Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

Evaluating The USPTO’s Efforts To Clean Up The U.S. Trademark Register

An ongoing issue for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been the number of trademark registrations where registrants do not actually use or intend to use their marks on all of the goods and services...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

Federal Circuit Instructs TTAB to Revisit Software Services as Evidence of Use

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reviewed the issue of trademark use in commerce and, more specifically, the extent to which certain services can be...more

A Trademark By Any Other Name…

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

U.S. Trademark Office Implements Adjusted Fee Schedule for 42 Types of Trademark Filings

Effective January 14, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) adjusted a number of its trademark processing and service fees, including increasing fees for 42 different trademark filings. The trademark office, which...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

Making United States Consumer Safer For Tequila?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) recently dismissed Luxco, Inc.’s (“Luxco”) opposition to registration of the mark TEQUILA (in standard character format) by an...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

McNees 2016 In Review – Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents

The year 2016 saw interesting and diverse developments in trademark, copyright, trade secret, and patent law. Not only has intellectual property news been in the headlines, but these areas have made it to the Supreme Court....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle III: The Year In NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Two years ago, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits that sports fans assume IP...more

Connecting The DOTBLOG: Is Your Trademark Descriptive Or Suggestive?

When you see the name DOTBLOG, what does it mean to you? Is it just a blog about DOTS candy? Or about the painter George Seurat? Maybe it indicates a service that will help you punctuate your blog entries? Ok, probably not,...more

Song Titles and Trademarks: The Eagle(s) Have Landed

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of “classic rock,” there are some songs that everybody knows. The song Hotel California by the Eagles is one of those songs. Not everyone likes the Eagles (looking at you, Dude), but most...more

TTAB Rule Changes Effective January 14, 2017

On January 14, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) implemented numerous amendments to its Trademark Rules of Practice. These rule changes impact all active opposition and cancellation proceedings. The United...more

“Pardon Me, PORTON,” says PATRON, “But We Heard You”

Pisco is a light-colored brandy traditionally produced in portions of Peru and Chile.  One brand that offers this product in the United States is PISCO PORTÓN (the later word meaning “gate” in Spanish)....more

Making Tequila and Pisco Shots Safe From Confusion

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) cancelled the registration for the mark PORTÓN last week, finding it to be confusingly similar to the senior mark PATRÓN. Patrón...more

A Family Victory! Victory! Just Not for Little Caesars

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) modified its treatment of the “family of trademarks” doctrine in the recent case In re LC Trademarks, Inc., Serial No. 85890412...more

Pizza! Pizza!: Little Caesar’s Repeated Term Slogans Are Not a “Family of Marks”

Although most people will recognize the ubiquitous PIZZA! PIZZA! slogan mark owned by the pizza chain Little Caesar’s, the company’s collection of repeated term marks does not rise to the level of a “family of marks”...more

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board: Non-Spanish Speakers Would Confuse PATRON and PORTON Trademarks

In a non-precedential opinion, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cancelled two US trademark registrations for the mark PORTON, finding it to be confusingly similar to the mark PATRON. Patron Spirits International AG...more

Change is Coming: New Rules for TTAB Opposition and Cancellation Proceedings

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued final rules amending the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice and raising fees for many transactions involving trademarks. The new rules and fees...more

Satisfaction of Lanham Act Use “in Commerce” Requirement Does Not Require Much

In a decision addressing the use “in commerce” requirement under the Lanham Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision cancelling a trademark...more

Trademark Red Tape: Comeuppance For Trademark Con-Artists

January 2017 - Happy holidays and welcome to the 2017 New Year edition of Trademark Red Tape, our periodic round-up of trademark news and happenings at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Here are the...more

Trademark Year In Review And What Lies Ahead: The Lanham Act’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2017

2016 is now in the rear view mirror. At the beginning of a new year, we often take a moment to reflect on the past year, while setting goals for the present. It’s a time to say, “Last year had its ups and downs, but this...more

A Quick Look at the New Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ?TTAB? will implement new rules on January 14, 2017, that will apply to all inter partes proceedings (oppositions, cancellations, concurrent use) and ex parte appeals that are pending on,...more

Client Alert: New TTAB Rule Changes Take Effect in 2017

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which decides issues of trademark registrability, recently sought comments regarding certain rule changes to the TTAB Rules of Practice. On October 7, 2016, the U.S. Patent and...more

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rule Change Alert

New TTAB Rule Changes Take Effect In 2017 - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which decides issues of trademark registrability, recently sought comments regarding certain rule changes to the TTAB Rules of...more

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