Supreme Court Explores Reach of Industrial Part Trademarks

Parts makers argue they are not responsible for international infringements.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. on Tuesday, where German-based company Abitron claimed that, since they are international, they cannot be sued for trademark infringement within the United States. Oklahoma-based Hetronic successfully sued Abitron for making Hetronic-branded products with unauthorized parts, but Abitron appealed the case to the Supreme Court, claiming that holding them liable could cause “international friction”. 

However, the justices pressed Abitron on their claim that no accountability is required to uphold domestic trademark infringement internationally. “We’re walking down the street in Manhattan and we see all of these fraudulent or fakely branded goods,” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said. “If they are made overseas and we can figure out who made them, wouldn’t that be sufficient?”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Supreme Court justices as they consider the case on trademark infringement.
  • For the heads of corporations to conduct business ethically and according to domestic and international laws.

Sources: Reuters, SCOTUSblog


Back to top