Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joyce Theater Seeks Federal Court Review of TTAB Ownership Decision

Pamela Chestek, at her Property, Intangible blog, reports (here) that the Joyce Theater Foundation had filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, under 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1071(b) of the Trademark Act, seeking review of the Board's decision in Ballet Tech Foundation, Inc. v. The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc., 89 USPQd 1262 (TTAB 2008) [precedential]. Finding that the landlord (Ballet Tech Foundation, Inc.) is the owner the marks and that the tenant (The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc.) used the marks under an implied license, the Board sustained an opposition to one application, and granted a petition for cancellation of five registrations, for the mark JOYCE (in various forms) for dance theater and charitable fund raising services.

Joyce Theater
8th Avenue and 19th Street, New York City

The original TTABlog posting may be found here, and Pamela Chestek's comments on the Board decision are here.

Pam knows a lot about trademark ownership, as evidenced by her article, "Who Owns the Mark? A Single Framework for Resolving Trademark Disputes," in the May-June 2006 Trademark Reporter (pdf here).

TTABlog comment: One advantage of seeking review by way of civil action, rather than via appeal to the CAFC, is the opportunity to add new evidence, since the civil action is supposed to provide a trial de novo. Perhaps the Foundation hopes to bolster the evidentiary record in the district court.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.


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