Trademark Act

News & Analysis as of

TTAB Makes Double Brown Ale Open to Nut Sack Mark

In a ruling bound to please 15 year-old boys everywhere, the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the trademark NUT SACK DOUBLE BROWN ALE (in standard character...more

How May We Help You? When is a Service Not a Service?

Brand owners seeking federal protection for their service marks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") often struggle with how to define their services in the application. While the Trademark Act defines...more

The Clinton Trademark Clause?

At this early stage in the 2016 election cycle, it’s difficult to predict much of anything, but if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination and, ultimately, the presidency, I can say for certain it will have an...more

Earning Trademarks with Every Coupon? How Johnson & Johnson Secured The Mark: Earning Trust With Every Bottle

A recent ruling from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) found a coupon to be an acceptable specimen for the U.S. Trademark Office (“Office”) showing proper trademark use. Johnson & Johnson submitted the coupon...more

From Phonograph Records to Musical Sound Recordings: USPTO’s Pilot Program May Bring Life to Outdated Registrations

Own a trademark registration covering goods or services that have become obsolete due to technological advances? Does your trademark registration cover content delivered by floppy discs that are now provided as on-line...more

Caveat Opposer: Preclusion Lurks at the TTAB

Recently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) held that an unsuccessful opposer was precluded from later pursuing a cancellation against the same trademark owner, even though the opposer assumed a different...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 07

Happy summer! We are seeing some great new styles this summer here on Madison Avenue, and of course, there are a number of hot legal issues to consider as we head into the fall. Our latest issue discusses the applicability of...more

“The Donald” Trumps Condo Buyers by Avoiding Trade-mark Licensor Liability

United States presidential candidate Donald Trump avoided liability for alleged misrepresentations of the attributes of purchased hotel condominium units by a developer that is licensed by one of Mr. Trump’s corporate...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...more

Appealing a Trademark Registration Refusal? Win or Lose, You May Have to Pay the USPTO’s Legal Fees

The federal Trademark Act (the Lanham Act) instructs that if an unsuccessful trademark applicant appeals a refusal to register in federal district court, the applicant must name the Director of the U.S. Patent & Trademark...more

Protection Of Slogans Under Turkish Trademark Law

Slogans are commonly used by companies in marketing and promotion activities to draw public attention to goods and services. Through widely promoted commercials, certain slogans have become well-known: “Just do it”, “Because...more

Trademark Review - Philips Electric Toothbrush and McSweet

MCSWEET Gets Pickled: The Board Refuses Registration of MCSWEET for Pickled Vegetables on the Grounds of Confusingly Similarity to, and Likely Dilution of,McDonald’s Family of “MC” Marks - McSweet, LLC filed...more

Maintaining Strong Trademark Rights

I. Determining the Strength of Your Mark. The strength, or scope, of a trademark as used in the marketplace is determined by a multi-factored analysis called the likelihood of confusion test, and the scope can differ...more

Surviving a trademark opposition challenge: do you have a true "intent-to-use"? 5 key tips

Unlike the vast majority of jurisdictions around the world, under the US Trademark Act, only someone “who has a bona fide intention, under circumstances showing the good faith of such person, to use a trademark in commerce...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

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 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

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

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