News & Analysis as of

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

SCOTUS and the Slants: Disparagement Proscription of § 2(A) of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

A unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Matal v. Tam affirmed an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional under the...more

Your trademarks now can (but needn’t) be offensive

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

If you want to — though we don’t encourage it — you can now disparage ethnic groups in your federally registered trademarks. Indeed, the Supreme Court has unanimously given you a constitutional right to select, and obtain...more

Matal v. Tam: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Prohibition on Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional under First Amendment

In a unanimous decision handed down on June 19th, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a long-standing prohibition against federal registration of “disparaging” trademarks, finding that the this provision of...more

Matal v. Tam : The Supreme Courts Sacks the Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

by Fish & Richardson on

The decision in Matal v. Tam is a resounding reaffirmation of the First Amendment freedom of speech in a commercial context. The Supreme Court has spoken loud and clear that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act (the...more

Section 2(a), a Happy-Talk Clause, Really?

We can be certain of one thing for sure, the Supreme Court’s decision today, striking down the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act will be analyzed for some time....more

How Much Fame Is Enough?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In its recent decision in Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarified the proper interpretation of the fame of the mark factor in determining whether there...more

Speedy Justice: Ttab Reverses Refusal To Register CROSBY QUIC-TAG

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in In re The Crosby Group LLC, Serial 86780353 (April 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the applicant’s CROSBY QUIC-TAG...more

The Federal Circuit Grapples With a Messy Breakup and Trademark Ownership

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit provided important guidance on the standard applicable to resolving disputes over the rightful ownership of a trademark where the mark has been used by a group of...more

Ownership of a Trademark Follows Use

In Lyons v. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, [2016-2055](June 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB cancelling Lyons’ registration of the mark THE AMERICAN...more

The Top Hits: Fashion Cases with a Big Impact

by Knobbe Martens on

Over the last year, there have been some significant trademark and copyright cases in the fashion industry. Below are summaries of recent cases all brand owners should know and understand. These cases touch on important...more

Registration of “Phantom Marks” Denied

by BakerHostetler on

“Phantom marks” are trademarks that contain a variable element, such as the mark T.MARKEY TRADEMARK EXHIBITION 2***, in which the asterisks represent elements that change to indicate different years. Trademark Manual of...more

There are Few Absolutes In Likelihood of Confusion; Apparently Fame isn’t one of Them

In Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LLC v. Fairmont Holdings, LLC, [2016-1089] (May 24, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision denying cancellation of Fairmont’s Reg. No. 4213619 on the mark...more

Grounds for Cancelling a Trademark

by Revision Legal on

How does one go about cancelling a trademark? Once a trademark is federally registered, there are two main ways in which it can be “unregistered”: abandonment and cancellation. Cancellation proceedings are similar to...more

Distillations: Respect Thy Neighbor (on the Shelf)

by Fish & Richardson on

Although it has refused to acknowledge a default rule, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) continues its recent trend of concluding that beer, wine, liquor, and other alcohol-based consumables are related for purposes...more

What Do Trademark Symbols Symbolize?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The short answer is that ™ is supposed to mean someone just thinks something is a trademark. ® is supposed to mean that a government trademarking authority has agreed that it could be a trademark and has issued a registration...more

USPTO Proposes Cheaper, Faster Cancellation Option

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office register contains a lot of dead weight. In order to obtain a trademark registration and maintain the registration, the owner must use the mark in U.S. interstate commerce (as always, with...more

USA Warriors Ice Hockey Registration Refused – No Consent, No Coexistence

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused to allow registration of a USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program mark for “arranging and conducting ice hockey programs for injured and disabled members and veterans”, finding the mark...more

How to Protect Your Trademark From Genericide

by Revision Legal on

Xerox, aspirin, thermos, and hoover were all once trademarks that lost their protected status because their names became generic. Most recently, Google’s trademark status was challenged unsuccessfully. The US Court of...more

The Katten Kattwalk | Issue 12

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

MLB: A Monopoly on “Baseball”?

The weather is finally getting warmer up here in Minnesota and it’s a great time to watch baseball, as I’ve been doing frequently of late. It’s been fun watching my home team, the Twins, enjoy a strong start to the season...more

10 Trademark Cases About Yo Mama

Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after...more

Protecting a Scent Makes Sense

by BakerHostetler on

Although seldom seen in applications or registrations, a scent that identifies the source of a good or service may be eligible for protection as a trademark. Registration of a scent mark carries many of the same requirements...more

Welcome to the (Courthouse) Hotel California

While it may be a lovely place, the Eagles are not too keen on a small hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico and its use of the name HOTEL CALIFORNIA. After opposing the hotel’s trademark application last January, the band earlier...more

Gavel to Gavel: New trademark rules streamline trial process |

by McAfee & Taft on

There’s good news for trademark owners who want to protect the value of their marks: Recent changes to the rules governing trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings have made those proceedings more efficient and...more

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

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