News & Analysis as of

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Two Recent Trademark Decisions Provide Ammunition for Trademark Owners Who Receive Improper Specimen Refusals for Service Marks

by Fish & Richardson on

In the past few years, many trademark practitioners have noticed an increase in the number of rejections for trademark specimens – the documents that applicants submit to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)...more

It’s Official — Trademarks are “FUCT”

It was only a matter of time. THE “GOOD OLD DAYS” BEFORE DISPARAGING, VULGAR AND SCANDALOUS TRADEMARKS For seventy years the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused to register marks that consisted of...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | March 2018

GMA Conference Panels Explore Trends in Class Actions, Organic Production - Litigation, increasing online grocery shopping and consumer concerns regarding product ingredients were hot topics at the 2018 Grocery...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | February 2018 #3

Chicago SSB Tax May Cause State to Lose Federal Funding, USDA Warns - According to a warning letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax that took effect in the Chicago...more

Cleveland Indians To Discontinue Use Of Chief Wahoo On Player Uniforms; Limited Use Of The Logo To Continue In Order To Preserve...

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Although the Supreme Court recently ruled that disparaging trademarks are protected by the First Amendment freedom of speech in Matal v. Tam, the Cleveland Indians have announced that they will cease use of their “Chief...more

Washington Redskins’ Us Trademark Registrations Reinstated By The Fourth Circuit

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations originally cancelled by the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) in 2014 in...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | February 2018 #2

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is soliciting public comment on whether the agency should continue to collect information about foodborne illnesses in restaurants. The proposal would extend studies of risk...more

Celebrity Trademark Updates: Sean Connery and Meryl Streep

With the Oscars coming up in less than a month, it seems like the issue of “celebrity” trademarks is a hot topic in the media. For example, many news outlets (such as here, here, here) are covering Meryl Streep’s application...more

Federal Circuit Bleeps Lanham Act Ban on Immoral or Scandalous Marks

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2017 decision in Matal v. Tam (i.e., the Slants case) finding the proscription on the registration of disparaging trademarks under § 2(a) of the Lanham Act to be an...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That Disputed Material Facts Prevent Summary Judgment on Whole Foods’ Laches Defense

On January 29, 2018, the Ninth Circuit vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Whole Foods and remanded on the ground that disputed issues of material fact remained in determining whether the...more

Spotlight on Upcoming Oral Arguments – February 2018

In this appeal, the Federal Circuit has been asked to decide whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Adobe’s request for attorney’s fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Blue Spike argues that the district court...more

TTAB’s TRAILERSHARE Decision Shows that Proper Trademark Use Still Matters

The advent of the Internet and the tsunami of social media have unquestionably altered the practice of trademark law and many core trademark principles. Originally published in World Trademark Review Daily on January 23,...more

Beware! A Trademark Trial and Appeals Board Decision Can Stop You in Your Tracks

by Knobbe Martens on

It has been a few years since the Supreme Court decision in the case B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., and we are beginning to see the aftermath in the district courts. In B&B Hardware, the Supreme Court held...more

Happy Birthday: TTAB Turns Sixty in 2018

We follow closely and write a lot about what goes on with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); these ironmongers do too, really well....more

Trademark Law Update: Federal Circuit Strikes Down Lanham Act’s Ban on “Immoral” or “Scandalous” Marks

by K&L Gates LLP on

In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam struck down as unconstitutional a provision of section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which had permitted the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse to register...more

Federal Circuit Finds Lanham Act Clause Banning Immoral and Scandalous Trademarks Unconstitutional

by BakerHostetler on

On December 15, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit struck down as unconstitutional the clause within 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) (“Section 2(a)”) banning registration of a trademark that “[c]onsists of or comprises...more

Scandalous and Immoral Trademarks Awarded First Amendment Protection

by Bracewell LLP on

On December 15, the Federal Circuit held that the prohibition on the registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. In re Brunetti, No. 2015-1109, 2017 WL...more

TTAB Finds BREATHLESS Mark Is Registrable

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. sought to register the mark BREATHLESS for “promoting public awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [‘IPF’], its symptoms, its prevention and its treatment.” The Examining...more

Cesari S.R.L. v. Peju Province Winery L.P.: Relying on Supreme Court Precedent, District Court Holds that Trademark Trial & Appeal...

Federal district courts continue to apply the Supreme Court’s ruling in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc., 135 S.Ct. (2015) with unpredictable results. The latest such example comes from the Southern District of New...more

Federal Circuit Decision Leaves Lanham Act’s Provision Barring Registration Of Immoral And Scandalous Marks “FUCT”

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

It is not often that a court of law can issue a landmark opinion laden with profanity and sexual innuendos. But last Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seized the opportunity in a colorful...more

Descriptive Use Of Applied-For Mark On Website Is Fatal To Registration

A recent non-precedential opinion from the TTAB emphasizes the need for brand owners to be conscious of how they use potentially descriptive brands. U-Haul International, Inc. applied for five TRAILERSHARE-formative...more

How Scandalous! Federal Circuit Holds Vulgar Trademarks Are Registrable

by Jones Day on

Trademarks will no longer be refused registration on the basis that they constitute immoral or scandalous matter. On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously ruled in In re Brunetti...more

Immoral and Scandalous Matter are as Registrable as Disparaging Matter; The Principal Register is FUCT

In In re Brunetti, [2015-1109] (December 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which affirmed the examining attorney’s refusal to register the mark FUCT because it comprises immoral or...more

In Re: Erik Brunetti

by Knobbe Martens on

Federal Circuit Summaries - Before Dyk, Moore, and Stoll. Appeal from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Summary: The bar in § 2(a) of the Lanham Act against registering immoral or scandalous trademarks is an...more

Independence is Bliss? The Idea of an Independent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

by Baker Donelson on

Will there ever be an independent Patent Office? Although the idea has been floated for years without gaining traction, some see a brief mention in the FY2018 Budget Resolution, released by the House Budget Committee earlier...more

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