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

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

Look-For Advertising Sans the Clunky Words

We’ve written before on the subject of non-traditional trademarks and how look-for advertising can be quite helpful in not only educating consumers that a color or other design feature should stand out in their mind as...more

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Drumpf or Trump: The Name Confirmed

Comedian John Oliver’s antics rarely stop with his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.” After discovering Donald Trump’s ancestral name, Drumpf, John Oliver dedicated an entire segment to disassociating Donald Trump from his TRUMP...more

HAVANA CLUB: Where’s the Rum Gone?

You’d probably assume no TTAB proceedings originated in 1995 remain active, but the HAVANA CLUB dispute has some serious staying power. As U.S.-Cuba relations unthaw, one particular trademark battle is also returning to...more

Trademark Red Tape: Incoming Fee Increases And Sweeping TTAB Rule Changes

Disparaging Marks Still Held in Abeyance. As an update to our last Trademark Red Tape, the USPTO, which has now filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in In re Tam with respect to the...more

Spotlight on the Highlights -- Clarifications and Changes in the April 2016 TMEP

On April 30, 2016, the USPTO issued the April 2016 Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure ("TMEP"), the latest update to the go-to resource for how to prosecute applications to register trademarks with the USPTO. This...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - May 2016

The May 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses the April 2016 revisions to the USPTO's Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure ("TMEP") and notes currently open gTLD Sunrise...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

The Hashtag / Trademark Paradox: #Trending, but #Proprietary?

As the hustle and bustle of the INTA 2016 Annual Meeting drew to a close yesterday, I reflected on the session “#HASHTAGS #EverythingYouNeedToKnow” from Tuesday. It seems trademark protection may not (yet) fit comfortably...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

News of Note in IP

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2016

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Damages for Design Patent Infringement - Recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding damages available in design patent cases highlight the court’s...more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...more

USPTO Drops 11th Circuit Appeal of ND Alabama Order In Houndstooth Case

We previously blogged on Judge Proctor’s (ND Ala.) order directing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “Board”) to comply with the Court’s prior order, approving a settlement agreement between the University of...more

A Missed Step in Branding Fitness Trackers?

I’ve been wearing one of these little guys on my wrist for almost a year now. Love it. The personal awareness it raises for me in the areas of sleep, diet, and activity, has been profound....more

CD to LD to DVD -- How to Keep Up with your IDs

When deciding how to describe goods and services in a trademark application, applicants often err on one side of two extremes: 1. they either describe their goods/services very specifically, which may help circumvent...more

In re Tam Redux Redux: Redskins Petition for Certiorari, Trying to Skip 4th Cir.

In response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) petition for writ of certiorari in to the U.S. Supreme Court In re Tam (“THE SLANTS” case), the owners of the Washington Redskins filed their own...more

MarkIt to MarketTM - April 2016

The April 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter discusses (1) the evolving nature of the USPTO's U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual, and how to use this document to craft better...more

In re Tam Redux: The PTO seeks Certiorari

On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Federal Circuit seeking Supreme Court review of that Court’s decision in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1001...more

USPTO to SCOTUS: SOS on the Lanham Act ASAP

On April 20, 2016, the USPTO made it official: It formally requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the en banc Federal Circuit decision that held Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. At issue...more

What’s That Sound? It Might Just Be a Trademark.

Trademarks are not only words or logos, but can come in many other forms, including sounds. In the words of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in the case In re Gen. Electric Broad. Co., 199 USPQ 560, 563 (TTAB 1978),...more

FLANAX: Protecting Foreign Marks from US Unfair Competition Under Section 43(a)

In today’s increasingly global economy, trademark owners are more frequently butting up against the territorial limitations of trademark law. It has long been a matter of black letter law that trademark rights are...more

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