaks evidence that shows that the testimony is false during the discovery process, will the due process clause justify the government’s use of false testimony in criminal proceedings?
Arctic Cat Company v. Bombardier Entertainment Products Company.
problem：Whether the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit committed a “infringement notice” and “such notice” 35 USC§287(a) Only refers to the letter from the patentee.
Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC
problem: (1) Do commercial products that use humor accept the same analysis of the possibility of confusion applicable to other products under the Lanham Act, or must they obtain enhanced First Amendment protection against trademark infringement claims , Where the brand owner must prove that the defendant’s use of the trademark is either “not related to art” or “obviously misleading consumers”; (2) Does the use of humor in commercial products make the product “non-commercial” in the following circumstances 15 USC§1125(c)(3)(C), Therefore, it is legally prohibited to claim dilution through defacement under the Lanham Act.
Trump v. New York
problem: (1) President Donald Trump’s memorandum instructs the Secretary of Commerce to include information in the “2020 Census Report” so that the state and local government groups stipulated in Article III of the Constitution of July 21, 2020 Able to challenge this position. The President excludes non-citizens from the basic population in order to allocate seats in the House of Representatives; (2) According to the Congress’s allocation law, whether the memorandum allows the President to exercise discretion.
Petition of the week: “bad Spaniards”, false testimonies, etc.,
SCOTUS blog (October 16, 2020, 3:55 pm), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/10/petitions-of-the-week-bad-spaniels-false-testimony-and-more/