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 -

WINTER IS COMING… and the PTO Will Be Pruning Your Deadwood!

by Baker Donelson on

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a new random audit procedure for trademarks aimed at removing deadwood from the Register. The random audit is the result of a multi-year pilot program launched in 2012 to assess the...more

Is It Five O’Clock (or 1700 Hours) Somewhere?

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

You’re probably familiar with the song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson. It was the number one country single of the year back in 2003. A few years later, Jimmy Buffet submitted several trademark...more

Beyond Mere Consent: It's All in the Details

Consent agreements - in which a prior U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rights-holder provides consent to registration of a later-filed trademark - can be an efficient path to registration in situations where the...more

Legal Issues Within The Beverage Industry

Jeff Stover, an intellectual property attorney with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, recently spoke at BevCon Charleston, a conference solely focused on the beverage industry. While most of us see the fun side of the beverage...more

Supreme Court Corner Q3 2017

by DLA Piper on

MATAL V. TAM - Simon Shiao Tam leads a dance-rock band and sought to trademark the band's name: The Slants. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld the PTO's decision not to register the mark under § 2(a),...more

Spotlight on Upcoming Oral Arguments – October 2017

The Federal Circuit hits the road this week, hearing oral arguments in New York City, including at the Court of International Trade, NYU Law School, and Columbia Law School. This appeal arises from a Western District of...more

5 Reasons for Trademark Refusal

by Revision Legal on

The US Patent and Trademark Office will not register a trademark unless it functions as a mark (see 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1052, 1053, 1127). To do so, the mark must serve as an indicator of the source of the goods, identifying...more

Following The Earnhardt’s Race To the Courtroom, USPTO Raises the Bar on Surnames

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Last month we reported on the Federal Circuit decision in Earnhardt v. Earnhardt, vacating and remanding the TTAB’s dismissal of the opposition by Teresa Earnhardt (widow of Dale Earnhardt) to the “Earnhardt Collection”...more

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

Of course, loyal readers have been eagerly awaiting Part III of the series (see Part I and Part II) focusing on Tam’s intersection of federal trademark registration and the First Amendment....more

Don’t Fall for a Scam: Trademark Owners Targeted

Owners of federal trademark registrations and applications have been continuously targeted by scam artists who pull owner names from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database and contact these owners...more

A History Of GOLDEN GATE Trademarks For Alcoholic Beverages

In celebration of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Annual Meeting, currently underway in San Francisco, we offer a brief tour through some GOLDEN GATE-themed trademarks. As a prominent feature of San...more

Booking it to the District Court

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision out of the federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia overturned in part the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that the mark “Booking.com” is not registrable on the basis that the...more

How Coexistence Agreements Work

by Revision Legal on

In trademark law, coexistence agreements are contracts whereby two trademark owners agree to use their similar marks, but agree to limitations. For example, the two owners might agree that their respective goods or services...more

In-n-Out Sues Smashburger Over New Burger Names

by Dickinson Wright on

On August 28, 2017, In-n-Out filed a lawsuit against Smashburger for trademark infringement in the Central District of California. In-n-Out claims that Smashburger’s TRIPLE DOUBLE mark is too similar and infringes on its...more

PSL® Season Is Upon Us

Exult, lovers of autumn and decorative gourds – the air is crisp and the leaves are changing. And, in the treasured annual tradition, this week marked the release of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte – or PSL® as they may prefer...more

Do I Need To Trademark Under State Law?

by Revision Legal on

Many are familiar with trademark registration under federal law. Some may not know that trademark registration is also available under state laws. In general, registering a trademark under state law is unnecessary, but there...more

Domain Name Can Be Trademarked, Federal Court Holds

A new trademark decision that protects a mark that many in the industry thought was a generic term has made the headlines. Online hotel reservation service Booking.com sought to trademark its name for providing travel...more

Are Offensive Trademark Registrations On The Rise?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the constitutionality of section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which as enacted barred the registration of disparaging trademarks, there is reason to believe...more

The Washington Redskins Win Their Trademark Battle in Overtime

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

Simon Tam of the Asian rock band, The Slants, probably was not envisioning an 8-year-long legal battle when he chose the group’s name. Slant is known as a racial slur for Asians. Tam hoped to strip the term of its derogatory...more

California Finally Rolling Out Its Own Cannabis Trademark Laws

by Weintraub Tobin on

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use. In 1996, California approved Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act. Two decades later, California voters approved Proposition 64, the...more

Don’t be duped by the trademark solicitation

by McAfee & Taft on

The number of companies soliciting trademark renewals and other products or services from trademark registrants has skyrocketed. Why? Because the solicitations are effective in duping trademark owners into thinking the fees...more

In Matal V. Tam, Scotus Rules Prohibition On Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Asian American members of the band the Slants adopted that name to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of the derogatory term. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) refused to register a trademark application...more

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

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