Trademarks United States Patent and Trademark Office

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

USPTO's New Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules Take Effect Soon

Next month, the procedural rules governing trademark registration disputes are changing. They present new strategic considerations for brand owners protecting their trademark rights. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Correction – Let’s Amend This Trademark: Part Five of Our Trademark Series

In our previous four articles in our trademark series, we discussed mandatory and optional filings for maintaining and protecting your marks, in order to avoid abandonment or cancellation. The final segment of our trademark...more

A Day Late And A Dollar Short – Court Grants Summary Judgment On Laches Defense

Order Granting Summary Judgment On Dropbox Laches Claims, Dropbox, Inc. v. Thru Inc., Case No. 15-cv-01741-EMC (Judge Edward M. Chen) - The proverb “[e]quity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones” aptly describes the...more

A Tale Of Two Hats: Trademark “Use In Commerce” Expanded In A Potentially Game-Changing Decision

Our readers no doubt understand that trademark use is the basis for trademark protection in the U.S. But all use is not created equal, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell whether a trademark is actually used in a manner...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 4

What Happens After My Application is Filed? After your application is filed, you should receive an email from the USPTO confirming the submission. In a few business days, the USPTO will confirm the application has the...more

USPTO Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Its Right to Deny “Offensive” Trademarks

I previously wrote about a Supreme Court case pitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act against the First Amendment, the Federal Circuit, the Slants and, lurking in the...more

10 Key Intellectual Property Issues for M&A Deals

Intellectual property (IP) issues are increasingly important factors in merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions. Of the various industry sector transactions included in recent American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law...more

Palate Pleasing Zucchinis Dominate Squash Patenting

With Halloween over and Thanksgiving looming, recipes for butternut squash soup abound while caved-in pumpkin faces rot away in back alleys. For all their exotic shapes and colors, winter squashes remain tethered to autumnal...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks – Part 3

Have you used your mark in commerce and what is the impact of that? If you are already selling your product or service with the mark on it, you are “using” your mark in commerce. As a result, you will need to provide...more

Half Baked: The Brave New World of Branding Weed

In last week’s election, California voters passed Prop 64, which means recreational marijuana can be sold and used by persons over 21 within the state. But don’t get excited about the gold rush just yet. Recreational...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 2

Do I trademark my name, my logo or both? You can register just your name, your logo, or you can do both. The logo and the name constitute two separate trademark registrations and would require two separate payments to...more

Trademark Law Update: SCOTUS to Decide Whether Ban on Registering “Disparaging Marks” Is Unconstitutional

Under section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may refuse to register any trademark that “[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 1

In the most general sense, getting a trademark protects your brand. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another. By...more

Your Trademark on Steroids - Making Your Trademark Registration Stronger

In our previous articles we discussed ways in which trademarks are maintained and protected through filings that are mandatory and which filings would result in abandonment or cancellation if not timely...more

What's Happening with the Redskins Case?

For the past few years, the first question us trademark lawyers get asked at cocktail parties is, “What’s going to happen to the REDSKINS trademark?” – and now lawyers and football enthusiasts will have to wait until at least...more

New TTAB Rules for Trademark Lawyers

Trademark lawyers across the country should take note of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) first major set of Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) rule changes since 2007. The amended rules take effect on...more

To Search or Not to Search

Inditex – the parent company of fashion giant Zara – sued a small New York-based brand over the use of the mark Zara Terez (“ZT”). Zara Terez was launched in 2008 by friends Zara Terez Tisch and Amanda Schabes. The complaint...more

USPTO Publishes Amendments to Trademark Rules of Practice

On October 7, 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published a Federal Register Notice of Final Rulemaking amending the Trademark Rules of Practice that govern practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

Recommind Challenges CAL Patent: eDiscovery Trends

How do you like them apples? After they were the subject of much scrutiny five years ago regarding their attempt to trademark “predictive coding” (only to eventually abandon it), Recommind (now OpenText after they were...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

No Post-Trial “Bait-and-Switch” on Legal Theory

In a trademark infringement dispute, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that a district court abused its discretion in allowing the plaintiff to argue that the defendant failed to prove continuous of use of...more

Intellectual Property Overview For Agribusiness

A company’s greatest assets may be its intellectual property. Properly protecting such assets then may be the key to continued success. Below are some questions to consider as a health check for your IP assets. 1....more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Don’t Be Offended: Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Offensive Trademark Ban Violates First Amendment

The United States Supreme Court, on September 29, 2016, granted certiorari in a case involving petitioner Simon Tam, his band, The Slants, and the band’s attempt to register their band name as a trademark. Commentators...more

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