Justices Say Willfulness Not Needed For Trademark Profits

Law360 (April 23, 2020, 10:33 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that trademark infringers can be forced to hand over their profits to a brand owner even if they haven't violated the law willfully, rejecting such an "inflexible precondition" for the awards.

By a unanimous vote, the justices sided with a company called Romag Fasteners in a closely watched case against Fossil Inc. over when courts should order such disgorgements, one of the few forms of monetary damages available under trademark law.

Some lower courts had held that they can only be awarded when someone willfully infringes a trademark, but the justices said the federal Lanham...

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