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

Trademark Solicitation Scams

Last month the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“the Office”) announced its cooperation in a Department of Justice investigation into a trademark scam perpetrated by two California men that defrauded about 4,446...more

Making Tequila and Pisco Shots Safe From Confusion

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) cancelled the registration for the mark PORTÓN last week, finding it to be confusingly similar to the senior mark PATRÓN. Patrón...more

A Family Victory! Victory! Just Not for Little Caesars

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) modified its treatment of the “family of trademarks” doctrine in the recent case In re LC Trademarks, Inc., Serial No. 85890412...more

Smart Cannabis Businesses are Staking a Claim to Their Intellectual Property

Yes, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance; and yes, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for cannabis strains. But there are still a number of creative...more

Federal Circuit Clarifies Descriptiveness Standard in Overturning ‘Dotblog’ Trademark Refusal

It’s not uncommon for internet-based services to utilize names referencing their online presence, much like it is not uncommon for the monikers of app-based services to refer to their mobile format. But at what point does a...more

Trademark Red Tape: Comeuppance For Trademark Con-Artists

January 2017 - Happy holidays and welcome to the 2017 New Year edition of Trademark Red Tape, our periodic round-up of trademark news and happenings at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Here are the...more

Trademark Office warns about deceptive trademark-related solicitations

The recent focus on fake news should remind trademark owners of the special care they need to take with communications about their trademark applications....more

Craft brewery startups: Early stage IP considerations

By all accounts, as we head into 2017, the craft beer industry will continue to experience tremendous growth. This is due to primarily to increasing consumer demand. Also, favorable legislation in some states should help fuel...more

Trademark Year In Review And What Lies Ahead: The Lanham Act’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2017

2016 is now in the rear view mirror. At the beginning of a new year, we often take a moment to reflect on the past year, while setting goals for the present. It’s a time to say, “Last year had its ups and downs, but this...more

Scams, The Biggest Threat to Patent and Trademark Owners

After threading the tortuous path through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and withstanding assaults of infringers, who would have thought that one of the biggest problems for patent and trademark owners is scammers? ...more

NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights’ Trademark Application Refused Due To Likelihood of Confusion with the College of Saint Rose Golden...

In June 2016, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced that Las Vegas would be awarded an NHL franchise team, the first major professional sports team in the city and the first new expansion team for the NHL in over fifteen...more

Protection of Marijuana Brands in the United States

Brand protection for companies engaged in marijuana-related businesses continues to present special challenges given the federal prohibition on the sale, distribution, and possession of marijuana under the Controlled...more

Can “Merry Christmas” Be A Trademark For Christmas Wrapping?

In 1905, the owners of Smith & Kaufman, Inc., a ribbon & silk company in New York, hit upon an idea. Wouldn’t it be great, they thought, if we made a red holiday ribbon for wrapping Christmas presents, with the words “Merrie...more

Celebrity Brands: The Line Between Fair Use and Infringement

All brand owners are faced with difficult decisions regarding how aggressively to police their brands. The decision is particularly difficult when the unauthorized use is by a loyal customer or fan. While some traditional...more

Who’s Watching (What) You Create?

This past weekend, with what appears to be our first lasting snowfall, I enjoyed following my daughter around the chilly alleys of downtown Minneapolis while she created for her photography class. As you can see from the...more

USPTO's New Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules Take Effect Soon

Next month, the procedural rules governing trademark registration disputes are changing. They present new strategic considerations for brand owners protecting their trademark rights. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Correction – Let’s Amend This Trademark: Part Five of Our Trademark Series

In our previous four articles in our trademark series, we discussed mandatory and optional filings for maintaining and protecting your marks, in order to avoid abandonment or cancellation. The final segment of our trademark...more

A Day Late And A Dollar Short – Court Grants Summary Judgment On Laches Defense

Order Granting Summary Judgment On Dropbox Laches Claims, Dropbox, Inc. v. Thru Inc., Case No. 15-cv-01741-EMC (Judge Edward M. Chen) - The proverb “[e]quity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones” aptly describes the...more

A Tale Of Two Hats: Trademark “Use In Commerce” Expanded In A Potentially Game-Changing Decision

Our readers no doubt understand that trademark use is the basis for trademark protection in the U.S. But all use is not created equal, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell whether a trademark is actually used in a manner...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 4

What Happens After My Application is Filed? After your application is filed, you should receive an email from the USPTO confirming the submission. In a few business days, the USPTO will confirm the application has the...more

USPTO Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Its Right to Deny “Offensive” Trademarks

I previously wrote about a Supreme Court case pitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act against the First Amendment, the Federal Circuit, the Slants and, lurking in the...more

10 Key Intellectual Property Issues for M&A Deals

Intellectual property (IP) issues are increasingly important factors in merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions. Of the various industry sector transactions included in recent American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law...more

Palate Pleasing Zucchinis Dominate Squash Patenting

With Halloween over and Thanksgiving looming, recipes for butternut squash soup abound while caved-in pumpkin faces rot away in back alleys. For all their exotic shapes and colors, winter squashes remain tethered to autumnal...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks – Part 3

Have you used your mark in commerce and what is the impact of that? If you are already selling your product or service with the mark on it, you are “using” your mark in commerce. As a result, you will need to provide...more

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