0946A107d01 - Page 1 1 of 1 DOCUMENT TWO PESOS, INC.,...

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1 of 1 DOCUMENT TWO PESOS, INC., PETITIONER v. TACO CABANA, INC. No. 91-971 SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 505 U.S. 763 ; 112 S. Ct. 2753; 120 L. Ed. 2d 615; 1992 U.S. LEXIS 4533; 60 U.S.L.W. 4762; 23 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1081; 92 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5571; 92 Daily Journal DAR 8910; 6 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 643 April 21, 1992, Argued June 26, 1992, Decided SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: As Amended July 2, 1992 PRIOR HISTORY: ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT. DISPOSITION: 932 F. 2d 1113, affirmed. CASE SUMMARY: PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Certiorari was granted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in order to decide whether inherently distinctive trade dress was protectible under § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a), without a showing that it had acquired secondary meaning. OVERVIEW: Respondent had several restaurants with a certain theme. Several years later petitioner opened up his chain of restaurants copying the same theme of respondent. Respondent filed suit against petitioner for trade dress infringement. At trial, the jury found that respondent's trade dress was inherently distinctive, but that the trade dress had not acquired a secondary meaning. The appellate court correctly rejected the argument raised by petitioner, the alleged trade dress infringer, that a finding of no secondary meaning contradicted a finding of inherent distinctiveness. The court held that proof of secondary meaning was not required to prevail on a claim under 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a), where the trade dress at issue was inherently distinctive. Specifically, there was no persuasive reason to apply to trade dress a general requirement of secondary meaning which would be at odds with the principles generally applicable to infringement suits under 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a). Moreover, adding a secondary meaning requirement could have anticompetitive effects, creating particular burdens on the startup of small companies. OUTCOME: The court affirmed the judgment. CORE TERMS: trade dress, secondary meaning, trademark, distinctive, inherently, Lanham Act, designation, distinctiveness, descriptive, restaurant, symbol, unregistered, unfair competition, infringement, registered, producer, falsely, dress, consumer, user, commerce, functional, false advertising, suggestive, common-law, geographic, fanciful, unfair, Lanham Act, common law Page 1
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LexisNexis(R) Headnotes Torts > Transportation Torts > General Overview Trademark Law > Federal Unfair Competition Law > Lanham Act > General Overview Trademark Law > Federal Unfair Competition Law > Trade Dress Protection > General Overview [HN1] The Lanham Act § 43(a), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a) (1982)provides that: any person who shall affix, apply, or annex, or use in connection with any goods or services, or any container or containers for goods, a false designation of origin, or any false description or representation, including words or other symbols tending falsely to describe or
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0946A107d01 - Page 1 1 of 1 DOCUMENT TWO PESOS, INC.,...

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