The natural expansion doctrine (or zone of natural expansion, as it is sometimes called) is one of those legal concepts cynics say is used to support an infringement decision (when the court is inclined to favor an infringement finding for other reasons), and is dismissed as a counterargument where the court is disinclined to favor an infringement finding.

There is support for this view even from the non cynical: as Small notes in its preliminary injunction hearing memo, "the Restatement notes that "the doctrine of natural expansion has rarely been decisive in determining priority... When raised against a subsequent good faith user, the doctrine typically has been rejected on the facts. Some recent decisions even go further, explicitly repudiating the doctrine as an independent basis of priority. The policy justification for the ... doctrine as developed at common law has also been eroded by the statutory doctrines of constructive notice and constructive use ..."

In any event, it is possible that a company providing a newsletter (in the field of client notices of product and service updates, calendar of events, customer surveys, new services in the field of tax information services) would naturally expand to provide computer services (namely, providing on-line database in the fields of tax information, tax documents, and related information on filing tax documents and related legal forms). Home       TM Overview       TM Case Index

(c) Copyright 2010-2014 Milliken PLC