• Supreme Court to Decide: Does TTAB Determination Yield Issue Preclusions
  • April 9, 2015
  • Law Firm: Staas Halsey LLP - Washington Office
  • The Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”) is to determine how much preclusive effect a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (“Board”) determination should have on district court litigation. B&B Hardware (“”B&B”) sued Hargis Industries (“Hargis”) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (“District Court”) for trademark infringement. Prior to this action, Hargis tried to register its trademark of “sealtight” at the USPTO. B&B had opposed the registration of the Hargis trademark with its trademark on “sealtite.” The Board sustained B&B’s opposition and denied Hargis’ registration. The District Court rejected B&B’s argument to give the Board’s determination preclusive effect. The District Court jury found that Hargis did not infringe on B&B’s trademark. B&B appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (“Eighth Circuit”). The Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court rejection to give preclusive effect and the determination that Hargis did not infringe B&B’s trademark. B&B appealed to the Supreme Court.