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

Food Packaging Trademarks: It’s in the Bag?

Welcome to another edition of non-traditional trademarks in connection with package designs: The Billy Goat Chip Company contends it owns exclusive rights in a protectable and distinctive trademark for the appearance...more

Why you must monitor for conflicting brands

Trademark rights in the U.S. are based on use — on actually selling goods and services in connection with a trademark. However, most businesses understand that obtaining a federal trademark registration at the U.S. Patent and...more

Trademark Dos and Don'ts: Choosing a Trademark - Why You Shouldn't Pick a Descriptive Trademark

Adopting a trademark is an incredibly important decision and potential risk for a business. And while adopting a trademark may seem like an easy thing to do, the legal ramifications of this decision make it more complicated...more

What factors do courts consider in trademark disputes?

For small businesses, it is just as important to understand how to avoid infringement as it is to protect one’s business from infringement. Trademark infringement, speaking generally, occurs anytime there is an unauthorized...more

Yankees Win Big Trademark Battle at the USPTO

On May 8, 2015, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) upheld an opposition instituted by the New York Yankees to block several trademarks from becoming registered. New York Yankees Partnership v. IET Products and...more

#Trademarks?: Hashtags as Trademarks

Hashtags have become ubiquitous in social media, but their status as intellectual property—particularly as trademarks—is still developing. First adopted by Twitter users to link user posts, hashtags are character strings...more

Is the Skype Falling?

An interesting battle ground may be brewing in light of the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the B&B Hardware case which Duetsblog authors have previously commented on extensively. Now that the Court has...more

Trademark Dos and Dont's: Conducting a Trademark Clearance Search

So you’ve come up with a creative name for your business or your product. You have thought hard about it, and probably feel a vested interest in this name. The next step in protecting your name is to conduct what is known as...more

A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations...

The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the...more

MarkIt to MarketTM | April 2015

In This Issue: - I Second that e-Motion: Protecting Motion Marks - USPTO Begins Accepting International Design Applications - Attending INTA Annual Meeting - gTLD Sunrise Periods Now Open - Excerpt...more

The High Price of Challenging a Refusal to Register a Trademark in District Court

Applicants who challenge in a federal district court a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that upholds a PTO refusal to register a trademark may be required to reimburse the government for PTO attorney fees, even if...more

Constitutional Law vs. Trademark Law: Which Law Wins in the Battle of "Disparaging Trademarks"

The topic of “disparaging trademarks” has been a fairly common topic in the trademark industry, especially when you consider how little this issue comes up in the prosecution and litigation of trademarks. ...more

Brewing Up Some IP

With so many new microbreweries popping up in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and the Greater San Diego area, I felt compelled to write the present piece for the benefit of the aspiring, as well as the established, microbrew...more

Win or Lose, Trademark Applicants Must Pay PTO Attorney Fees in Appeals to District Court, Fourth Circuit Says

In a 2-1 decision issued on April 23, 2015, the Fourth Circuit held that a trademark applicant who appeals an adverse ex parte decision of the Trademark Trail and Appeal Board (TTAB) to a U.S. District Court must pay the...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

Big Green Egg on Hunt for TM Registration

As it turns out, four days after Easter, the USPTO refused registration of the Big Green Egg’s claimed exclusive rights in the shape and color of its popular barbecue smoker and grill... ...more

Making Your Mark: How to Obtain and Protect a Trademark

A key component of the strategy of almost any business is branding: building a name or logo that consumers associate with your business. The law recognizes that words or symbols that demonstrate a business's commercial...more

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve...more

A Disclaimer for Disclaimers at the USPTO

You know that feeling when you’ve nearly crossed the finish line? You have done the work, put in the time, and the only step left is to run through the tape. There can be similar moments with trademark applications,...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...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

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — and Functional Too?

Welcome to another edition of newly filed configuration trademark applications at the USPTO, here is the latest; it is quite a specimen: The question for the day though is whether the claimed mark actually functions...more

Trends in Trademarks

With more than 3,000 breweries in the United States and nearly 2,000 more in some phase of planning, the likelihood of trademark infringement increases with each passing IPA related pun. Some disputes are settled in a very...more

Single-Letter Trademark Battles: Who Gets the W for “W”?

How much trouble can a double-U make? If you’ve been following this blog over the years, you know the answer: quite a lot. This blog has written extensively on the trials and tribulations that may accompany...more

Unsolicited Offers for Trademark-Related Services in the United States

WARNING! If you have filed a trademark application in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is likely that you will be the target of private companies who will try to confuse you into paying unnecessary fees....more

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