No Specific Quality-Control Terms Imposed Outside of ​Bargained-For License Provisions

The court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment that defendants infringed plaintiffs’ trademarks in socks. “⁠[Plaintiffs] argue any . . . socks had to be made and sold pursuant to the specifications created by [the individual plaintiff] prior to his firing, and that any . . . socks which did not conform to those specifications constitute an infringement of the [plaintiffs’] trademark. . . . [T]he Court remains unconvinced that general principles of trademark law can impose specific quality control or approval provisions between the parties where they were not otherwise bargained for. While a licensor must exercise quality control to avoid abandoning a trademark under the concept of ‘naked licensing,’ even Plaintiffs acknowledge ‘total control is unnecessary.’ Yet they ask the Court to read into their license a provision for [plaintiffs’] total control such that pre-approval from [the individual plaintiff] for any change to [the socks] was required. . . . The Court finds there are questions of fact concerning what changes (if any) [a defendant] was permitted to make, as well as what changes [the defendant] actually did make and when.”

Yoe v. Crescent Sock Company et al, 1-15-cv-00003 (TNED 2018-05-11, Order) (Susan K. Lee)

2018-05-15T11:56:03+00:00May 15th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|