News & Analysis as of

Use in Commerce

The Covfefe Kerfuffle and the Rush to Register Trending Terms

While many of us are working our way through the flood of thought-provoking analysis of Matal v. Tam, I’m taking a break with some lighter fare, namely, covfefe. In case you missed it, the viral non-word “covfefe” was born...more

The Devil Made Me Do It

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On June 9, 2017, Gene Simmons of Kiss rock band fame applied with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) to register the following mark for “Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist;...more

Ownership of a Trademark Follows Use

In Lyons v. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, [2016-2055](June 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the TTAB cancelling Lyons’ registration of the mark THE AMERICAN...more

[Acapulco] Gold* Rush for California Cannabis Trademarks Countdown to January 1, 2018

Last week the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 64 (AB 64), an omnibus bill regarding medical and recreational marijuana, sending it to the State Senate for review....more

USPTO Proposes Cheaper, Faster Cancellation Option

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office register contains a lot of dead weight. In order to obtain a trademark registration and maintain the registration, the owner must use the mark in U.S. interstate commerce (as always, with...more

Pre-Sale Use of Data Storage Trademark Not Enough to Secure Priority Rights

A Massachusetts federal court recently found multiple early uses of a sought-after trademark insufficient to confer priority of rights. The dispute concerned two technology companies, Nexsan and EMC, each seeking to use the...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act Nears Year One: What Employers, Trade Secret Owners Need to Know

by Holland & Knight LLP on

An employer or trade secret owner can now assert a federal private cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), 18 U.S.C. §1836(b), if “the trade secret is related to a...more

The Muddy Waters of Use for Beer Brands

The Craft Brewers Conference is an impressive affair. Between the number of brewers I’ve met from across the country as well as internationally, and the colossal trade show, the breadth and scope of the industry is probably...more

Opportunity May Not Knock Without the Right Door

When seeking particular services, consumers are often drawn into a business based on branding and advertising found near the location – whether by signage on or around the establishment, or by glimpses of the services being...more

Why Brand Owners Need to Keep a Paper Trail

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Good evidence wins cases. In a trademark opposition, evidence demonstrating how and for how long a mark has been used in commerce (for example, on hangtags, labels, packaging, signage, invoices and online platforms) can be...more

USPTO Tightens Requirements for Commercial Use of Trademarks

by Carlton Fields on

On March 21, 2017, the USPTO implemented changes to its requirements for continued use of trademarks in commerce that will require some trademark owners to provide additional materials and documentation when they renew their...more

New Trademark Office Audit May Result in Cancellation of Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a final rule that took effect on February 17, 2017. To assess and promote the accuracy and integrity of the trademark register, the USPTO amended rules...more

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

by Jones Day on

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

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

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

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

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

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

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

by Roetzel & Andress on

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?

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

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

by WilmerHale on

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

by Knobbe Martens on

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

by Orrick - NorCal IP Group on

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

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

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

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