Hana Is No Landmark, But Might Still Affect TM Confusion

Law360, New York (January 21, 2015, 6:06 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's first-in-a-decade trademark ruling on Wednesday wasn't exactly earth-shattering, but it could still have a broader impact on a more important issue that Justice Anthony Kennedy termed a possible "elephant in the room" in the case: how courts weigh "likelihood of confusion."

Let's admit it: The issue directly at play in court's ruling in Hana Financial Inc. v. Hana Bank — the doctrine of tacking, which lets trademark owners retain an old first-use date even if they slightly modify their mark over the years — probably won't itself have sweeping implications for the nation.

No matter the outcome...

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