News & Analysis as of

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 -

International Trademark Classes: What is the Nice Agreement?

by Revision Legal on

Filing for a trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is probably a mysterious process for most people. There are several types of trademark applications and many different filing bases. Given...more

Whack-A-Mole Continues: Latest Attempts To Slap Down Trademark Scammers

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Trademark professionals often warn our clients to be skeptical when they receive official seeming bills or notices offering pricey and unneeded trademark related services. These scams have been around for as long as I have...more

Three Point Shot - August 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Eastern District Heavyweight Bout Ends in Stunning Trademark Technical Knockout - Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor's late-August 2017 matchup may be the most highly anticipated boxing event in decades. But while "The...more

3:16 as a Trademark?

Over the weekend, IPBiz reported that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has filed an application to register 3:16 as a trademark for clothing items. A Google search confirms that 3:16 has religious significance as it is...more

Summer's Here, Don't Get Burned!

In May of 2014, this newsletter discussed the prevalence of trademark and domain name scams, and offered tips on how to avoid being duped by fake service offerings (see "Scammers Still Be Scamming" here). Unfortunately,...more

Hutchinson Revisited Surname + Merely Descriptive Term May or May Not Be Registrable

In Earnhardt v. Kerry Earhhardt, Inc., [2016-1939] (July 27, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a TTAB decision dismissing Earnhardt’s opposition because it found that there was no likelihood of confusion between...more

Distillations: The Gin Game, Southern Style

by Fish & Richardson on

Federal trademark law bars the registration of marks that are merely descriptive of the goods – that is, if it simply describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the claimed goods or...more

Fictional, but Protectable: Court Finds Planned Real-World “The Krusty Krab” Restaurant Would Violate Viacom’s Trademark Rights

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Summary Judgment Order, Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC, S.D. Tex. (January 11, 2017) (Judge Gray Miller) - The Emmy nominations have been announced, and the fall television season is just weeks...more

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part I

Looking forward to sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (counsel for Simon Tam, where our friend Ron Coleman is a partner) to discuss “Trademark Registration and the First Amendment,” on September 28th at...more

It’s as Suggestive as a Butter Knife for Steak

We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Spectrum of Distinctiveness for trademarks, and the all-important difference between suggestive marks and merely descriptive ones, with only the former being allowed...more

Case Targets Deceptive Trademark Solicitations

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Applicants and registrants of trademarks are inundated with offers to perform potentially unnecessary services. These solicitations often come in the form of invoices, with prominent and false “due dates.” Other times, they...more

Third Circuit Rules “McCarthy Test” Determines Ownership of Unregistered Trademarks

The Third Circuit has held that where a manufacturer and its exclusive distributor have no written contract designating which party owns an unregistered trademark, the “McCarthy test,” rather than the “first use test,” should...more

The First Amendment Protects The Trademark Registrability Of THE SLANTS And THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS Irrespective Of Political...

by Weintraub Tobin on

In 2014, the Washington Redskins lost a battle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) where the petitioner, a group of Native American activists, sought cancellation of the “Washington Redskins” trademark, which...more

“All Expenses Paid” Is No Trip to the E.D. Va. for Patent and Trademark Applicants

by BakerHostetler on

On June 23, 2017, the Federal Circuit confirmed in Nantkwest, Inc. v. Matal (No. 2016-1794) that patent applicants facing rejection from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) may seek relief in the Eastern District of...more

Cannabis Industry FAQ

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Can marijuana businesses receive federal copyright protection? Yes. The requirements for registration with the U.S. Copyright Office are that the work is original, creative and fixed in some form of expression. These...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Launched July 8, 2017: New USPTO Rules to Clear “Deadwood” in the Federal Trademark Registry

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

With the latest rule changes having taken effect July 8, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office continues its efforts to clear deadwood from the federal trademark register. Earlier this year, we reported on the...more

Shocking Trademarks May Now Be Viable, But Medical Marijuana Marks Remain an Impossible Dream

by Baker Donelson on

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down as unconstitutional the ban on disparaging trademark registrations, but that doesn’t mean a dispensary can get a federal trademark registration. The Supreme Court’s June 19...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Offensive Trademarks Are Protected Free Speech Under The First Amendment

by Weintraub Tobin on

Simon Tam is the lead singer of the rock group call “The Slants’, which is composed of Asian-Americans. Tam applied for federal trademark registration of the band’s name. While the term “slants” is a derogatory term for...more

You Are Suspended...Now What? Four Strategies for Dealing with Trademark Office Suspensions

It’s happened to the best of us -- the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") suspends action on an application based on a potential likelihood of confusion with a prior filed/pending application, essentially...more

You Get A Golden Ticket! You Get A Golden Ticket!

Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, the bigger holiday is approaching – at least for Chicagoland expatriates in the Twin Cities. That’s right, next week marks the grand opening of Portillo’s Hot Dogs in Woodbury,...more

Master of Your Domain – ACPA Damages Sought by Greg LeMond

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

You might want to think twice before registering a domain name containing a competitor’s personal name or trademark. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond put his “pedal to the metal” recently, suing two Minnesota...more

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