News & Analysis as of

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

When is July 4 this year? When is North Carolina’s FIRST TUESDAY Lottery? and Descriptiveness

In In re North Carolina Lottery, [2016-2558] (August 10, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the refusal of registration of FIRST TUESDAY in connection with lottery services and games on the first Tuesday of each month....more

Joust Do It? A New Form of Nike Battle Cry?

By now, you’re familiar with my enjoyment in capturing and sharing new billboard signage that hits the streets of the Twin Cities. Question, what tagline might have inspired this one?...more

Fresh From the Bench: Precedential Patent Cases From the Federal Circuit

This was a busy week for precedential cases at the Circuit. In AIA v. Avid, the Circuit rules that there is no right to a jury trial as to requests for attorney fees under § 285. In Romag v. Fossil, a majority rules that the...more

will.i.am: registered.u.r.not

In In re I.AM.SYMBOLIC, LLC, [2016-1507, 2016-1508, 2016-1509] (August 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB affirming the Trademark Examiner’s refusal of registration of the mark I AM on grounds of...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | August 2017 #2

Chicago SSB Tax May Cause State to Lose Federal Funding, USDA Warns - According to a warning letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax that took effect in the Chicago...more

The Federal Circuit Building’s Circuitous History

I had the opportunity this week to attend an oral argument at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington this week (#humblebrag). I quickly came to realize that, like so many things in trademark law, the...more

Cannabis Trademark Opposition: A Fanciful Counterfactual Illustration

by Revision Legal on

Parties file oppositions against pending trademark applications for a wide variety of reasons. Often, a party filing an opposition or requesting an extension of time to do so will contact the Applicant before filing or at the...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | August 2017

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has sent a letter to Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling for an investigation into the use of phthalates in food and fast-food packaging. Citing a...more

Settling the Hawkwind Trademark Flap

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing an opposition to the trademark registration of a band name, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) found the opposer—the originator and continuous user of the name—to be the owner and prior user. Dave Brock v....more

Paws Off: Remaining Members of a Group Own Their Mark

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing a dispute over ownership of a service mark between a departing member of a group and the remaining group members, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s...more

University of Miami’s “Sebastian the Ibis” Mark Is Neither a Mutilated, Nor a Phantom Mark

On June 6, 2017, the TTAB issued a precedential opinion addressing trademark mutilation and phantom marks. The University of Miami sought federal trademark registration for its mascot “Sebastian the Ibis,” describing the...more

Spotlight on Upcoming Oral Arguments – August 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - EmeraChem Holdings v. Volkswagen Group of America, No. 16-2619, Courtroom 201 - In this appeal from the PTAB, the Court will decide whether the Board erred in adopting a claim construction in...more

Who Owns that Trademark? An Incomplete Answer Voids Application

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision sustained an opposition based on the applicant’s failure to identify a co-owner at the time the application was filed, resulting in the application being declared void ab...more

Distillations: The Slants Case, Distilled

by Fish & Richardson on

Oceans of ink and zillions of electrons have been spilled commenting on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Matal v. Tam, in which the Court held that the Trademark Act’s prohibition on registration of “disparaging” marks...more

“Not So Fast,” Mr. THRILLED Daniel Snyder

Lee Corso (former coach and ESPN football analyst) frequently utters this famous sports media catchphrase on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program: “Not so fast, my friend!”...more

Advertising Law - July 2017 #3

Twitter Working to Limit Fake Stories, Accounts - In an effort to combat fake accounts, false stories and other abuses, Twitter is considering the use of a new feature to let users flag Tweets that contain misleading,...more

The First Amendment Protects The Trademark Registrability Of THE SLANTS And THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS Irrespective Of Political...

by Weintraub Tobin on

In 2014, the Washington Redskins lost a battle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) where the petitioner, a group of Native American activists, sought cancellation of the “Washington Redskins” trademark, which...more

What is a Trademark Cancellation Proceeding?

by Revision Legal on

A trademark cancellation proceeding is an administrative proceeding, similar to a civil federal lawsuit, before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in which one party requests that a registered trademark be cancelled....more

“All Expenses Paid” Is No Trip to the E.D. Va. for Patent and Trademark Applicants

by BakerHostetler on

On June 23, 2017, the Federal Circuit confirmed in Nantkwest, Inc. v. Matal (No. 2016-1794) that patent applicants facing rejection from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) may seek relief in the Eastern District of...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

How to Avoid Mutilating Your Trademark

by Knobbe Martens on

In a recent precedential decision, In re University of Miami, Serial No. 86616382 (T.T.A.B. June 6, 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”) clarified the scope of the doctrine of trademark mutilation....more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Fame of a Mark Must Be Considered Along a Spectrum

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the standard for fame of a trademark, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, finding that the TTAB used an incorrect standard in its...more

Shocking Trademarks May Now Be Viable, But Medical Marijuana Marks Remain an Impossible Dream

by Baker Donelson on

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down as unconstitutional the ban on disparaging trademark registrations, but that doesn’t mean a dispensary can get a federal trademark registration. The Supreme Court’s June 19...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

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