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Trademarks

A Trademark is a legally registered distinctive mark or sign which identifies goods, products or services that originate or are associated with a particular person or enterprise . A typical example of a trademark... more +
A Trademark is a legally registered distinctive mark or sign which identifies goods, products or services that originate or are associated with a particular person or enterprise . A typical example of a trademark would be a company's logo such as the Nike "Check" or McDonald's "Golden Arches."  less -

What’s in a name? Alleviating Confusion About Trademarks

by PilieroMazza PLLC on

“You ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ I answer, ‘Just about everything you do.’” – Morris Mandel - The name of your company is important. It is the proper noun that identifies the company. It is the official name under which the...more

Supreme Court Rules “Disparagement Clause” of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the 70-year-old federal ban on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional. The “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act prohibits registration of trademarks “which may disparage...more

Siding with The Slants: Ban on Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional

by Jones Day on

Asian rock band The Slants is no longer "The Band Who Must Not Be Named," as they titled their most recent album. On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Matal v. Tam, striking a provision of the Lanham Act,...more

“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights

by Field Law on

A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service....more

Supreme Court Holds that First Amendment Protects Disparaging Trademarks

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized the importance of broad free speech protection in striking down a statute that allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse registration of disparaging trademarks....more

Captain Morgan Defeats Admiral Nelson in a Rum Branding Battle

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The victory in the fight between two rum competitors demonstrates that unregistered trade dress rights are alive and well in Canada, admissible survey evidence remains a useful tool for proving confusion, and a competing...more

Your New ®Ight To Disparage – A Look Inside “The Slants” Lanham Act Decision

by McCarter & English, LLP on

The Federal trademark statute’s more-than-60-year prohibition on registering trademarks that may be viewed as disparaging goes out the window with the United States Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision. The Court ruled...more

Slanting Toward The End Of The Commercial Speech Doctrine

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Amid the hullabaloo over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Matal v. Tam, a much broader and potentially more significant development might be overlooked. It shouldn’t be. The case involved Simon Tam’s band...more

Captain Morgan makes Admiral Nelson’s walk the plank

by Smart & Biggar on

Smart & Biggar prevails at trial on behalf of Diageo in trade dress case. On June 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its 99-page decision in Diageo Canada Inc v Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc et al, 2017 FC 571. The Court...more

The Supreme Court Holds the Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

In a closely watched decision, the eight participating members of the Supreme Court unanimously held that the so-called disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. The high-profile case of Matan v....more

4 Common Reasons for a Trademark Registration Refusal

by Revision Legal on

When someone applies for a federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is possible for the trademark registration application to be refused. While this is often disappointing,...more

SCOTUS: Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act Violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment

On June 19, 2017, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the...more

Supreme Court Holds Entities May Register Disparaging Trademarks

by Morgan Lewis on

The Lanham Act’s restriction on trademarks that disparage persons living or dead violates the First Amendment. Though the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sometimes reversed its position on whether a...more

Victory for The Slants and Redskins: Supreme Court Okays Offensive Trademarks

This week, the United States Supreme Court settled the issue of whether an offensive name, in this case, an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants,” can properly be registered as a trademark. The Court’s conclusion?...more

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

Supreme Court Finds Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional Under First Amendment

by BakerHostetler on

In a victory for the Asian-American rock band The Slants, the Supreme Court ruled on June 19 that the ban on the registration of disparaging trademarks under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. The...more

“Giving Offense is a Viewpoint”: Supreme Court Holds It Is Viewpoint Discrimination to Deny Trademark Protection for Allegedly...

by Dickinson Wright on

In a decision that is being heralded as a victory for First Amendment freedoms, the United States Supreme Court struck down the so-called disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), on the basis that the...more

Lack of Distinctiveness as an Obstacle for EUTM Registration

by K&L Gates LLP on

The distinctiveness of a trademark is one of the conditions for obtaining a European Union trade mark (“EUTM”) registration. The concept of a trademark is defined through the prism of distinctiveness as its inherent...more

Supreme Court Rocks the Trademark Office in “Slants” Case

by Fenwick & West LLP on

After a streak of six patent decisions uniformly overruling the Federal Circuit, and for the first time all term, the Supreme Court finally handed the Federal Circuit a win this week. In its landmark ruling in Matal v. Tam...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

by Fish & Richardson on

The Supreme Court on Monday in Matal v. Tam unanimously struck down part of a 70-year old federal trademark law, holding that it violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Simon Tam leads a four-person band....more

SCOTUS Strikes Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

by Reed Smith on

Earlier this week, a unanimous but fractured Supreme Court ruled that a controversial provision in the Lanham Act prohibiting the registration of trademarks that disparage “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or...more

A Good Day for Free Speech Advocates: Supreme Court Holds Unconstitutional Federal Trademark Law’s Anti-Disparagement Provision

by Snell & Wilmer on

In Matal v. Tam, the United States Supreme Court held unconstitutional, under the First Amendment, the “disparagement clause” of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which permits denial of a trademark registration application by the United...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Statute Banning Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously held that a portion of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), the Lanham Act provision that prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . persons, living or...more

In Victory for The Slants, U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause

In Matal v. Tam, the United States Supreme Court struck a provision of the Lanham Act that has been used to deny federal registration of trademarks deemed disparaging to “persons, . . . institutions, beliefs, or national...more

Supreme Court: Disparaging Speech Protected By First Amendment Lanham Section 2(a) Unconstitutional: A Win for the Slants and the...

In a unanimous (albeit fractured) decision written by Justice Alito, the United States Supreme struck down a provision of the Lanham (Trademark) Act barring registration of “disparaging” trademarks, handing a victory to...more

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