News & Analysis as of

Oh What A Tangled WEB We Weave When First We…Try To Show Use

In order to get a trademark registered or maintain a registration, an example of use of the trademark (referred to by trademark nerds as a “specimen”) must be submitted to the US Trademark Office. Often trademark attorneys...more

Channeling Justice Ginsburg of U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Register a Trademark

We sounded the alarm exactly six months ago about a trademark case of great importance to brand owners: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case, and here is...more

Look Beyond the Registration to Determine Likelihood of Confusion

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's recent decision in Anthropologie, Inc. and Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc. v. Happy Green Company LLC is a good reminder of why, when...more

Trademark Prosecution 101

Owning a United States trademark registration for a brand confers a number of benefits. This article will help you understand what to consider and what to expect as you select, adopt and apply to register a new trademark....more

International v domestic US trademark registrations: pick your poison

The USPTO’s statistics for the year to date report that just 2.6% of international trademark applications (Madrid) are approved upon first action, compared to 34.1% of applications via TEAS Plus and 17% by TEAS. For...more

Generic Top Level Domains - Current Sunrise Periods Open

As first reported in our December 2013 newsletter, the first new generic top-level domains (gTLDs, the group of letters after the "dot" in a domain name) have launched their "Sunrise" registration periods. Please see our...more

ICANN’s gTLD Program – A Look Back and Forward

ICANN’s new Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program has been in full swing for over a year now, so it seems an apt time to examine some statistics as to how brands are engaging with new gTLDs, utilizing the Trademark...more

Renewal Deadline – 1 Year Trademark Clearinghouse Registrations

If your company was an early registrant in the Trademark Clearinghouse, it is likely your registrations had an effective date of November 5, 2014, the date the Clearinghouse went “live.” If so, the deadline to renew one-year...more

Protecting Your Trademark in the United States

Protection Mechanisms in the United States. After selecting your mark, the next step is to decide how to protect it. In the United States, there are three basic types of trademark protection: (1) common-law, (2) state...more

Trademark Highlights from the IPO’s 2014 IP Record

The Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO) recently released its 2014 IP Record, an annual report detailing global intellectual property trends. Now in its seventh year, the report draws from a range of sources,...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Summary Of The U.S. Trademark Application Process

Obtaining a trademark registration in the United States is a process consisting of several phases and takes several months to several years, depending on various factors and issues raised. We highlight below the various...more

Neglecting Trademark Protection Could Be a Costly Mistake

So you’ve formed a new company, launched a new product/service offering, added a new feature to an existing offering, or maybe your company has been doing business and offering products/services for a while now but you still...more

Dethroning a Right to Register a Trademark?

Last month, you will recall we wrote about the important difference between the right to register a trademark and the right to use a trademark...more

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

Trademark Rights around the World: It May Be BUDWEISER® in the US, But Not Everywhere

Anheuser-Busch, the venerable American beer brewer, and Budejovicky Budvar NP, a Czech beer brewer, have been fighting since the 19th century over rights around the world to the BUDWEISER trademark. A Czech town called Ceske...more

Beyond Disparaging: Five Important Clarifications Regarding Redskins Trademark Decision

Over the past year, debate regarding whether the National Football League’s Washington, D.C. franchise should continue to call itself the Redskins has risen to a fever pitch once again. So, naturally, it was big news when, on...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

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

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