Tanning Research Laboratories, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson

Tanning Research Laboratories, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson

T.T.A.B. (2004)

Fitzpatrick Wins Summary Judgment Motion in SUNDOWN Case

On August 27, 2004, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted summary judgment in favor of Fitzpatrick client Tanning Research Laboratories that Johnson & Johnson had abandoned its sunscreen trademark SUNDOWN and, consequently, that its federal registrations for the mark should be cancelled. The Board found that J&J’s ongoing consideration of a possible relaunch of its SUNDOWN products in the United States, some five years after having discontinued the line in the U.S., was insufficient to overcome the statutory presumption that when J&J ceased sales in the U.S., in 1997, it intended not to resume them later. J&J’s evidence that sales of its SUNDOWN products continued unabated in Latin America during that period also was unavailing, said the Board, even if, in Florida and New Jersey, some of that product found its way into stores featuring South American merchandise. Fitzpatrick’s litigation team was led by Edmund J. Haughey.