Tim Sitzmann

Tim Sitzmann

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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Trademark Litigation Keeps Getting Cheaper (If You Win)

Slowly but surely, the extension of the Supreme Court’s 2014 Octane Fitness v. LLC v. Icon Health and Fitness, Inc. decision to trademark claims is gaining traction among federal appellate courts. The Octane Fitness decision...more

5/6/2016 - Attorney's Fees Corporate Counsel Exceptional Case Likelihood of Confusion Octane Fitness v. ICON Trademark Infringement

Trademark Lessons for New Businesses from a Lawsuit Against a Colorado Juice Bar

It is a big, exciting, and dangerous risk to start a new business. There were approximately 400,000 in 2014 (continuing a recent downward trend, according to Gallup). Most entrepreneurs know that the odds are stacked against...more

4/27/2016 - Cease and Desist Entrepreneurs Popular Startups Trademark Infringement Trademark Searches

Hope Springs Eternal – Even for Baseball Trademark Disputes

Across the United States this week, fans rejoiced as baseball returned. Teams took to the diamond and played the first games to count since last year’s World Series. Players, coaches, and fans all turned the page on last...more

4/6/2016

Nobody Puts Trademark Claims in a Corner (Except when Copyright Law Preempts Them)

Nostalgia is a big seller these days. Hollywood continues to produce remakes (and remakes of remakes), politicians lament the better days of yesterday, and companies capitalize on feelings of nostalgia in order to make money....more

3/23/2016 - Copyright Infringement Derivative Works Movies Popular TD Ameritrade Television Commercials

An E-Bay User Copied and Sold Thousands of Designs for Profit, but is it Legal?

Three-dimensional printing technology continues to be a new frontier of creativity, advancement, and of course, legal issues. The laws surrounding 3D printing have always been a topic of concern, but the discussion took...more

3/9/2016 - 3D Printing CAD/CAM Software Copyright Corporate Counsel eBay IP License Public Domain Young Lawyers

Are Registrations for Product Configuration Trademarks for Suckers?

As a kid, I loved candy. But as an adult, who happens to be an intellectual property attorney, I still love candy. So you can bet your sweet tooth that I was feeling a sugar rush when I came across a pending application to...more

2/26/2016 - Functionality Likelihood of Confusion Office Actions Trademark Application

Spongebob Suitpants: Viacom Sues Proposed “Krusty Krab” Restaurant

Calling all Spongebob fans: there is a company in Texas that wants to create a real life Krusty Krab restaurant. For those not “in the know,” Spongebob Squarepants is a Nickeloden cartoon featuring underwater sea characters....more

2/17/2016 - Children's Products Likelihood of Confusion Popular Trademark Application Viacom Young Lawyers

Does Louis Vuitton’s Loss to a Parody Defense Justify an Award of Attorney Fees?

Earlier this month the Southern District of New York granted the defendant’s Motion for Summary in Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. My Other Bag , Inc. The fashion giant had brought suit against a California company over its...more

1/28/2016 - Attorney's Fees Exceptional Case Fashion Branding Lanham Act Louis Vuitton Parody Summary Judgment

Louis Vuitton’s Other Lawsuit Was a Winner, but Loses to a Parody Defense – Again.

Louis Vuitton is no stranger to trademark disputes. As a a manufacturer of handbags, wallets, and other luxury goods, the company has its hands full just addressing counterfeit products. However, like any other company, there...more

1/13/2016 - Defense Strategies Fashion Industry Lanham Act Parody Trademark Infringement Young Lawyers

Did the Federal Circuit Just Save the Redskins’ trademark registrations?

Yesterday the Federal Circuit issued its decision in In re Tam, an appeal filed by a musician whose application to register the mark THE SLANTS had been refused registration on the ground that it was disparaging to Asian...more

12/23/2015 - Blackhorse v Pro-Football Disparagement First Amendment Lanham Act Music Redskins Trademarks

Samsung Seeks an Edge in Smart Phone Wars through Federal Registration

For years, Samsung and Apple have battled over intellectual property rights associated with each party’s smart phones. Apple sued Samsung in 2011 and the jury found that Samsung had infringed Apple’s trade dress, design...more

12/16/2015 - Apple Apple v Samsung Patent Infringement Popular Samsung Smartphones

Forget the 6s, is the iPhone 3d coming soon?

When the iPhone 6s was announced, the 3D touch was a heavily touted feature. The touch screen can now sense how hard you’re pushing. Functionally, it’s a great improvement that gives users new ways to interact with programs....more

12/4/2015 - Apple iPhone Popular Trademark Application

Hawking a New Mascot

The big mascot news over the past year has been in the NFL, as Washington fights to maintain its registrations for the REDSKINS mark. As that dispute continues, the University of North Dakota tried to put to rest its...more

11/25/2015 - Corporate Branding NCAA Sports Team Mascots Trademarks

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Infringement.

