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 -
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Fan pages and social media – who shall be blamed?

Internet liability are increasingly tested with the growth of social media. And we receive a large number of requests of advice from clients running a fan page, a group or a list on social networks dedicated to either their...more

The Haunted History of the Hallowine Trademark

Brewers, distillers, and vintners are no strangers to themed seasonal offerings, so it’s not surprising that Halloween brings out some decidedly decrepit monikers. From PUMPKINHEAD (think reaping) to NOSFERATU, WITCH’S WIT...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

Status Updates - October 2014 #12

..Unfree speech? In the United States, the First Amendment would likely prevent the prosecution of someone who posted racist or anti-Semitic messages on a social media platform. But social media platforms operate worldwide,...more

Counterfeit Goods: Has the War on ISPs Just Gotten Tougher?

The pressure on ISPs to take responsibility for the sites accessible through their services has been growing in recent years (e.g., the requirement for certain ISPs to block filesharing sites). On October 17, 2014, the High...more

Guide To Doing Business in New Zealand: Intellectual Property

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - There are a variety of laws dealing with the protection of intellectual property in New Zealand. These laws permit the creation of legal rights to the exclusive use or ownership of copyright...more

Trademark Review - Philips Electric Toothbrush and McSweet

MCSWEET Gets Pickled: The Board Refuses Registration of MCSWEET for Pickled Vegetables on the Grounds of Confusingly Similarity to, and Likely Dilution of,McDonald’s Family of “MC” Marks - McSweet, LLC filed...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

When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain...more

Distinguishing License Agreements from Franchise Arrangements

MGDC Management Group v. Marilyn Monroe Estate, 2014 ONSC 4584 provides some guidance on the distinction between franchise agreements and license agreements. However, the ruling falls short of providing a clear framework for...more

Aggie-ravating Trademark Issues with College Mascots

Colleges serve an important role in American society, providing education, experience and leadership to each new generation. Also, sports. And did I mention SPORTS? Regardless of the reason (cable?), college sports have...more

How Health Care Providers Can Avoid Common Intellectual Property Mistakes

Intellectual property can be some of the most valuable assets any business, including a health care provider (“Provider”) has. Adequately protecting this intellectual property can increase the value of the Provider’s business...more

Legal FAQ: Section 337 Investigations Before the International Trade Commission

What types of intellectual property claims can be brought before the International Trade Commission? - The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) investigates claims of unfair competition under Section 337 of the...more

Don’t Be Confused: The Washington Football Team Still Owns Rights in the REDSKINS Trademark

The Washington Redskins football team (“Washington”) recently appealed the cancellation of its federal registrations for its REDSKINS trademarks to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. When the...more

Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s Trademark Lawsuit

Whether you love, hate, or are indifferent to the Kardashian franchise, the Kardashian sisters undeniably know how to market and brand themselves and their products. In December 2012, the Kardashian sisters hoped to...more

Use as a verb not always the kiss of death for trademarks: Elliot v. Google

Use of a trademark as a verb is an oft-cited example of trademarks becoming generic, and frequently used as an easy case of “genericide” by legal textbook authors (not to mention legal bloggers). The owners of famous...more

Amy, Whatcha Wanna Do (About this TM)?

As we start to think about welcoming in the weekend, why don’t we all hum this Pure Prairie League tune, while viewing this image and reading this very brief blog post...more

International v domestic US trademark registrations: pick your poison

The USPTO’s statistics for the year to date report that just 2.6% of international trademark applications (Madrid) are approved upon first action, compared to 34.1% of applications via TEAS Plus and 17% by TEAS. For...more

Beer Is Not the New Wine: USPTO Again Rejects Beer Trademark Citing Wine Mark

As the number of craft breweries and craft beer brands grow, many breweries are finding it increasingly difficult to register their marks, not necessarily because there are many new beer trademarks filed with the USPTO (which...more

Gibson Guitar Facing 15 Trademark Opposers

A brand owner’s non-traditional trademark application will sometimes gain the critical attention of multiple direct competitors. Gibson Guitar’s unlucky number is apparently fifteen....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

Georgia State Academic Fair Use Decision Vacated by 11th Circuit: A (Relatively) Quick Read for the Busy Practitioner

Last Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded the Northern District of Georgia’s 350-page fair use analysis of the electronic reserves practices at Georgia State University (“GSU”). Although this...more

A Black Hole in the Distinctiveness Continuum for U.S. Trademark Applications

Marks that border the line that divides descriptive from generic often topple into a virtual “black hole” on the distinctiveness continuum. The owner of such a mark may be required to meet an indefinite threshold of proof to...more

“Look and Feel” of a Website can Constitute Protectable Trade Dress

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Ingrid & Isabel, LLC v. Baby Be Mine, LLC, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, 2014 WL 4954656 (N.D. Cal. 2014), in reviewing the arguments before it, attempted...more

Targeting an Old Liquor Store

When I moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin to go to college, among the local customs that I had to get acclimated to were the revulsion against the word “pop” for carbonated beverages named “soda;” hearing classmates say “I...more

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