9th Circ. Says Critical Webcast Was Nominative Fair Use

By Bill Donahue (January 17, 2019, 6:42 PM EST) -- The Ninth Circuit said Tuesday that a financial services firm couldn't file a trademark lawsuit against a news website that published a critical webcast featuring the company's name in the title, ruling it a so-called nominative fair use.

The ruling, against a Berkshire Hathaway unit called Applied Underwriters Inc., rejected a lawsuit the company filed against the publisher of Workers' Comp Executive over a webcast called "Applied Underwriters' EquityComp Program: Like it, Leave it, or Let it be?"

"Applied Underwriters" and "EquityComp" are both registered trademarks, but the appeals court said their use to identify the company that the webcast was...

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