News & Analysis as of

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Yellow is Not Gold for Cheerios™, and Other Tales of Color Trademarks

by Baker Donelson on

Close your eyes and transport yourself to the cereal aisle of your grocery store: can you picture the design of a box of original Cheerios™, color and all? General Mills recently tried, and failed, to obtain a federal...more

Pitfalls of Holiday Specific Branding

The holiday season in the United States starts around Halloween and extends for a two-month period until the beginning of January. The holiday marathon sparks a flurry of purchasing events – such as booking airline tickets,...more

Win or Lose, Trademark Applicants Must Pay USPTO’s Attorney Fees in District Court Appeals, Says Eastern District of Virginia

On October 26, 2017, the Eastern District of Virginia became the latest court to weigh in on the USPTO’s position regarding whether trademark applicants who appeal adverse TTAB decisions directly to a district court for de...more

Consent Agreements – Not Always a Sure Path to Overcome Likelihood of Confusion Refusals in the USPTO

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently affirmed a refusal to register the mark 8-Bit Aleworks for beer based on two prior registrations for the mark 8 bit Brewing Company for beer and other alcoholic malt beverages,...more

Tasting Notes: When Alcohol Goods and Services Descriptions Matter

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

On December 11, I will be presenting a CLE on Brewery and Distillery Law, discussing trademark issues affecting breweries and distilleries. One of the topics that I’ll spend some time on during that presentation – and one...more

Threat of TTAB Cancellation Proceeding Insufficient To Establish Case or Controversy

The District of Maryland ruled that the mere threat of a TTAB cancellation proceeding is not sufficient to create a case or controversy to allow the trademark owner to bring a declaratory judgment action for trademark...more

The TTAB Issued a TKO to a Licensee’s Claim of Priority

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

When two boxing companies sparred before the TTAB, the gloves came off—and that wasn’t only because the dispute concerned a trademark registration for boxing gloves. In Moreno v. Pro Boxing Supplies, Inc., the petitioner,...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | November 2017 #2

by Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. on

Senators Urge USDA to Implement GMO Labeling - Several Democratic senators, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging Secretary Sonny Perdue to...more

TTAB rejects SINFUL ZINFANDEL as confusable with ZINFUL

I’m back from maternity leave and back “off the wagon”, so to speak, with a post about one of my favorite beverages – red zinfandel. The USPTO recently refused registration of the mark SINFUL ZINFANDEL for wine citing...more

But We Had A Deal: Consent Agreement Cannot Overcome Likelihood Of Confusion Finding

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Affirming Refusal of Registration, In re 8-Brewing LLC, T.T.A.B. (October 30, 2017) - Trademark applicants know the familiar sinking feeling when their clearance search turns up a potentially conflicting mark...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | November 2017

NOSB Votes to Continue Allowing Hydroponics - The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has reportedly voted to continue allowing food grown in water-based nutrient solutions to be labeled “organic,” rejecting a...more

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Dilution By Blurring: TTAB Sustains DC Comics’ Opposition Against Application For Super Woman Of...

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in DC Comics v Deanna Rivetti (Opposition 91219851, August 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) sustained an opposition to the registration of Application Number 86240703 for...more

#TidalTuesday #UseInCommerce #RegistrationFail

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Tidal Music AS v. The Rose Digital Entertainment LLC (Opp. No. 91232127) confirms the importance of ensuring proper use of a service mark before filing an...more

TTAB Appeal Fees – Winner Does Not Take All

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

We recently wrote about the decision in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which overturned in part the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that the mark “Booking.com” is not registrable...more

Trademark Licensee Cannot Claim Priority Based on Brand-Owner’s Pre-License Common-Law Rights

On September 8, 2017, the TTAB held that, absent ownership rights, a trademark licensee cannot establish priority based on a licensor’s use of the mark prior to the date of the license. Pro Boxing Supplies, Inc. owns a...more

Intent to Use Trademark Applications: 7 Factors to Consider

by Revision Legal on

As we discussed, section 1(b) of the Lanham Act allows a person to file a trademark application prior to using the mark in commerce. 15 U.S.C. § 1051(b)(1). To do so, an applicant must have a bona fide intent to use the...more

Adidas Fights to Protect its Three-Stripe Mark

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Can three stripes be protected as intellectual property? That question is now before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”). Adidas AG (“Adidas”), the German sportswear giant, instantly recognizable for its...more

7 Lessons in Trademarks: Smashburger/In-N-Out Burger Battle Royale

by Revision Legal on

According to recent news reports, fast-food hamburger chain, In-N-Out Burger (“In-N-Out”) has filed a federal lawsuit alleging trademark infringement against Smashburger, another fast-food hamburger chain. The trademark fight...more

TTAB Seals Fate of Trade Dress Claims for Design Covered By Utility Patent

It is natural for manufacturers to seek to widen their intellectual property protection. In the seminal case TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., 532 US 23 (2001), the Supreme Court struck down the plaintiff’s...more

Trademarking a Scent: Hasbro Not Succeeding Yet

by Revision Legal on

It was reported back in March 2017 that Hasbro, Inc., submitted an application to trademark the distinctive scent of Play-Doh, the Hasbro-owned toy modeling clay that we all probably remember playing with as children. Hasbro...more

Cheerios Yellow Box Rejected For Trademark Registration

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a precedential decision on August 22 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in In re General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC (Serial 86757390) held that the applicant did not provide sufficient evidence to support the...more

Sorry, Will – I AM Refused Registrations

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a refusal to register the mark I AM for various goods based on a likelihood of confusion with registered marks, concluding that the pseudo applicant’s trade moniker was...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

Does Explanatory Language on Your Specimen Make a Mark Descriptive?

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision denying registration of the mark FIRST TUESDAY for use in connection with lottery services and games based on...more

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