By Ann Ford and Ashley Green

The United States Supreme Court ruled today that a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ruling on likelihood of confusion can preclude later litigation on the same issue in federal courts.  This highly anticipated and long-awaited decision, penned by Justice Alito, ends nearly two decades of litigation on whether the TTAB’s refusal to register an applied-for mark on the basis that it is likely to be confused with a prior registered mark is enough to preclude a federal court from coming to a different conclusion in the infringement context.  The court said it is, so long as the ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met.

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