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Communications & Media Administrative Agency Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.

How to Avoid Mutilating Your Trademark

by Knobbe Martens on

In a recent precedential decision, In re University of Miami, Serial No. 86616382 (T.T.A.B. June 6, 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) clarified the scope of the doctrine of trademark mutilation....more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

Speedy Justice: Ttab Reverses Refusal To Register CROSBY QUIC-TAG

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re The Crosby Group LLC, Serial 86780353 (April 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the applicant’s CROSBY QUIC-TAG...more

Ownership of a Trademark Follows Use

In Lyons v. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, [2016-2055](June 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB cancelling Lyons’ registration of the mark THE AMERICAN...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

New Trademark Office Audit May Result in Cancellation of Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a final rule that took effect on February 17, 2017. To assess and promote the accuracy and integrity of the trademark register, the USPTO amended rules...more

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

by Jones Day on

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

USPTO launches new proof of use audit program

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new program that will require some trademark owners to submit more “specimens” (i.e., proof of use) and information than was required in the past. As a...more

Just Like You and Me: Difficulties with Celebrity Trademark Applications

by Knobbe Martens on

Under U.S. trademark law, any person (including a celebrity) can obtain a trademark registration for their name if they can establish that the public recognizes the name as a source identifier for certain products or...more

US Patent & Trademark Office Issues New Trademark Use Rule

by Roetzel & Andress on

On January 19, 2017 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register introducing new requirements for declarations of use in commerce filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the...more

What's in a Name?: An Overview of the TTAB's Recent Surname Decisions

Barr. Aldecoa. Hechter. Adlon. Kepler. Butterfields. What do these words have in common, you may ask? They were all recently found to be "primarily merely a surname," and refused registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

MarkIt to Market® | January 2017

The January 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes an overview of the TTAB's recent surname decisions, the changes made by the USPTO to their trademark processing and services fees, and lists the new gTLD...more

Federal Circuit Narrows Patent Eligibility for CBM Review

by LeClairRyan on

In the recently decided Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google, Inc. case, the Federal Circuit significantly narrowed the eligibility standards for covered business method (CBM) patent review. Prior to the decision in Unwired Planet,...more

Diamonds In The Rough: TTAB Refuses Registration For Repeating Pattern

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a precedential decision in In re Fantasia Distribution Inc, Serial 86185623 (September 21 2016), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that a repeating diamond design pattern appearing on an electronic hookah...more

MarkIt to Market® - November 2016

The November 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for registering certification marks, a look at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's latest revisions to the Rules of Practice-its most...more

No Love for ♥ DC

by Knobbe Martens on

In a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), the Board cancelled and abandoned the trademark registration and trademark application for the I "Heart" DC marks owned by an individual, Jonathan A. Chien...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

by Knobbe Martens on

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 4

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

What Happens After My Application is Filed? After your application is filed, you should receive an email from the USPTO confirming the submission. In a few business days, the USPTO will confirm the application has the...more

Your Trademark on Steroids - Making Your Trademark Registration Stronger

In our previous articles we discussed ways in which trademarks are maintained and protected through filings that are mandatory and which filings would result in abandonment or cancellation if not timely...more

New Copyright Office Electronic Registration System for DMCA Agents – Are You Ready?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) sets forth a mechanism through which online service providers can avail themselves of a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability by recording an agent with the Copyright...more

Appeal of Final Refusal Maintaining that Human Jewelry is “Closely Related” to Pet Accessories

by Knobbe Martens on

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to reconsider its rejection of an application for the mark GEORGE in connection with watches, clocks, jewelry, and imitation jewelry in Class 14 (U.S....more

PUT YOUR DOCS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM: Seattle Police Enjoined From Disclosing Software Secrets in Public Records Act Dispute

What happens when trade secret protections collide with laws granting public access to government records? This question took center stage in a recent case involving the Seattle Police Department (“SPD”). A federal district...more

The Zero Sum Game In The Cola Wars

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In Royal Crown Company and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc v The Coca-Cola Company, Opposition 91178927, each party opposed the other’s trademark applications containing the term ZERO for soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks....more

Accountability and Transition in ICANN’s New gTLD Program

by Dechert LLP on

Bringing accountability to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the little known yet hugely significant global regulator of the Internet domain name system, is always a significant victory. ICANN...more

FTC Targets Brand Owner Policing Search Ad Keywords

by Klein Moynihan Turco LLP on

This Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) commenced an administrative proceeding against 1-800 Contacts, Inc. (“1-800 Contacts”), alleging that the online contact lens retailer had entered into...more

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