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Cover The Earth…With a Brand Refresh

I spent much of Saturday morning watching Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. I have previously made the pilgrimage to Omaha, waiting outside before dawn with a plan for...more

5/10/2017  /  Brand , Logos , USPTO

Here, Have a BREXIT

The British are leaving! The British are leaving! Many people on all sides of “the pond” last week watched the Brits’ vote to leave the European Union with interest, and were shocked when they actually voted to cut ties...more

The USPTO Says “Yes” But the TTB Says “No” To LSD

Government approval of commercial speech has been a hot topic of discussion by trademark nerds here and elsewhere in light of recent decisions regarding the Redskins and The Slants marks. As those decisions proceed up...more

GREENLIGHTing Trademark Protection for Social Movements

Today is Veterans Day, and we all owe veterans (and their families) a debt of gratitude for their service and their sacrifices to ensure our freedom. Veterans are our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, and...more

11/11/2015  /  Trademarks , USPTO , Veterans , Wal-Mart

Bud…Bud-WINE-Err?

You might be familiar with the popular mid-90s commercials suggested by the title of this post. However, the intention of this post is about the use of trademarks on beer to refuse trademark protection for wineries and vice...more

Deck Stacked Against HOUSE OF CARDS

No spoilers here, I promise.  Like many Americans since it was released on Friday, I’ve been binge-watching Season 3 of House of Cards.  If you haven’t watched the program, available only on Netflix, it’s a riveting drama of...more

The Controversial SAWS of “Justice”

What if the Trademark Office took Taylor Swift’s controversial new trademark applications and stalled examination of them, preventing them from getting approved, despite having no legitimate basis to refuse their...more

BLACKHAWK Down: Registration Refused Based on Relatedness of Wine & Beer

While the Minnesota state legislature ponders whether consumers should be able to purchase liquor on Sundays within the state, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has once again concluded that consumers are...more

Oh What A Tangled WEB We Weave When First We…Try To Show Use

In order to get a trademark registered or maintain a registration, an example of use of the trademark (referred to by trademark nerds as a “specimen”) must be submitted to the US Trademark Office. Often trademark attorneys...more

Targeting an Old Liquor Store

When I moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin to go to college, among the local customs that I had to get acclimated to were the revulsion against the word “pop” for carbonated beverages named “soda;” hearing classmates say “I...more

10/16/2014  /  Target , Trademarks , USPTO

IP Solicitation Scams on the Rise

In recent months, an increasing number of companies have reported receiving official-looking intellectual property notices and solicitations. These fraudulent solicitations may take the form of invoices, renewal notices, or...more

Brewing Brewery Brawl: Busch Not Happy with NATTY

You know that beer that you would drink in a basement, but now that you acknowledge that you are actually an adult, you would not be caught dead buying in a liquor store or requesting at a bar or restaurant? We’ve all got...more

6/26/2014  /  Anheuser-Busch , Dilution , Trademarks , USPTO

From “First to Invent” to “First Inventor to File”

One month from tomorrow, the most significant change to U.S. patent law in recent history will go into effect. Since 1790, when the first patent act was signed into law, the U.S. patent system has been a “first to invent”...more

The "Bargain Patent": Requirements for Design Patents

There are many advantages to adding design patents to your overall intellectual property strategy, as we saw exemplified in this summer's verdict in Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. and both companies' use...more

11/30/2012  /  Design Patent , Patents , USPTO
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