Trademark Act

News & Analysis as of

Distillations: A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Today’s upstart craft brewer/distiller/vintner might naturally want to name her new creation (whether the name of the company itself or a distinct product) after herself. The existence of brands such as GALLO, BUSCH,...more

New Trademark Office Audit May Result in Cancellation of Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a final rule that took effect on February 17, 2017. To assess and promote the accuracy and integrity of the trademark register, the USPTO amended rules...more

TTAB Serves It Straight Up: TEQUILA Is Not Generic

Addressing whether the word “tequila” can be registered in the United States as a certification mark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) answered in the affirmative, dismissing an opposition alleging that “tequila”...more

Alert: USPTO Enacts New Audit Rules Targeting Trademark Renewals

Effective February 17, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a revised rule under which USPTO examining attorneys may request additional evidence of use from registrants beyond what was...more

Frozen Until March 21: The USPTO’s New Evidence Requirements to Clear “Deadwood” From The Federal Trademark Register

President Trump’s deep freeze of regulatory actions has delayed the effective date of new rules issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to assess and promote the accuracy of the trademark...more

US Patent & Trademark Office Issues New Trademark Use Rule

On January 19, 2017 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register introducing new requirements for declarations of use in commerce filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the...more

No Family!Family! of Marks for Little Caesars

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) explained that an applicant’s evidence of a family of marks can be used to help prove acquired distinctiveness for a new member of that family, but held that the applicant failed to...more

Use of a Trademark on Software in Canada

Xylem Water Solutions is the owner of the registered Canadian trademark AQUAVIEW in association with software for water treatment plants and pump stations. Xylem received a Section 45 notice from a trademark lawyer, probably...more

Major changes to Canada's trademark laws: What every business needs to know

The Canadian government introduced a bill in 2014 which contained the most significant changes to Canada's trademark laws in modern history. Due to the fact that the revisions were contained in an omnibus Budget...more

Ninth Circuit Retires Fee-Award Standard, Imports Octane Fitness to Trademark Cases

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined a majority of appellate courts that have rejected rigid tests for attorneys’-fees awards in favor of flexible discretion at the district court level. The...more

Sorry, Apple, Assignment of ITU Applications Isn’t MAGIC

Another installment of Apple surveillance: it appears the tech giant has enlisted a shell company to file trademark applications for its newest products. Problem is, they might be stuck there....more

Australian designs law - where is reform headed?

It was back in 2012 that Australia’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) was first tasked with conducting the Review of the Designs System. In 2013 ACIP published an issues paper and in 2014 an options paper....more

Have Sense About Scents

In today's marketplace, companies are constantly seeking their moment, day, or --if they are lucky--year on the top of the "best of" list for new, unique, and/or fabulously redesigned goods or services. The sheer number of...more

The TTAB Delivers Another Blow to the Beer Industry in Denying Registration for Home Brewing Co.

Beer companies have been hit hard lately when trying to register trademarks. As recently reported on our liquor blog, a beer distributor was denied registration of a logo that featured a skyscraper resembling the Empire...more

(Trade)Marking Your Territory in the US: A Guide for Non-US Companies

Trademark rights exist on a country-by-country basis, and the laws in the United States differ in a number of significant ways from other markets. As a result, it is critical that before any non-U.S. company seeks trademark...more

TTAB Precedential Decision: Time Limit for Adding Claims Is Tolled by Filing of Cancellation Within Registration’s Fifth...

In a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that the filing of a cancellation petition before the five-year anniversary mark of a registration tolls Trademark Act Section 14 for purposes of...more

The Effect of The Brexit (UK Departure from EU) on IP Rights

In a June 23, 2016 referendum, the combined electorates of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar voted in favor of the United Kingdom, and consequently Gibraltar, leaving the European Union (EU). According to Article 50 of...more

Dilution Update: NYC BEER Is Not Diluted, But The Empire State Building Is

Trademark dilution is a concept not easily understood. Although, we have written about this topic in previous posts, a recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, ESRT Empire State Building, L. L. C. v. Michael...more

Filing of Cancellation Prior to Registration’s Fifth Anniversary Allows Later Addition of Otherwise Time-Barred Non-use Claim

Ashland Licensing & Intellectual Property LLC (“Ashland”) petitioned on June 6, 2013, to cancel two registrations owned by Sunpoint International Group USA Corp. (“Sunpoint”). Following discovery, Ashland moved to amend to...more

Trademark Series: Words in a Foreign Language

A word that clearly describes a particular product or service cannot function as a trademark for that product or service. The Trademarks Act phrases this idea in a more formal way: section 12(1)(b) says that a trade-mark is...more

Spotlight on the Highlights -- Clarifications and Changes in the April 2016 TMEP

On April 30, 2016, the USPTO issued the April 2016 Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure ("TMEP"), the latest update to the go-to resource for how to prosecute applications to register trademarks with the USPTO. This...more

Trademark Review | May 2016

Surname Not Registrable Absent Substantially Exclusive Use - As a result of various third-party uses of the surname “Ayoub” for similar services, Applicant’s use of AYOUB did not meet the requirement of Section (f) that...more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 1 - May 2015

THEY CAN’T REGISTER THAT AS A TRADEMARK -- CAN THEY? Ronda Rousey, the famous Mixed Martial Arts fighter has filed several applications to register a trademark that presumably reflects her feelings about her detractors....more

Trademark Review | April 2016

Broad JAWS Registration Devours JAWS Cooking Channel - Mr. Recipe’s applications to register the marks JAWS and JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER were refused based on the earlier registration for JAWS, the movie. Mr. Recipe’s...more

Although Healthy Hemp May do Many Things, It Does Not Function As a Trademark

In a non-precedential decision in In re French Meadow Organic Bakery LLC, Serial No 86243820 (February 4 2016), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that HEALTHY HEMP was merely descriptive of “bakery goods;...more

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