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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.

GEMSA’s Patent Onslaught Against Cloud Computing Customers

by Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. on

Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. (“GEMSA”), a foreign non-practicing entity (“NPE”) organized under the laws of Australia, filed almost 40 patent lawsuits in five batches in 2015 and 2016. The majority of these...more

Does Explanatory Language on Your Specimen Make a Mark Descriptive?

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision denying registration of the mark FIRST TUESDAY for use in connection with lottery services and games based on...more

The Cheerios Challenge of Registering Color Marks

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) delivered a primer on demonstrating the acquired distinctiveness of product packaging or trade dress, including color marks, in refusing registration of a trademark application for...more

Hogan Lovells ITC Section 337 Monthly Highlights

by Hogan Lovells on

The latest news round-up from our Hogan Lovells ITC Section 337 practice, including a new section featuring "tips from the bench" by former ITC Judge Theodore (Ted) R. Essex. Please see full Publication below for more...more

General Mills Finds Out That Yellow Is Not “Magically Delicious”: Brands Fighting To Protect Their True Colors

by Knobbe Martens on

Years after the Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent battle over red soled shoes, trademark protection for color continues to be a hot topic. On August 22, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that...more

will.i.am: registered.u.r.not

In In re I.AM.SYMBOLIC, LLC, [2016-1507, 2016-1508, 2016-1509] (August 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB affirming the Trademark Examiner’s refusal of registration of the mark I AM on grounds of...more

Commission Overturns Summary Determination in Optical Fibers Investigation

by Jones Day on

In an earlier post, we summarized ALJ McNamara’s recent Summary Determination in Certain UV Curable Coatings For Optical Fibers, Coated Optical Fibers, And Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1031, Order No. 33 (July 6,...more

Cannabis Trademark Opposition: A Fanciful Counterfactual Illustration

by Revision Legal on

Parties file oppositions against pending trademark applications for a wide variety of reasons. Often, a party filing an opposition or requesting an extension of time to do so will contact the Applicant before filing or at the...more

Hutchinson Revisited Surname + Merely Descriptive Term May or May Not Be Registrable

In Earnhardt v. Kerry Earhhardt, Inc., [2016-1939] (July 27, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a TTAB decision dismissing Earnhardt’s opposition because it found that there was no likelihood of confusion between...more

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

The Slants Win in Matal v. Tam: Trademark Registration Cannot Be Denied for Offensive Terms

by Vedder Price on

On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court held that a portion of the first clause of the U.S. Trademark Law (the “Lanham Act”), which is commonly known as the disparagement clause, was facially unconstitutional under...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

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