Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

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

USPTO Seeking Comment on Proposed Amendments to Trademark Rules of Practice

On April 4, 2016 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Federal Register notice asking for comments to proposed amendments to Trademark Rules of Practice. Specifically, the rules to practice before the Trademark...more

Whose Intent Matters in an Abandonment Claim?

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) granted a Petition to Cancel based on an abandonment claim involving a parent-subsidiary relationship. Floorco Enterprises applied for and received a registration for the mark NOBLE...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

The Slants’ Trademark Application Remains in Purgatory as Federal Circuit Passes on Pushing PTO to Publish

Late last year, Simon Tam and his legal team scored a big-time victory: they convinced the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (sitting en banc) that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. The Court...more

Fourth Circuit Holds No Use in the U.S. Required to Bring Claims Under the Lanham Act

On March 23, 2016, the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, 84 F. Supp. 3d 490 (E.D. Va. 2015) and remanded the case....more

T.T.A.B. Emphasizes the Fame of the Movie ‘Jaws’ in Its Refusal to Register a Cooking Show’s Mark

On March 16, 2016, the TTAB affirmed the refusals of an applicant’s mark, JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER, for online streaming cooking shows, holding that it is confusingly similar to the registered mark from the movie JAWS. Though...more

Trademark Review | March 2016

TTAB Finds a Consent Agreement Failed to Tip the Balance - Bay State Brewing Company’s intent-to-use application to register the mark TIME TRAVELER BLONDE for beer was rejected based on the previously registered mark...more

No Room at the USPTO: TTAB Rejects Booking.com Trademarks As Generic

Many online businesses prefer to use domain names that communicate as clearly and concisely as possible the types of goods and services offered on their websites. That may be good marketing strategy. But as a recent decision...more

Skippy Still Hates Peanut Butter: TTAB Denies Petition To Cancel 1947 Trademark Registration . . . Again

Two years ago in March, in honor of National Peanut Month, we recounted the truly epic struggle for the SKIPPY mark between the once-iconic cartoon character and the still-iconic peanut butter brand. The story began nearly 90...more

TTAB Retreats From Precedential Houndstooth Mafia Decision

Trademark proceedings are contentious proceedings, but the battle for registration of the HOUNDSTOOTH MAFIA trademark has been largely overshadowed by the now-ended dispute between the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)...more

Kylie Minogue v. Kylie Jenner: A TTAB Clash of Celebrities

Kylie Jenner has finally decided to step out from behind her older sisters and get to work on her own independent ventures. In furtherance of this desire, Ms. Jenner filed numerous federal trademark applications in April and...more

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