Use in Commerce

News & Analysis as of

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

USPTO launches new proof of use audit program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new program that will require some trademark owners to submit more “specimens” (i.e., proof of use) and information than was required in the past. As a...more

The Five Year Divide: Limited Recourse to Cancel Registrations, Even Those Void Ab Initio

The Sixth Circuit recently issued an opinion in NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group, LLC Inc. (unpublished), holding that where a trademark registration is incontestable, it may not be cancelled on the ground that it was void ab...more

Improper Assignment of THE EMERALD CITY Mark – Registration Cancelled in Toto

Assignment of an intent-to-use trademark application can be fraught with risk. To deter “trafficking” in ITU applications, Section 10 of the Lanham Act prohibits the assignment of an ITU application before an amendment to...more

Evaluating The USPTO’s Efforts To Clean Up The U.S. Trademark Register

An ongoing issue for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been the number of trademark registrations where registrants do not actually use or intend to use their marks on all of the goods and services...more

US Patent & Trademark Office Issues New Trademark Use Rule

On January 19, 2017 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register introducing new requirements for declarations of use in commerce filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the...more

Patriots Granted Registrations for “Perfect Season” That Never Was

Regardless of which team you were rooting for, this year’s Super Bowl (a/k/a the Big Game) was an exciting one to watch, with the Patriots making a surprising comeback in the second half, racking up 31 consecutive points to...more

NASCAR Brand Gasoline at a Pump Near You?

With the Strafford Publications webinar later today discussing the Lanham Trademark Act’s “Use in Commerce” requirement, with some of my favorite panelists no less, the topic has been on my mind, even when pumping gas into my...more

A Trademark Use in Commerce Story: Bonobos Buzz and a Two for One Specimen?

There are at least two kinds of buzz converging at the moment (perhaps three), especially for fashion forward and fit oriented trademark types here in Minneapolis....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: John Madden Football, Rhett Butler and the Commerce Clause

Copyright Opinions - Absence of Source Code for Video Games Results in JMOL of Non-Infringement: Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 14-15298 (9th Cir. Nov. 22, 2016). Hurwitz, J. In a suit for royalties on EA's...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

“Use in Commerce”: Look Before You Leap

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, With Leave to Amend, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, LLC, et al. v. Treasury Wine Estates Americas Co., 16-cv-04922-RS (Judge Richard Seeborg) - Plaintiffs in trademark cases may be tempted to...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

Is Your Intent-to-Use Trademark Application Vulnerable?

A common misunderstanding about trademark law involves what is actually necessary in order to “own” a trademark. There are a number of requirements that many companies miss if the company doesn’t do its research or hire an...more

Such a Nasty Trademark

After the last presidential debate, the Republican nominee’s “such a nasty woman” utterance led to somewhat of a rallying cry. Within minutes, #Nastywoman was trending across social media, and streaming of Janet Jackson’s...more

Trade-Marks in Canada: Proper Use and Maintenance

Proper usage is essential to protecting and maintaining valuable rights in trade-marks. The general rule is ‘use it or lose it’: unless a trade-mark is actually used continuously in connection with products or services,...more

A new NHL team: The Las Vegas Silver (or Desert) (or Golden) Knights

Have you heard about the NHL’s newest, not-yet-fully-named hockey team, based in Las Vegas? Although the team’s inaugural season will not begin until October 2017, season tickets have already sold out. This exciting news was...more

Trademarks, Service Marks, and Trade Dress: Key Facts and Pitfalls to Avoid

1. The Difference Between a Trademark, Service Mark, and Trade Dress. A trademark is any word, term, phase, symbol, logo, design, shape, tag line, background, color, scent, sound, device, or combination thereof that...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Trader Joe’s Federal Trademark Claims Brought In Washington Against “Pirate Joe’s” Operating In Canada

In Trader Joe’s Company v. Michael Norman Hallatt, the Ninth Circuit recently found that Trader Joe’s allegations of infringing conduct occurring within Canada supported a cognizable claim under the Lanham Act....more

Litigation Alert: The Ninth Circuit Leaves Pirate Joe’s Saying “Shiver Me Timbers!”

Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined a court had jurisdiction to decide a trademark lawsuit filed by a U.S. grocery store against a Canadian reseller where the products at issue were only...more

Maintaining Your Trademark Registrations-Part 2

Once you have obtained a U.S federal trademark registration, you must take certain steps to maintain the registration or else you risk losing your trademark protection. In this article, we discuss a key step in maintaining...more

Trademark Red Tape: Post-Registration Proof Pilot To Go Permanent

USPTO Red TapeRegular readers of the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog and our Trademark Red Tape™ column may recall our previous report on a pilot study by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) about...more

Trademark Review | June 2016

Coca-Cola has Acquired Secondary Meaning in ZERO for Colas - In an opposition proceeding before the TTAB, Royal Crown (RC) and Dr. Pepper/Seven Up sought to prevent registration of seventeen applications filed by...more

Trademark applicant’s Twitter account not service mark use for social media services

Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc. (“Florists”) filed an application to register their SAY IT YOUR WAY trademark in Class 35 and in Class 42 for “[c]reating an on-line community for registered users to participate in...more

Trademark Review | May 2016

Surname Not Registrable Absent Substantially Exclusive Use - As a result of various third-party uses of the surname “Ayoub” for similar services, Applicant’s use of AYOUB did not meet the requirement of Section (f) that...more

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