News & Analysis as of

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

State of Michigan Lacks Standing in M22 Case

by Revision Legal on

On April 21, 2017, Western District of Michigan Judge Gordon J. Quist ruled the State of Michigan lacks standing in a declaratory judgment action to declare the use and registration of federally registered marks are unlawful....more

No Bull: Acquired Distinctiveness Is Not a Given

by BakerHostetler on

The Trademark Trial & Appeal Board recently issued a nonprecedential decision that serves as a good reminder that distinctiveness is not automatically acquired simply by long-standing use. Klickitat Valley Chianina, LLC,...more

Distillations: Madonna is Not Impressed

by Fish & Richardson on

Any business marketing a new consumer product wants to give their creation a snappy and memorable name, and craft brewers in particular seem especially fond of names with puns and pop culture references. But wittiness, alas,...more

Opportunity May Not Knock Without the Right Door

When seeking particular services, consumers are often drawn into a business based on branding and advertising found near the location – whether by signage on or around the establishment, or by glimpses of the services being...more

Marijuanaville v. Margaritaville: Registering Trademarks For Chemically Induced Mental Paradises

Although marijuana is becoming legal to varying degrees in an increasing number of states, your chances of getting a marijuana trademark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are still grim. In...more

Distillations: A Rum Thing

by Fish & Richardson on

The first time this blogger wrote about the HAVANA CLUB trademark dispute, it was for the November/December issue of World Trademark Review in 2006. Even then, it was a long-running and complicated feud. I wrote at the...more

HAVANA CLUB: The Rum’s Back on Ice

Last year, I blogged about the decades-long dispute for the HAVANA CLUB trademark in the United States. Nearly ten months later, well, its spirit lives on....more

Distillations: A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

by Fish & Richardson on

Today’s upstart craft brewer/distiller/vintner might naturally want to name her new creation (whether the name of the company itself or a distinct product) after herself. The existence of brands such as GALLO, BUSCH,...more

TEQUILA Can Be Registered As a Certification Mark

On January 23, 2017, the TTAB dismissed Luxco, Inc.’s opposition to the registration of TEQUILA as a certification mark. Trademark applicant Consejo Regulador del Tequila, A.C. is a Mexican industry group and is the only...more

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

by Jones Day on

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

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

by Klein Moynihan Turco LLP on

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

by Fish & Richardson on

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

by McDermott Will & Emery on

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

by Jones Day on

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

by BakerHostetler on

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

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

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

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

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

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

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

by McDermott Will & Emery on

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

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