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Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Tacking Trademarks to Gain Earlier First Use is a Question for the Court or the Jury

By: Kollin J. Zimmermann

“Priority of use” is a key issue in any case involving a trademark ownership dispute. As the Ninth Circuit has explained, “To acquire ownership of a trademark it is not enough to have invented the mark first or even to have registered it first; the party claiming ownership must have been the first to actually use the mark in the sale of goods or services.” Brookfield Commc'ns, Inc. v. W. Coast Entm't Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1047 (9th Cir. 1999).