Use in Commerce

News & Analysis as of

Trademark Review | August 2015

The Redskins Lose Again (Off the Field)- A federal District Court affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) ruling that “Redskins” cannot be registered as a trademark for use in connection with a...more

Intellectual Property and Technology News - Issue 27 Q3 2015

In This Issue: How Private is That Connected Car? US v EU Among the fastest growing sectors in the industry of smart things is the connected car. No longer a simple way from point A to point B, cars now comprise a...more

Tastes Like Chicken, Not a Copyright

A common refrain: “There must be a way to protect this idea, either by trademark or copyright.” Regrettably, in many instances, the answer is “none of the above.” Take, for example, the humble chicken sandwich....more

Timing Is Everything—Objective Evidence of Bona Fide Intent to Use Necessary at the Time of Filing Application - M.Z. Berger & Co....

Addressing what constitutes sufficient evidence of “bona fide intent” to use a trademark in commerce, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB or Board) decision...more

REDSKINS affirmed as disparaging. Appealed to 4th Circuit.

In its June 18, 2014 Blackhorse decision, the TTAB ordered six Redskins trademarks to be cancelled as disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered....more

MarkIt to MarketTM - July 2015

The July issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter explains why two pronged protection is the best approach for product configuration, discusses the importance of coordination between legal and marketing...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 07

Happy summer! We are seeing some great new styles this summer here on Madison Avenue, and of course, there are a number of hot legal issues to consider as we head into the fall. Our latest issue discusses the applicability of...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

Redskins Trademarks – Answers to Key Questions Regarding Recent Ruling

Last week, the U.S. District Court sitting in Alexandria, Virginia granted what would appear to be a sweeping victory to a group of five Native Americans who have renewed attempts to cancel the federal registrations of...more

Chipping Away at the Dead Wood and Other Registered-But-Unused Marks

An ongoing issue faced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been the number of trademark registrations granted or retained for over-inclusive identifications of goods and/or services where the...more

Hashtag Trademarks: #ItsAllAboutTheUse

Brand owners have embraced hashtags (words or phrases preceded by a hash or pound sign - #) as a way to both engage consumers and track social media posts regarding a specific product or topic. Not surprisingly, the...more

Federal Circuit: Lack of Bona Fide Intent to Use at the Time of Filing Fatal to Trademark Application

In a recent ruling the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) sustaining an opposition against a trademark application on the grounds that the applicant failed to prove that it...more

Walt Disney's TM Case Could be Heard by the Supreme Court

Back in February of 2014, Walt Disney Co. (“Disney”) successfully upheld its cancellation proceeding of a registration for a rival PLAYDOM mark on the grounds that the owner, David Couture (“Couture”), was not using the mark...more

Offering of Services Alone Insufficient Basis for § 1(a) Trademark Application - David Couture v. Playdom, Inc.

Addressing for the first time whether the offering of a service was sufficient “use in commerce” under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB)...more

The U.S. Trademark Use Requirement and Associated Risks and Strategies for Chinese Applicants [Video]

I believe there is a misunderstanding as to what we mean when we say "use requirement" or what the trademark office means when they say "use requirement". The trademark use requirement in the United States is not evidence...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Use of Service Marks in Commerce: Making Good on Your Promises

In order to register a service mark—a trademark used to promote and sell services, as opposed to goods—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the owner of the service mark must be using the mark in...more

Couture v. Playdom, Inc. - USCA, Federal Circuit, March 2, 2015

U.S. Federal Circuit affirms TTAB’s decision canceling trademark registration, clarifying that service mark is “used in commerce” only when mark is both used or displayed in sale or advertising of services and services are...more

Advertising Alone Does Not Demonstrate Use of a Service Mark in Commerce for Purposes of Obtaining a Federal Registration

Here’s a common scenario: Your business has come up with an idea for a new service offering, and you or your marketing department has created the perfect brand for it. Now what? Because you have a great relationship...more

“Use It or Lose It”: Service Mark Registration Canceled When Application Supported Only by Advertising

On March 2, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its first-ever ruling addressing use requirements for registering service marks. The court held that offering a service, without the actual rendering...more

Federal Circuit Confirms That Advertising Services Is Not Use in Commerce

In Couture v. Playdom, Inc., the Federal Circuit held that the use of a mark on a website to offer services is not use in commerce sufficient to support an actual-use service mark application. As a result, the Court affirmed...more

Use it or Lose It: Abandoning Your Brand Can Have Dire Consequences

Trademark rights arise out of use in commerce, and can provide protection for your name, brand, and reputation in the community provided, that the marks are continuously used in connection with your goods or services. While...more

Anatomy of a Protectable Slogan: JE SUIS CHARLIE versus THIS SICK BEAT

In our 140-character world, slogans and rallying cries have become a popular shorthand to signify support for the emotion of the moment. As such slogans capture our national attention, it is virtually inevitable that the next...more

USPTO: Over Half of Applications/Declarations Studied Over-Claim Covered Goods/Services

It has been the practice of some brand owners to include more goods in a use-based trademark application or declaration than were actually being used. Under TTAB precedent such as Medinol v. Neuro Vasx, Inc., 67 USPQ2d 1205,...more

Oh What A Tangled WEB We Weave When First We…Try To Show Use

In order to get a trademark registered or maintain a registration, an example of use of the trademark (referred to by trademark nerds as a “specimen”) must be submitted to the US Trademark Office. Often trademark attorneys...more

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