Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Hears Trademark Cases on the Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions and the Tacking Doctrine

In its October 2014 term, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in two trademark cases. Both cases have practical significance for trademark litigants because they have the potential to change the way parties approach...more

BLACKHAWK Down: Registration Refused Based on Relatedness of Wine & Beer

While the Minnesota state legislature ponders whether consumers should be able to purchase liquor on Sundays within the state, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has once again concluded that consumers are...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

Trademark Review - December 2014

The TTAB Sets the Rules for Pleading Abandonment of a Section 66(a) Registration - VENM seeks registration of the mark VENM for dance costumes. Dragon Bleu opposed registration of VENM’s mark based on 3 earlier...more

Trademark Trends: Back-to-Back Arguments in Trademark Cases at SCOTUS

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in trademark cases on consecutive days this month. On December 2, 2014, the issue of whether a finding by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of likelihood of confusion precludes...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q4 2014

KIMBLE V. MARVEL ENTERPRISES, INC. Patent Licensing - Cert. Pending - Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects...more

You May Not Be Entitled To Use Your Own Name

Working with several artisan food and alcohol producers as clients, we frequently notice that using one’s own name (first, last, or both) as a brand name in association with one’s goods is very common in these industries....more

Channeling Justice Ginsburg of U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Register a Trademark

We sounded the alarm exactly six months ago about a trademark case of great importance to brand owners: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case, and here is...more

Good(s) Intentions – What's Enough to Establish Bona Fide Intent to Use?

When used effectively, brand and merchandise licensing can increase the value of a brand by extending it into new, relevant product categories and by further monetizing brand equity. And when seeking to protect a brand in...more

Look Beyond the Registration to Determine Likelihood of Confusion

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's recent decision in Anthropologie, Inc. and Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc. v. Happy Green Company LLC is a good reminder of why, when...more

Trademark Cases Pending Before the U.S. Supreme Court

In December, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on two trademark cases: B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. and Hana Financial v. Hana Bank. These cases address the issues of whether a...more

Trademark Misperceptions Revealed By Reaction to Redskins Decision

I can’t define disparagement, but I know it when I see it… On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the judicial body that provides review to all Federal trademark filings and disputes relating...more

A Familiar Riff: Gibson's Trade Dress Application Once Again Asks Whether a Guitar Body Shape Can Indicate Source

In the same way that Rock and Roll will never die (according to Neil Young) it would appear that battles over the protection of trade dress embodied in the shape of guitars will likewise never die. In the latest installment...more

Reeejected!

Think an undefended opposition proceeding is a slam dunk, then you better think again. In Emminence, LLC v. Lisa Kelly, Opposition No. 91205286 (October 8, 2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed an opposition...more

Dawn of the Dead Trademarks

When you think of Cinderella, do you automatically picture the beloved Disney princess with the golden locks and light blue dress, accompanied by a loyal band of talking cartoon mice? If so, you might agree with the Trademark...more

The PTO vs. The Phantom Marks: A Ghost Story

Don’t read this one before bed. As autumn sets in and Halloween approaches, my mind turns to jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and phantoms. Phantom marks, that is. Equally incorporeal though perhaps somewhat less...more

Trademark Trial Appeal Board Sustains Fraud Claim

On September 30, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a precedential opinion in favor of a Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney client, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. The...more

Amici Weigh in With SCOTUS on Likelihood of Confusion Determinations by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

As we reported in our July 2 client alert, the Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari seeking a determination of whether likelihood of confusion findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") are...more

Supreme Court Will Decide Level of Deference, If Any, Given to TTAB Decisions Concerning Likelihood of Confusion

On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the Eighth Circuit’s decision in the case B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis, Inc. (2013). B&B Hardware owns a registered mark for SEALTIGHT for self-sealing nuts and...more

Surviving a trademark opposition challenge: do you have a true "intent-to-use"? 5 key tips

Unlike the vast majority of jurisdictions around the world, under the US Trademark Act, only someone “who has a bona fide intention, under circumstances showing the good faith of such person, to use a trademark in commerce...more

TTAB’s Washington Redskins Decision: the Enforceability and Commercial Impact of Cancelled Trademarks

The cancellation of a U.S. trademark registration on any grounds, including disparagement, does not always mean the end of enforceable rights in the mark. However, cancellation may create both legal and financial...more

I’m Gumby Dammit — A Flexible Trademark?

The Minnesota History Center is currently promoting its Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibit — my favorite promotional billboard is the one captured above, featuring none other than Gumby....more

Target prevents registration of mark with three-ring design

In Target Brands Inc v Artificer Life Corp (Opposition Nos 91206421 and 91206422), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has upheld Target Brands Inc’s opposition against the registration of a trademark containing a...more

Redskins Appeal TTAB Ruling

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Washington Redskins filed a much-anticipated appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of a June Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision which resulted in...more

Cert Alert: Is TTAB Decision on Likelihood of Confusion Preclusive?

B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (in turn affirming a district court decision) finding the mark...more

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