We’re not talking pizza, we’re talking burgers. Not just any burgers, either, we’re talking In-N-Out burgers. As any California transplant will tell you, no other burger from any other restaurant comes close. In-N-Out has...more

11/12/2015 - Fair Use Fast-Food Industry Third-Party Trademark Infringement

Tissue Tussles at the Trademark Office

Each of the seasons has its own soundtrack to signal its transition. Spring is symbolized by the chirping of robins and sparrows. The sound of the grill and the splashing in the pool announces the arrival of Summer....more

10/29/2015 - Advertising Brand Functionality Generic Kimberly-Clark Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Ads

Where are we going? The future. Well, 1985’s future, as predicted in 1989. And technically, it’s not the future anymore; it’s the present (and soon, the past). You see, in the movie series Back to the Future, today, October...more

10/21/2015 - Brand Fashion Branding Movies Nike PepsiCo Product Placement

Yosemite: The Park, the Name, and the Lawsuit

As the saying goes, possession is nine-tenths of the law. That other tenth can be pretty complicated, depending on what you’re “possessing.” When you’re arguing with an older brother over who “possesses” the remote control,...more

9/25/2015 - Breach of Contract Concession Agreements Court of Federal Claims Goodwill National Park Service Trademarks Vendors

Lego Adds a “Brick” to its Enforcement Strategy

The Danish Lego Group is no stranger to trademark disputes. Understandably, Lego enforces its rights in the LEGO mark against third-parties who use LEGO without their permission. Lego also claims trade dress rights in product...more

9/9/2015 - Children's Toys LEGO Trade Dress Trademark Application Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

Can a Google Search Save Your Company $5 Million?

It sounds like a scam, but I swear, there is some truth to this headline. Just ask Hasbro, Inc., the owner of the Littlest Pet Shop line of toy animal figurines. If you have never seen one before, below is an example of two...more

9/2/2015 - Children's Toys Endorsements False Endorsements Hasbro IP Litigation Keyword Search Lanham Act Right of Publicity Trademark Searches Trademarks

Beer for Breakfast: Lessons in Co-Branding from General Mills

Yesterday General Mills announced that it had partnered with Fulton Brewery to create HefeWheaties: a limited edition brew. The beer is a Hefeweizen, which is traditionally a wheat-based beer, making it a perfect canvas for...more

8/13/2015 - Advertising Beer Brand General Mills IP License Royalties Trademarks

Octane Fitness Changed the Standard for Attorney’s Fee Award, but Has Anything Changed?

It’s no secret, lawsuits can be expensive. That’s why parties frequently consider the availability of recovering attorney’s fees when deciding whether to pursue (or defend) a lawsuit. While attorney’s fees have been available...more

7/31/2015 - Affirmative Defenses Attorney's Fees Bad Faith Exceptional Case Laches Lanham Act Octane Fitness v. ICON Trademarks Whole Foods

Trademarks on the Internet: Are Consumers Really this Clueless?

Are you unaware of the difference between search engine searches and the search results? Do you believe that a search engine can read your mind and return exactly (and only) the results you expect to receive? Is this your...more

7/15/2015 - Amazon Amazon Marketplace Brand Keyword Search Likelihood of Confusion Popular Retailers Search Engines Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Counterclaims for Cancellation Are Like Yoga Pants for Your Infringement Defense

Here’s one piece of advice you’ll hear from just about any trademark attorney: apply to federally register your marks as soon as financially possible. It is a very important step to take in order to protect your brand. A...more

7/3/2015 - Cease and Desist Entrepreneurs Fashion Branding Trademark Infringement Trademark Registration Trademarks

No Coke, Pepsi. No Infringement, Summary Judgment?

2015 was the 40th anniversary for the NBC comedy series, Saturday Night Live (SNL). After 40 years, a television show is bound to have a cultural impact. And one of the series’ most well known sketches involves Olympia...more

6/24/2015 - Amazon Internet Retailers Likelihood of Confusion Popular Retailers Search Engines Trademarks

Pepsi’s Next Generation: The Last Generation

Back in the 1960s, Pepsi burst onto the scene by announcing to the youth of decade that they were the Pepsi Generation (they didn’t have a choice). Then, in the 1980s, Pepsi became “The Choice of a New Generation.” And...more

6/11/2015 - Brand Marketing PepsiCo Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks USPTO

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