Business Law-Trademark Law
Reasons for the Court Decision
The decision made by the District Court was that the Hoots were entitled to the trademark only on the surrounding areas within a radius of 20 miles. While the national company was free to operate their business using the trademark anywhere except for the area that the Hoots were operating from. The main reason behind this decision is because the hoots registered their trademark under the Illinois trademark Act, whereas the national company had registered under the Federal Trademark (Garbis, 2013).
The Hoots thought that the trademark law protected them against any infringement all over Illinois. What they did not know is that the Federal Registration of a trademark is more powerful and has an advantage over the state registration which is limited. Another reason that might have led to the court decision is that by the Hoots registering under the state trademark law, it showed that they had no interests whatsoever in expanding their business beyond. From this point, the court reasoned that the burning of the national company from operating in the entire state and has a federal trademark registration would hurt interstate commerce (Gummel, 2014).
Significance of the case in the U.S Trademark Law
The trademark law in the U.S which is governed by the Lanham Act defines federal trademark mark protection. The marks which are registered under the U.S Patent and Trademark office have a higher degree of protection in the Courts. Since in the Trademark Law, there are two types of registered trademark protection (state and federal), both the Hoots and the national company registration were recognized in the court of law. However, according to trademark law, federal registration has more advantages as compared to state registration in terms of area of operation. Marks under federal registration have the ability to operate nationwide and can easily bring any legal disputes to the federal courts. The state registration of a trademark which the Hoots had registered under has their limitation that is why the Courts decided to restrict them to a certain area. The purpose of trademark law is to protect the producer and the consumer by preventing copying of an already existing trademark being used by other companies. For this reason, both the plaintiff and the defendant, in this case, had to be protected under the trademark law (USPTO, n.d).
Relationship between the Article and the Case
The Upcounsel (2018) explains the types of intellectual property which include the trademark and the copyright. This article is closely related to the case because it points to trademark protection and the extent to which the law protects the producer’s mark in the industry. It also highlights the federal and the state level of registration and adds that “federally registered trademark offers more protection than a state-level trademark” (Upcounsel, 2018).
Trademark and copyright are both under intellectual property, but they protect different kinds of assets. Copyright protects original work by an individual, a company, or a group of people such as a book, movie, song, photos, etc. Trademark protects the name, marks, logos, and symbols that identify a company (goods or services). Both can be registered under the relevant bodies which give more rights and protection to any kind of infringement. In copyright assets, it is not necessary to use the symbols whether registered or not unlike in trademark where the unregistered marks have the ™ symbol while the registered ones have the ® symbol. The trademark and copyright intellectual laws evolve now and then due to the changing world in terms of technology. It is advisable to keep up with these laws to be updated on the ever-changing demands of the digital market place (Upcounsel, 2018).
Garbis, A. (2013). King of the Land – Importance of Federal Trademark Registration. Retrieved from https://www.garbislaw.com/king-of-the-land-importance-of-federal-trademark-registration
Gummel, D. (2014). Burger King of Florida, Inc. v. Hoots |. Retrieved from https://www.casemine.com/judgement/us/5914c7f0add7b049347e6636
Upcounsel. (2018). Trademark vs. Copyright: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.upcounsel.com/trademark-vs-copyright
USPTO. OVERVIEW OF THE TRADEMARK PROTECTION IN THE UNITED STATES. Retrieved from https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/mep/scottslides.pdf