Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

Warner Bros., Trademark Lawyers Target “Golden Ticket” Beer Brand

This month, “Willy Wonka” filmmaker Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (“Warner Bros.”) formally opposed Georgia-based South Sky Brewing Company’s (“Southern Sky”) federal trademark application for its “Golden Ticket” branded...more

The Battle of the Kylies Over the “Kylie” Trademark

In one corner, you have the 19-year-old breakout star of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner, who is making a name for herself with her cosmetics and fashion empire. In the other corner, you have the 48-year-old singer,...more

Distillations: A Toast to Champagne

Welcome to the first in a series of Distillations blog posts on Fish Trademark & Copyright Thoughts. Distillations will discuss notable decisions and developments in trademark and advertising law as they relate to the beer,...more

Specimen Showing Display of a Trademark on a Door Insufficient to Show Use of a Service Mark

On February 23, 2017, in a non-precedential opinion, the TTAB affirmed a PTO refusal of Republic National LLC’s service mark based upon the failure of its specimen to demonstrate use in connection with the covered...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

Just Like You and Me: Difficulties with Celebrity Trademark Applications

Under U.S. trademark law, any person (including a celebrity) can obtain a trademark registration for their name if they can establish that the public recognizes the name as a source identifier for certain products or...more

The PARIS BEACH CLUB Trademark. Get It?

En route to Paris for the spring conference of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group, I am contemplating trying to pay a visit to the PARIS BEACH CLUB. Paris Beach Club! Get it? It’s a joke because, as everyone of course...more

My USPQ 1 Round Up: “Confusion in Letters”

The United States Patents Quarterly has been a resource used by intellectual property lawyers for a very long time. Most of the decisions published in USPQ are patent decisions, but there are a large number of trademark...more

Standing to Enforce Foreign Trademark Rights After Belmora v. Bayer Certiorari Denial

On February 27, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, 819 F.3d 697 (4th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, __ S. Ct. __, 2017 WL 737826 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2017) (No....more

Federal Circuit Reverses Refusal of DOTBLOG Mark

The Federal Circuit recently reversed the TTAB’s refusal to register the mark DOTBLOG, which the TTAB had found to be descriptive for Internet blog search services. On the trademark distinctiveness spectrum, a mark is...more

New TTAB Rules of Practice

On Jan. 14, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Rules of Practice were amended in what the United States Patent and Trademark Office described as an effort “to benefit the public by providing for more efficiency...more

Lack of Bona Fide Intent to Use and Its Consequences According to the 6th Circuit

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an important decision about the bona fide intent requirement when filing an intent to use (“ITU”) application and the consequences when there is a lack of bona fide intent as...more

Improper Assignment of THE EMERALD CITY Mark – Registration Cancelled in Toto

Assignment of an intent-to-use trademark application can be fraught with risk. To deter “trafficking” in ITU applications, Section 10 of the Lanham Act prohibits the assignment of an ITU application before an amendment to...more

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

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