United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademarks

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.... more +
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.    less -
News & Analysis as of

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

Trade Dress Claim Based on Shoe’s Rectangular Metal Toe Plate Booted by SDNY

The Southern District of New York recently booted shoe manufacturer LVL XIII Brands, Inc.’s trade dress infringement suit against Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. in LVL XIII Brands, Inc. v. Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A.. At issue...more

Protecting a Precious Asset - Your Trademarks (or Your Brands): Part Three in Our Series

In our last article, we explained trademark filings for showing continuous use of a mark. This third article in our trademark series explains renewal applications and practical suggestions for the trademark owner to avoid...more

Supplemental Register Gets Nod from Trademark Trial & Appeal Board

On September 8, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board lent support to the strength of a registration on the Supplemental Register, indicating that it is worthwhile to pursue federal registration, even if that means your mark...more

“Crazy Horse” Is Still Going Crazy in Las Vegas

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision that the plaintiff was the assignee of a valid trademark co-existence agreement entered into with the former owner of the registered mark...more

Use of Rule 45 Subpoenas in TTAB Proceedings

The US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit clarified the proper discovery procedures for a Rule 45 subpoena to compel a nonparty to produce documents in a trademark dispute before the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)...more

Circuit to District Court: Pucker Up for a Remand

Addressing the application of the Sleekcraft likelihood-of-confusion factors in the context of a summary judgment motion, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment,...more

Have Sense About Scents

In today's marketplace, companies are constantly seeking their moment, day, or --if they are lucky--year on the top of the "best of" list for new, unique, and/or fabulously redesigned goods or services. The sheer number of...more

Protect Your Intellectual Property or Else

With an increasingly competitive marketplace challenging traditional business models, protecting intellectual property in the automotive industry has never been more vital. Among a business's most valuable assets are the four...more

Smack Talk: Whole Foods’ Quest to be “World’s Healthiest”

Whole Foods recently garnered attention when its trademark application for World’s Healthiest Grocery Store was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark examiner focused on the “World’s Healthiest”...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Summer 2016

Supreme Court Expands Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement and Eliminates the Federal Circuit’s ‘Seagate Test’ - In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court...more

Business Q&A with Jeffrey A. Curran: Copyrights, patents, trademarks need to be afforded protection

Q: Creators, whether businesses or individuals, are often told they need to protect their intellectual property. What's the difference between a copyright, patent and a trademark? A: The idea of a copyright, while...more

How to Maintain Your Trademark Registrations

This article explains filing deadlines and document requirements for maintaining federal trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The documentation for establishing proof of continued use...more

Craft Brewers Scrap Over Catchy Names

The craft-beer industry is running low on names. There are more than 4,600 craft breweries in the U.S. – California leading the nation with over 500, according to the Brewer’s Association....more

Trademarks in Building Designs

Think twice before including a landmark building on your product packaging. That’s the lesson of a recent case in the U.S. Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”). There the applicant, a producer of...more

Trademark Assignability Laid Bare

Crazy Horse was a legendary Native American chief of the Oglala Lakota tribe who lived during the second half of the 1800s. Unfortunately today, his name may be more familiar as a brand for various products, such as...more

The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown

The recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, In re Morgan Brown, (Herbal Access) denied registration for the Herbal Access mark for a retail store legally selling marijuana products in Washington state. The...more

The Federal Trademark Statute Assumes Hillary Can’t Win

Today’s example of unintentional sexism comes to us from Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act. On its face, the language of the statute assumes that someone other than Hillary will win the 2016 presidential election – and it won’t...more

#Trademarks?: Hashtags as Trademarks Revisited

Since our previous article on the emerging issue of trademark rights in hashtags, the use of hashtags in social media marketing has continued to grow. Described as the “ignition keys to a social media keyword search,”...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

When One Specimen Per Class May No Longer Be Enough

For use-based trademark applications filed under §1(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(a), applicants must submit the application along with one specimen per Class showing use of the mark for the covered goods and...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - June 2016

The June 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses the rise in additional specimen requests from the USPTO, examines the TTAB's decision in In re Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc., and notes...more

Federal Circuit Rules that MAYA Trademark for Wine is “Sufficiently Dissimilar” from MAYARI Wine

On appeal from the U.S Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”), the Federal Circuit ruled on June 24th that consumers are not likely to confuse the trademarks MAYA and MAYARI with respect to wine. Georgallis Holdings,...more

Five IP Lessons for Small to Medium–sized Businesses

Intellectual property plays an increasingly significant role in the successful management of American and international businesses alike.  I’ve set out below a few of the most important questions that you as a small to...more

USPTO Seeking Comment on Proposed Rulemaking for Trademark Registration Maintenance

On June 22, 2016, the USPTO issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register seeking comment on “Changes in Requirements for Affidavits or Declarations of Use, Continued Use, or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark...more

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