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 -
News & Analysis as of

Trademark Review | April 2016

Broad JAWS Registration Devours JAWS Cooking Channel - Mr. Recipe’s applications to register the marks JAWS and JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER were refused based on the earlier registration for JAWS, the movie. Mr. Recipe’s...more

In re Tam Redux Redux: Redskins Petition for Certiorari, Trying to Skip 4th Cir.

In response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) petition for writ of certiorari in to the U.S. Supreme Court In re Tam (“THE SLANTS” case), the owners of the Washington Redskins filed their own...more

Draft Report on Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements

Australia’s Productivity Commission has released a draft report regarding intellectual property (IP) in Australia. The draft report covers various IP rights and provides the Commission’s draft findings and recommendations in...more

"Brexit Bites": Intellectual Property

This is the fifth in our series of "Brexit Bites" which focuses on Intellectual Property. A Brexit would in all likelihood have a significant impact upon intellectual property legislation, much of which derives from the...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - April 2016

The April 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses (1) the evolving nature of the USPTO's U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual, and how to use this document to craft better...more

Prince in Perpetuity: Preserving a Legacy through Trademarks

Art often lives on long after the artist, serving as the artist’s legacy for generations. After an extraordinary career, Prince Rogers Nelson, suddenly passed away on April 21, 2016. He leaves a legacy of undisputable...more

Living Like a Prince, but not Dying Like One

The media seems to be concerned with two primary subjects lately, and both topics continue to trounce each other in turn on social networks for attention: 1. The presidential elections 2. The death of Prince,...more

Fowling Proprietor Gets Bonked -- Lessons in Avoiding Loss of Trademark Rights

Will Rogers once said “Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.” While he surely didn’t intend it that way, this is sage advice to incipient trademark owners. Consider, if you will, the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The March To The Supreme Court

This week saw developments in the two cases challenging the application of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act to their registration: In re Tam and Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc....more

Who’s Got PRINCE Control?

My home state of Minnesota prides itself primarily on three things: our ability to withstand our winters, our 10,000 lakes, and our dearly beloved Prince. While we take a beating when it comes to our sports teams, all of...more

Vacation rental websites create difficult choices for hotels

In just a few years, vacation rental websites have exploded onto the scene, commanding a significant market presence in the hospitality industry and redefining traditional “vacation rentals.” In particular, websites like...more

An Intellectual Property Primer for Franchisors

Intellectual property is a core asset of any franchisor. In fact, intellectual property is important to virtually all businesses. For some companies, it’s their most valuable asset. A basic knowledge of intellectual property...more

Trademark Series: Confusion (Part 2)

By Richard Stobbe So much confusion, so little time. The Trade-marks Act teaches us that the use of one trade-mark causes confusion with another trade-mark if the use of both trade-marks in the same area would likely lead to...more

Tougher Oversight Needed on Harms of Medical Devices

Problems with medical devices contribute to 3,000 Americans’ deaths annually, research shows, and fixing any one of the problem devices can cost hundreds of millions. So why aren’t government officials doing more and better...more

Launch of New Generic Top Level Domains .store and .shopping

From time to time, new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) become available for registration. Among the many gTLDs newly available is .store. This gTLD is intended to provide brand owners with a domain that is instantly...more

In re Tam Redux: The PTO seeks Certiorari

On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Federal Circuit seeking Supreme Court review of that Court’s decision in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1001...more

Ninth Circuit Decision Finds Side-By-Side Medical Results Charts Arguably Non-Functional and Protectable Trade Dress

The Ninth Circuit recently considered whether the layout of a medical report can be protected as trade dress under the Lanham Act, or whether the layout of a report is merely functional. The subject case, Millennium...more

Trademark Series: Confusion (Part 1)

A interesting Report on Business article by the founder of a Canadian business is useful as a cautionary tale about brand confusion (see: I was outraged when Sobey’s rebranded its chain with the same name as my company). The...more

USPTO to SCOTUS: SOS on the Lanham Act ASAP

On April 20, 2016, the USPTO made it official: It formally requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the en banc Federal Circuit decision that held Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. At issue...more

What’s That Sound? It Might Just Be a Trademark.

Trademarks are not only words or logos, but can come in many other forms, including sounds. In the words of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in the case In re Gen. Electric Broad. Co., 199 USPQ 560, 563 (TTAB 1978),...more

Yet Another Trademark Based on My?

Love the new bold look of the Mello Yello can, and it’s hard to miss the prominent abbreviation to MY, along with the trademark assertion: This is My World. Actually, as we have written before, there are more than a few...more

FLANAX: Protecting Foreign Marks from US Unfair Competition Under Section 43(a)

In today’s increasingly global economy, trademark owners are more frequently butting up against the territorial limitations of trademark law. It has long been a matter of black letter law that trademark rights are...more

Having The “Are You Operating an (Illegal) Franchise System Without Knowing It?” Conversation

Franchising laws are very broad in scope and may inadvertently encroach upon standard licensing or distribution agreements. The repercussions for operating an illegal (or more likely inadvertent) franchise system can be very...more

Supreme Court Battle Set Over Prohibition of Disparaging Trademarks

Section 2(a) of the Lanham act bars the registration of “scandalous, immoral or disparaging trademarks.” The USPTO has used this applied this provision to refuse the registration of marks such as F**K PROJECT, PORNO JESUS,...more

Trademark Series: Deviations!

The adage “use it or lose it” captures the essence of the ongoing requirement to put a trademark into commercial use. If you abandon your mark, you effectively give up your trademark rights. The corollary is to “use it as...more

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