Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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Latest Posts › USPTO


Airline Brand Strategery: It’s Transfarency

Earlier this month Southwest Airlines launched a brand new ad campaign called “Transfarency,” which is said to highlight the airline’s “low-fare credo and its lack of bag fees, change fees or hidden fees for passengers.”...more

10/19/2015 - Brand Inherently Distinctive Lanham Act Southwest Airlines Trademark Registration Transparency USPTO

On Slanted Arguments and Red Herrings

Last Friday, both slanted arguments and red herrings were present during the 90 minute en banc oral argument before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in In re Tam....more

10/6/2015 - CAFC Copyright Disparagement En Banc Review First Amendment Government Speech Doctrine Lanham Act Preemption Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board USPTO

When Over-Breadth Can Bite You Like a Lynx

While lynx may not be generally known for having a ferocious bite, they do have sharp teeth and I’m sure they can inflict serious pain when they do decide to attack. In the same way, while breadth can be a good thing...more

9/30/2015 - Brand Intent-to-Use Service Marks Trademark Application USPTO

Easy Registration Refusal, See Park ‘N Fly

Trademark types know all about Park ‘N Fly, whether they travel or not. That’s because it is more than a nearly fifty year old airport parking and travel service brand and federally-registered service mark, it is short-hand...more

9/28/2015 - Likelihood of Confusion Merely Descriptive Trademark Infringement Trademarks USPTO

Retail Store Branding With a Weak Dollar

It costs dollars to create a brand. It costs dollars to protect a brand. And, it probably costs more dollars to protect an inherently weak brand and mark over a strong one. So, choose wisely....more

8/24/2015 - Brand Dollar General Dollar Tree Marketing Trademarks USPTO

What Does the Trademark Registration Say?

Remember a while back when many were humming to the tune “What Does the Fox Say“? Today, I’m asking, what does the trademark registration say? Not, what does the trademark say — that is a different and more complicated...more

8/13/2015 - Disparagement Lanham Act Public Policy Slurs Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Will Starbucks Be a Closer at the USPTO?

We’ll soon see whether coffee truly goes hand in hand with closers, at least in one famous brand owner’s quest for registration of a non-verbal, non-traditional color trademark at the USPTO. I’ve been noticing Starbucks focus...more

7/20/2015 - Brand Color Marks Starbucks Trademarks USPTO

Purple-Colored Fabric Tags Attached to Remote Control Found Inherently Distinctive

News flash, last Friday the USPTO approved for publication a non-traditional trademark that I’ve seen in real life before. Let’s just say it is attached to one of our many remote control devices that I’ve had to dig out from...more

6/23/2015 - Inherently Distinctive Roku Trademarks USPTO

Going YARD with the VARO Brand for Batters?

Time spent with my boys in Omaha at the College World Series is hard to beat. Although, last year, Father’s Day weekend was hard to beat too. And, the archives indicate five years ago was pretty wonderful as well. Basically,...more

6/22/2015 - Brand Likelihood of Confusion Trademarks USPTO

Losing Marbles With Packaging Trademarks

Welcome to yet another edition of non-traditional trademarks, but instead of discussing brown paper bags for chips as trademarks, today we’re focusing on a U.S. trademark registration that surprisingly issued just a few weeks...more

6/8/2015 - Popular Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Food Packaging Trademarks: It’s in the Bag?

Welcome to another edition of non-traditional trademarks in connection with package designs: The Billy Goat Chip Company contends it owns exclusive rights in a protectable and distinctive trademark for the appearance...more

6/1/2015 - Functionality Trademarks USPTO

Big Green Egg on Hunt for TM Registration

As it turns out, four days after Easter, the USPTO refused registration of the Big Green Egg’s claimed exclusive rights in the shape and color of its popular barbecue smoker and grill... ...more

4/22/2015 - Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve...more

4/7/2015 - Advertising Functionality Trademarks USPTO

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — and Functional Too?

Welcome to another edition of newly filed configuration trademark applications at the USPTO, here is the latest; it is quite a specimen: The question for the day though is whether the claimed mark actually functions...more

3/9/2015 - Trademarks USPTO

Lights Shining On Configuration Trademarks?

As our loyal readers know, we love bringing non-traditional trademarks within your sights for consideration, even if they’re hanging from the ceiling, so here’s another to explore...more

2/4/2015 - Trademarks USPTO

Would You Feel Friendly Toward Freddy?

As the brand manager or trademark counsel for Friendly’s, would you be friendly toward Freddy’s? I remember the Friendly’s restaurant chain when we lived in Columbia, Maryland, back in the days when I clerked for a...more

1/29/2015 - Likelihood of Confusion Restaurant Industry Trade Dress Trademarks USPTO

As the Trademark Fraud Pendulum Swings

Once upon a time, and for decades thereafter, trademark fraud claims were highly disfavored. They were criticized as unproductive litigation diversions — “often pled,” but “rarely proven.”...more

1/12/2015 - Commercial Use Fraud Trademarks USPTO

A December for Configuration Trademarks?

Every now and then it’s worth checking in at the USPTO to see what’s cooking in the world of non-traditional product configuration trademarks: As it turns out, the Big Green Egg is seeking to be more than a word mark —...more

12/29/2014 - Popular Trademarks USPTO

Amy, Whatcha Wanna Do (About this TM)?

As we start to think about welcoming in the weekend, why don’t we all hum this Pure Prairie League tune, while viewing this image and reading this very brief blog post...more

10/20/2014 - Trademark Litigation Trademarks USPTO

Bottega Veneta Unties a Trademark Knot

It is easy for some to get all tied up in knots at the USPTO when facing challenging grounds for refusal against federal registration of a claimed non-traditional trademark. Not Bottega Veneta....more

10/13/2014 - Fashion Branding Fashion Industry Popular Trademarks USPTO

Will Chick-fil-A, uh Chicken Out?

Just so you know, this is not the post I planned to write today. Hat tip to you, Bo! It has been exactly one year since Bo Muller-Moore — the “Eat More Kale” guy from Vermont — submitted a comprehensive 71-page...more

9/9/2014 - Chick-Fil-A Trademarks USPTO

I’m Gumby Dammit — A Flexible Trademark?

The Minnesota History Center is currently promoting its Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibit — my favorite promotional billboard is the one captured above, featuring none other than Gumby....more

8/18/2014 - Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks USPTO

SHARKNADO Trademark: Toothless Wonder?

In case you missed SHARKNADO last year, fear not, the sequel SHARKNADO 2 — The Second One, is taking the country by storm, and it is reportedly even better than the first SHARKNADO film. Not having seen either, I’m not sure...more

8/1/2014 - Entertainment Industry Merchandising Rights Movies Trademarks USPTO

Harley-Davidson Booze Coming Soon?

With the 74th Anniversary of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally less than a week away, it seemed like a good time to check in on recent Harley-Davidson trademark activity at the USPTO....more

7/28/2014 - Brand Harley-Davidson Popular USPTO

Dethroning a Right to Register a Trademark?

Last month, you will recall we wrote about the important difference between the right to register a trademark and the right to use a trademark...more

7/15/2014 - Infringement Likelihood of Confusion Registration Trademarks USPTO

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