Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

Federal Circuit Affirms Refusal to Register “Churrascos” Based on Genericness, Despite Prior Federal Registration of the Mark

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s refusal to register the stylized mark CHURRASCOS for bar and restaurant services based on genericness. In re Cordua...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

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Trademark applicant’s Twitter account not service mark use for social media services

Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc. (“Florists”) filed an application to register their SAY IT YOUR WAY trademark in Class 35 and in Class 42 for “[c]reating an on-line community for registered users to participate in...more

Revised Standard Protective Order Of The TTAB Now In Effect

As of June 24, 2016, a revised Standard Protective Order of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) will become effective in relation to pending TTAB inter partes proceedings (some exceptions will apply) and all new Board...more

HAVANA CLUB: Where’s the Rum Gone?

You’d probably assume no TTAB proceedings originated in 1995 remain active, but the HAVANA CLUB dispute has some serious staying power. As U.S.-Cuba relations unthaw, one particular trademark battle is also returning to...more

Fighting Over “Nothing”: The Trademark Battle Over Zero

Several big beverage makers recently took each other on in a consolidated proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In the case of Royal Crown...more

Trademark Red Tape: Incoming Fee Increases And Sweeping TTAB Rule Changes

Disparaging Marks Still Held in Abeyance. As an update to our last Trademark Red Tape, the USPTO, which has now filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in In re Tam with respect to the...more

Federal Circuit Skewers Trademark Applicant

In In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., [2015-1432] (May 13, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the refusal of registration of the stylized mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services on the ground that term is...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Sibling Rivalry, Grilled Meat and Attorneys' Fees

Copyright Opinions - Sixth Circuit Upholds Siblings' Termination of Brother's Copyright Assignment: Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-5429 (6th Cir. May 16, 2016) - Sutton, J. In a declaratory...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

Be a Service “to Others”

It’s rare that we focus on descriptions of goods or services here, but one of the most common reasons that a trademark for a brewery or winery is refused registration at the Trademark Office comes down to the description of...more

USPTO Throws in the Towel in Dispute With Federal Judge

In an earlier post, we discussed at length the curious case of The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and Paul W. Bryant, Jr. v. Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises LLC et al. Surprisingly, this dispute came to an...more

Beer Lawyers Rally to Stop Federal Registration of the Mark "CRAFT BEER ATTORNEY"

You know you’re in for a fight when 14 different law firms come together to launch an opposition--an administrative proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board--against registration of your trademark application....more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...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

In re Tam Redux Redux: Redskins Petition for Certiorari, Trying to Skip 4th Cir.

In response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) petition for writ of certiorari in to the U.S. Supreme Court In re Tam (“THE SLANTS” case), the owners of the Washington Redskins filed their own...more

Client Alert: A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME - Implications for Brand Owners of Proposed Rule Changes in the TTAB and the Actual Effects...

Trademark litigation has recently undergone, and continues to undergo, a number of important changes that may significantly affect the strategy of corporate counsel and trademark practitioners in managing these types of...more

UPDATE: The Priceline Negotiator Fails: BOOKING.COM Is Rejected As A Trademark

Update: Booking.com B.V. (BBV) has now initiated an action to overturn the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB’s) determination that “Booking.com” is a generic term for the travel agency services it would be used...more

In re Tam Redux: The PTO seeks Certiorari

On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Federal Circuit seeking Supreme Court review of that Court’s decision in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1001...more

Who Should Own a Trademark Registration? The Case of the Not-So-Related Parent Company

A recent precedential Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision provides valuable guidance on the proper allocation of trademark registration ownership as between a corporate parent and a subsidiary, highlighting the perils...more

What’s That Sound? It Might Just Be a Trademark.

Trademarks are not only words or logos, but can come in many other forms, including sounds. In the words of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in the case In re Gen. Electric Broad. Co., 199 USPQ 560, 563 (TTAB 1978),...more

Federal Judge vs. TTAB – Trademark Battle over Bear Bryant’s Houndstooth Hat

The case of The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and Paul W. Bryant, Jr. v. Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises LLC et al. showcases an unusual clash between a federal judge and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...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

The USPTO Says “Yes” But the TTB Says “No” To LSD

Government approval of commercial speech has been a hot topic of discussion by trademark nerds here and elsewhere in light of recent decisions regarding the Redskins and The Slants marks. As those decisions proceed up...more

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