The Lanham Act protects trademarks by providing mark holders with remedies for the unauthorized use of registered marks and by providing heightened statutory penalties in cases involving counterfeit marks. Recently, in Tiffany and Co. v. Costco Wholesale, 971 F.3d 74 (2d Cir. 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit provided guidance as to the circumstances that may give rise to liability for counterfeiting, as distinct from mere infringement. And in Omega SA v. 375 Canal, 984 F.3d 244 (2d Cir. 2021), the Second Circuit addressed liability for contributory infringement for counterfeiting. We report here on these cases.
The Lanham Act
The Lanham Act provides trademark holders with remedies for the unauthorized use of any “reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of a registered mark in connection with” the sale or offer for sale “of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.” 15 U.S.C. §1114(a).