Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 10

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Please see full Newsletter below for more information....more

Miss Trademark USA: Beauty Pageant Naming Disputes

Just this month, two disputes over the trademark rights to beauty pageant names were resolved, pending appeal. In World Pageants LLC v. Miss G-String International LLC, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) dismissed...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

The Distinctiveness Threshold for Stylization of Descriptive Marks

In a recent TTAB case, the Board considered whether a stylization of a descriptive term supports registration on the Principal Register. The short answer? It depends....more

Raise a Glass to the Single Dispositive DuPont Factor

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) reiterating its determination that a single DuPont factor, such as the dissimilarity of the marks, can be...more

Trademarks in Building Designs

Think twice before including a landmark building on your product packaging. That’s the lesson of a recent case in the U.S. Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”). There the applicant, a producer of...more

In the Weeds Between Federal and State Law: Brand Name for Legal Marijuana Sales Denied Federal Registration

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed a USPTO refusal to register the trademark HERBAL ACCESS on the basis the use of the mark in commerce was unlawful under the Controlled Substances...more

The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown

The recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, In re Morgan Brown, (Herbal Access) denied registration for the Herbal Access mark for a retail store legally selling marijuana products in Washington state. The...more

Half-baked Specimens Doom HERBAL ACCESS Application at TTAB

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) has drawn a line in the sand for legal purveyors of marijuana seeking federal trademark registrations. In its first ever precedential decision in a case involving...more

The Pleads Of The Many: 50 Years of Star Trek Lawsuits

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of the original series of Star Trek, which first aired on NBC in September 1966. On July 22, this milestone will be marked in earnest when Paramount Pictures releases...more

Cannabis Trademark Strategy in Jeopardy

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Trademark Office (TTAB) just rejected a popular strategy for protecting cannabis-related marks at the federal level. Many forward-thinking cannabis businesses have applied to...more

USPTO Keeps the Door Locked for Marijuana-related Services

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states, including four states that have also legalized recreational use (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington). On Nov. 8, California voters will have a chance to make their...more

Standard Character Trademark Overbreadth

When we hear the word “overbreadth” in close connection with the word “trademark,” the often discussed “trademark bullying” topic will frequently come to mind. Yet, discussions about “trademark overbreadth” are not...more

“Churrascos” Is Generic for Restaurant Services

On appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register a stylized form of the mark CHURRASCOS for restaurant services, finding that...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Empire State Building Trademark Owner Vanquishes Beer Logo Design

Can you trademark a building design? You can if the building in question is the Empire State Building. In the film classic King Kong, the iconic art deco building is the site of a titanic battle between Kong and the military...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - June 2016

The June 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses the rise in additional specimen requests from the USPTO, examines the TTAB's decision in In re Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc., and notes...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

MAYA And MAYARI Are Not Confusingly Similar When Used On Wine

The Federal Circuit has upheld the findings of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that use of the marks MAYA and MAYARI on wine is not likely to cause confusion. Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. vs. Georgallis Holdings, LLC,...more

DICKMAN’S Pickles: Just Another Unregistrable Surname

The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has, again, explained how and when surnames may function as trademarks. In re Enumclaw Farms LLC, Application Serial No. 85942195 (TTAB June 24, 2016). ...more

Federal Circuit Rules that MAYA Trademark for Wine is “Sufficiently Dissimilar” from MAYARI Wine

On appeal from the U.S Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”), the Federal Circuit ruled on June 24th that consumers are not likely to confuse the trademarks MAYA and MAYARI with respect to wine. Georgallis Holdings,...more

A Favorite New York Landmark Deemed a Famous Trademark

It is not easy to establish fame for purposes of showing a likelihood of dilution by blurring. Owner of the Empire State Building marks rose to the challenge in a recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“the...more

Trademark Review | June 2016

Coca-Cola has Acquired Secondary Meaning in ZERO for Colas - In an opposition proceeding before the TTAB, Royal Crown (RC) and Dr. Pepper/Seven Up sought to prevent registration of seventeen applications filed by...more

A Mark Should be Considered a Whole, and not Dissected

In Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. v. Georgallis Holdings, LLC, [2016-1103] the Federal Circuit affirmed the TTAB’s finding that Oakville’s registered mark MAYA and Georgallis’s applied-for mark MAYARI are sufficiently...more

Grapes, Girls and Goddesses: Federal Circuit Affirms MAYARI Trademark Registration For Wine

In our annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer, we discussed Oakville Hills Cellar v. Georgallis Holdings LLC, in which the application of Georgallis (doing business as Kissos Wines) to register MAYARI for wine was opposed by...more

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