News & Analysis as of

Surnames

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 3)

In this three-part series, we identified three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercializing the Brand, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed what is at...more

MarkIt to Market® | April 2017

The April 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® discusses navigating the lifecycle of an eponymous brand and lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods. Please see full newsletter below for more information....more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 2)

In this three-part series, we identified at least three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercialization, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed "Choosing...more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 1)

In Steven Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he espouses the idea that "all things are created twice … a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation" (see link here). This idea applies aptly to...more

Trademarking Your Name Can Drive You To Drink: The Risks and Benefits of Naming a Beer After Yourself

by Bowditch & Dewey on

You have worked hard, you are proud of your beer, and you want the market, if not the world, to know that it is your product. At the end of the creative process, like any other artist or craftsperson, you have the urge to...more

The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....more

A Trademark By Any Other Name…

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Lanham Act prohibits registration on the Principal Register of a mark that is “primarily merely a surname” unless an applicant can show that the mark has acquired secondary meaning such that consumers perceive the surname...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

DICKMAN’S Pickles: Just Another Unregistrable Surname

The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has, again, explained how and when surnames may function as trademarks. In re Enumclaw Farms LLC, Application Serial No. 85942195 (TTAB June 24, 2016). ...more

What’s in a Name?

As Juliet stated to Romeo in Shakespeare’s tale of star crossed lovers, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Her statement emphasizes her love for Romeo as an individual, not...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Denies Father's Petition To Change His Son's Last Name To Match His Own

In a November 2015 binding opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court entered an order denying father's request to change his three year old son's last name to match his own. The Superior Court also denied father's alternative...more

Notes for New Nuptials

by Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP on

When you make your wedding checklist, perhaps at the bottom you should consider how your marriage will affect your income taxes....more

A Distinctive Fourth of July: Fireworks and Historical Figure Trademarks

Unless you are Charlemagne or Julius Caesar, you would probably have trouble registering your name as a trademark. This is because personal names are not generally considered to be inherently distinctive enough to qualify...more

Trademark Review - Volume 3 | Issue 6 June 2013

In This Issue: • Ron Paul’s Complaint to Regain RonPaul.org Constitutes Reverse Domain Hijacking • MOTT’s for Baby Food Is Considered Primarily Merely a Surname • Company Uses More than Is Reasonably...more

More About Trademark Surnames: The Borghese Dispute

Right on the heels of our surname blog comes a New York Times article on a long-running trademark litigation over rights to the Borghese surname. The Borgheses hail from an Italian noble family and their using the family...more

Why Can’t I Use My Own Name?: Trademarks and Surnames

There are many “myths” that float about in the general public about what can and cannot function as a trademark. For example, people often tell me that they “know” that “common words” can never be protected as trademarks....more

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