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The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C./photo by Diego Radzinschi

In Romag Fasteners v. Fossil Group, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a long-standing circuit split in holding that a trademark infringement plaintiff is not required to show that the defendant acted willfully in order to receive an award disgorging the defendant’s profits. The court reasoned that while the Lanham Act requires plaintiffs to show that a violation was “willful” to disgorge profits from trademark dilution claims, “the statutory language has never required a showing of willfulness to win a defendant’s profits” for trademark infringement claims. Because Congress did not impose a willfulness requirement for an award of profits in infringement cases, the court refused to create one.

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