Cesari S.R.L. v. Peju Province Winery L.P.: Relying on Supreme Court Precedent, District Court Holds that Trademark Trial & Appeal Board Finding of Likelihood of Confusion has Preclusive Effect

Federal district courts continue to apply the Supreme Court’s ruling in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc., 135 S.Ct. (2015) with unpredictable results. The latest such example comes from the Southern District of New York, where Judge Buchman, in reliance on B&B Hardware, precluded the defendant from contesting likelihood of confusion. Cesari S.R.L. v. Peju Province Winery L.P., 1:17-cv-00873-NRB (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 11, 2017). Plaintiff Cesari is an Italian winery with U.S. trademark rights in the mark LIANO for wines dating back to August 2001. Defendant Peju, a Northern California winery, began using the mark LIANA for wine in 2002. Based on its registration of LIANO, Cesari, in October 2003 initiated opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board against Peju’s application to register LIANA, and, in July 2004, the Board granted Cesari’s motion for judgment on the pleadings – which it construed a motion for summary…

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