Fourth Circuit Permits Foreign Trademark Owner To Assert Lanham Act Claims

April 21, 2016

The Fourth Circuit recently addressed a novel cross-border trademark issue in Belmora, LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, ruling that Bayer, owner of the foreign trademark “FLANAX,” can assert claims of unfair competition and false association under the Lanham Act against Belmora, the U.S. owner of the same mark.  The decision reverses a district court ruling that Bayer could not sustain its claims without demonstrating it owned or used the “FLANAX” mark in the U.S.  This opens the door to non-U.S. companies bringing Lanham Act claims in the U.S. – even if they have not used the mark in question in the U.S.