Tim Sitzmann

Tim Sitzmann

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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Raiding the Register: Trademarks and Franchise Relocation

It seems like each year a new sports franchise is threatening to move to a new city. Here in Minnesota, we recently ensured at least 15 more years of the Vikings with the newly opened U.S. Bank Stadium. Before the...more

9/14/2016 - Relocation Sports Trademark Application Trademarks

The RedBox Mark Has Gone to Waste and 3 Quick Lessons to Learn

The RedBox brand continues to dominate the movie rental market. For the uninitiated, RedBox is a brand of movie and video game rental vending machines placed in convenient locations like grocery stores, gas stations, and fast...more

8/26/2016 - Marketing Red Box Trademark Infringement Young Lawyers

With 5,000,000 Registrations in the Books, What’s Next?

Two months ago we discussed the impending issuance of U.S. Trademark Registration Number 5,000,000. That milestone has now come and gone, with Reg. No. 5,000,000 issuing on July 12, 2016. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you,...more

8/11/2016 - Trademark Registration USPTO

Is the US Olympic Committee’s #TwitterBan Fair or Foul?

The 2016 Summer Olympics will officially* begin in eight days. Yet the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) efforts to enforce the Olympic trademarks are truly an eternal battle. While the USOC has a reputation for aggressively...more

7/28/2016 - Advertising Exclusive Use Olympics Social Networks Trademarks Twitter Young Lawyers

USPTO Keeps the Door Locked for Marijuana-related Services

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states, including four states that have also legalized recreational use (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington). On Nov. 8, California voters will have a chance to make their...more

7/15/2016 - Controlled Substances Lanham Act Medical Marijuana Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Young Lawyers

On the Precipice of Registration Number 5,000,000

Don’t look now, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is about to hit a major milestone: we are only 24,819 registrations away from the magic number 5,000,000. The only thing more incredible than that number is the...more

6/9/2016 - Trademark Registration USPTO

Second Circuit Weighs in on Nominative Fair Use

The federal courts of appeals have split as to how to apply the doctrine of nominative fair use in trademark infringement cases. Last week, the Second Circuit endorsed the nominative fair use factors used by the Ninth and...more

5/25/2016 - Fair Use Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Infringement

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

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