Generic Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

Welcome to the Hotel Chicago Dispute

Although not the title to an Eagles’ song like “Hotel California,” Hotel Chicago is in the news as it is at the heart of a trademark dispute. As I was booking a room at the Fairmont in Chicago for next month, I must admit I...more

“Churrascos” Is Generic for Restaurant Services

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register a stylized form of the mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services, finding that...more

Fighting Over “Nothing”: The Trademark Battle Over Zero

Several big beverage makers recently took each other on in a consolidated proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In the case of Royal Crown...more

Federal Circuit Skewers Trademark Applicant

In In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., [2015-1432] (May 13, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the refusal of registration of the stylized mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services on the ground that term is...more

Beer Lawyers Rally to Stop Federal Registration of the Mark "CRAFT BEER ATTORNEY"

You know you’re in for a fight when 14 different law firms come together to launch an opposition--an administrative proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board--against registration of your trademark application....more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...more

A Missed Step in Branding Fitness Trackers?

I’ve been wearing one of these little guys on my wrist for almost a year now. Love it. The personal awareness it raises for me in the areas of sleep, diet, and activity, has been profound....more

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

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 08

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Letter From the Editor - Fashion Week has come and...more

Thirty Years’ Use of Mark Is Not Enough to Prove Acquired Distinctiveness if Evidence Is Insufficient - In re Louisiana Fish Fry...

Addressing the issue of distinctiveness, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) decision to deny registration of a plaintiff’s mark due to the dearth of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s...more

The Survey Says: TIFFANY Is Not Generic for a Ring Setting

Last week, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment to Tiffany & Co. on its trademark infringement claim against Costco Wholesale Corporation for selling rings advertised under the TIFFANY mark. Tiffany &...more

Costco Eats Crow for Its Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. is now arguably the world’s best known jeweler. The company claims to have introduced the first-ever mail-order catalog in the United States, the Blue Book®. Tiffany...more

Out of the Frying Pan, Into Disclaimer

In In re Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Inc., [2013-1619], (August 14, 2015), the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s decision affirming the refusal of registration of LOUISIANA FISH FRY PRODUCTS BRING THE TASTE OF LOUISIANA...more

Two Generics Can Make a Mark - Princeton Vanguard, LLC v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc.

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for further proceedings the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) cancelling the registration of the mark PRETZEL CRISPS,...more

Trademark Review | May 2015

Attorneys’ Fees Might be More Readily Granted in Trademark Cases - Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in patent infringement cases. Octane...more

Pretzel Logic: Federal Circuit holds that TTAB Failed to Consider Mark as a Whole

An application to register PRETZEL CRISPS as a mark will live another day, thanks to a Federal Circuit opinion reversing a TTAB decision that had canceled the mark on grounds of genericness....more

Descriptive or Suggestive Marks: An Issue for "Experts"?

On February 28, 2015, the Southern District of New York denied a motion to exclude the testimony and survey of an expert witness regarding whether a trademark was descriptive or suggestive. In Rise-N-Shine, LLC v. Robin...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 06

In this issue: - “Google It”: The Search Engine’s Trademark May Be a Verb, But It’s Not Generic - You Say “Tom‘ah’to,” I Say “Tom‘ay’to”: Determining the Correct Pronunciation of Uniquely Coined...more

That Yo-Yo is actually a Yo-Yo™ — Generic Trademarks

There is a recent magazine ad by Xerox Corporation showing consumer goods by picture only, and the products were instantly identifiable by their popular names: a thermos, an escalator, a trampoline, and a yo-yo. Xerox...more

Skee The People: Bar games, brewskies, and trademark disputes

In addition of course to good beer and good friends, a good bar for me is defined by a good game: photo hunt (the NSFW version) and foosball at Murphy’s, bar olympics at Steny’s (where I dominated at the tricycle races),...more

Trademark Review - The Miners, Boi Na Braza and Pretzel Crisps (April 2014)

Battle of the Miners - The University of Texas at El Paso (“UTEP”) has used the nickname MINERS since at least 1914. UTEP, through its governing board, owns several registrations for the mark MINERS and a logo for...more

Trademark Review - Stacked Wine, SUPERJAWS and Subway (October 2013)

The Downfall of a “Stacked” Wine - Stacked Wines, LLC makes individually-packaged glasses of wine that vertically stack to form one full bottle of wine. Stacked Wines sought to register the mark STACKED in the...more

Not All Trademarks Are Created Equal

When it comes time to choose a name for the new product or service you are launching, it is important to know that not all trademarks are created equal. In addition to the marketing considerations of choosing a brand name,...more

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

We continue to anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, especially given the Board’s recent genericness ruling in Sheetz of Delaware, Inc. v....more

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving...more

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