News & Analysis as of

Could Offensive Trademarks Find Refuge in Common Law?

The 177-page tome the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) just issued in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. is remarkable for its length and its subject matter, cancellation of the controversial REDSKINS mark as disparaging...more

A Football Team, by Any Other Name…: USPTO Decision Illustrates that Law is More than Hard & Fast Rules

At Meadowlawn Elementary in the 1960s, my West Michigan friends and I would boast about things that made us "better" than each other. It was the golden age of Superman comics and, while I didn't have super strength or x-ray...more

The Redskins Decision: Much Ado About (Probably) Not Much

I’ve been having fun listening to commentators – most of whom appear to know little or nothing about trademark law – expound on last week’s decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel six trademark...more

Redskins’ trademark decision ushers in more questions - Cancellation of trademark registration may not have impact some believe

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) most likely knew it was going to generate headlines Wednesday when it issued a monumental decision to cancel six registrations of the...more

A Rose By Any Other Name…

It is rare that items from the United States Patent and Trademark Office are “breaking news” or even make general news headlines. But it happened Wednesday (6/18/14) with the announcement that the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

Redskins trademark case highlights value of linguistic analysis

The Washington Redskins trademark case, with its conclusion that REDSKINS trademark registrations should be cancelled, has sparked heated discussion among football fans, advocates of Native American interests, and foes of...more

The Redskins Decision: What It Means and Does Not Mean

On June 18, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) issued its ruling in Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc. (TTAB Cancellation No. 92046185) cancelling the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations...more

USPTO Cancels Washington Redskins' Trademark Registrations

In a landmark case, the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six trademark registrations associated with the National Football League team, the Washington Redskins, finding that use of the term "redskin" is...more

Redskins Trademark Cancelled – Q&A With Bean, Kinney & Korman

By now, you’ve no doubt heard the news that yesterday (June 18, 2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), an administrative body of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cancelled the Washington NFL team’s...more

What does the Redskins Cancellation Mean for My Business and Trademarks?

The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently cancelled several Washington Redskins trademarks on the grounds that at the time these marks were registered, they were disparaging or offensive. This means the marks should...more

Let’s Set the Record Straight….the Redskins Still Own the REDSKINS Tradmarks

The overwhelming public reaction to the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s June 18 decision canceling six REDSKINS trademark registrations on grounds that the mark disparaged Native Americans has been impressive. However,...more

Trademark Disparagement Kills the R-Word

My father-daughter time was wonderful in London when the news hit about the USPTO ordering cancellation of the six ”Washington Redskins” trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans....more

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Orders Cancellation of "REDSKINS" Trademark Registrations

On June 18, 2014, a divided panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ordered cancellation of six of the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations holding that “Redskins” was a...more

TTAB Cancels REDSKINS Trademark Registrations

In a ruling that has quickly spread throughout social media, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued an order cancelling six trademark registrations which contain the word REDSKIN (the “Redskins...more

“REDSKINS” US Trademark Registrations are Canceled for Disparaging Native Americans

A three-judge panel of the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), for the second time and in a 2-1 decision, has held that the REDSKINS trademark used in connection with professional football and related services by the...more

Redskins Trademarks Cancelled - Found Disparaging to Native Americans (Again)

On June 18, 2014, in Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation No. 92046185 (TTAB 6/18/2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) cancelled six trademark registrations issued between 1967 and 1990...more

Three Point Shot - May 2014

Tiger Woods Misses the Cut in Golf Memorabilia Dispute - Tiger Woods skipped The Masters this year for the first time in 20 years because he was recuperating from back surgery. But his back may not be the only source...more

1st & Ten at the Super Bowl: The Brand You Probably Don’t Know You Know

The NFL is known as a trademark monetizing machine, and this year’s “POT BOWL” is not without its share of trademarks stories. It was recently reported that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks makes six-figures (for...more

The Gold Medal Of Trademarks

It’s the season of great sporting events, with the Super Bowl and Olympics just around the corner, and with that comes a host of new advertising campaigns. Companies should beware of infringing on Super Bowl and Olympic...more

Brandmarking: Thoughts On The Creation, Protection, And Enforcement Of Brand Identity - October 2013 • Volume 2, Number 4

In This Issue: - IS THIS REALLY A JOB FOR THE TRADEMARK OFFICE? Legal proceedings involving mass murders and lurid sexual escapades get lots of media attention. Trademark cases? Not so much. That’s...more

Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners - Consumers can challenge Reebok's exclusive NFL apparel deal based just on a market of...

On August 2, 2013, District Judge Edward J. Davila denied a motion to dismiss antitrust claims brought by consumers of NFL apparel against Reebok and the NFL in Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners, Case No. 5:12-CV-5481 (N.D....more

This Is Our Super Bowl Blog Post. Now Come and Get Us, NFL!

Unless you live here, I’m assuming you’re aware of a little football game taking place this weekend between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. (And maybe, just maybe, you might have heard something — but...more

NFL Sacks Football Fan’s Effort to Trademark ‘Harbowl’

When the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers won their NFL conference championship games, a Super Bowl matchup emerged with a great storyline — the opposing head coaches are brothers. An interesting legal question has...more

NFL Thwarts Ownership of Harbowl TM

As many have written about before me, the NFL is quite protective of its rights in the SUPER BOWL trademark, so much so that some think it has earned the pejorative ”trademark bully” label, so I spilled a little digital ink...more

Reminder - Super Bowl Advertising and Use of the Word "Super Bowl"

With the "Super Bowl" coming up in February, it's time for a reminder that the term "Super Bowl" is a trademark owned by the NFL and licensed to advertisers and the network that carries the game....more

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