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Category Archives: Trademark Law

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What Happens When the Intellectual Property Laws Clash with the Antitrust Laws?

Posted in Copyright Law, IP, Patent Law, Trademark Law

Should a company be required to license its patents to a competitor?  That’s one question that arises when intellectual property law and antitrust law intersect. The Sherman Act, section 1, prohibits concerted action (agreements, combinations, or conspiracies) that restrain trade.  Four types of conduct are per se unlawful; i.e., illegal regardless of the reason.  They… Continue Reading

Counterculturalist Banksy to Defend His Intellectual Property in a European Cancellation Proceeding

Posted in Copyright Law, IP, Trademark Law

If you’re familiar with Banksy, you know he’s the epitome of counterculturalism. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Banksy, he is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director who has been active since the 1990s. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine graffiti and dark, sometimes morbid, humor…. Continue Reading

Rule Change Requires U.S. Counsel for Foreign-Domiciled Trademark Applicants

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) explains that “A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision Will Have Huge Economic Impact on Trademark Infringement Damages

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Trademark Law

The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a circuit split over when a court can order the payment of an infringer’s profits to a successful plaintiff as a measure of damages.  The matter comes to the Supreme Court as an appeal from the Second Circuit decision in Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc. et al. … Continue Reading

Although the Battle of King’s Landing is Over and the Game of Thrones has Ended, the War to Protect HBO’s Intellectual Property Rages on

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

If your heart is beating and your lungs are taking in oxygen, you know that Game of Thrones recently reached its epic conclusion. It’s sad, but true. After eight glorious seasons, the most watched television series in history has ended. Even as I put the words to paper, or rather, this Word document, it doesn’t… Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Decide if Trademark Licensees Lose Their Rights When the Licensor Becomes Insolvent

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

The Supreme Court has granted review in the matter known as Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, where it will decide whether a licensee loses its right to use a licensed trademark if the licensor files bankruptcy and the bankruptcy trustee chooses to reject the licensor’s license agreement. This decision could significantly… Continue Reading

Unprotectable Generic Trademarks + Top-Level Domains = Protectable Trademarks

Posted in Trademark Law

Generic trademarks are those which, due to their popularity and/or common usage, have become synonymous with the products or services. Such trademarks include Kleenex, Band-Aid, Jeep, Aspirin, and Cellophane. Such marks, generally, cannot be federally registered or protected under the Lanham Act due to the marks direct reference to the class of product or service… Continue Reading

Consumers Have Standing to Challenge Trademark Registrations

Posted in Trademark Law

The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board recently issued an interesting decision regarding standing to oppose the registration of trademark applications. United Trademark Holdings, Inc. filed for registration of the mark RAPUNZEL for use in conjunction with dolls and toy figures. However, after the USPTO’s examining attorney published the mark for opposition, a law professor filed… Continue Reading

Amarillo Natives Hold San Diego Padres’ Double A Affiliate Team Name Hostage

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

The San Diego Padres recently took control of the Amarillo minor league baseball organization. The organization will serve at the Padres’ Double A affiliate. In the spirit of new beginnings, the organization recently held a public naming contest to determine its new mascot. After the contest had concluded, the Sod Poodles were selected as the… Continue Reading

TTAB’s Refusal To Register Trademark Reveals Important Lesson For Trademark Attorneys

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board’s recent ruling in In re Productos Verde Valle, S.A. de C.V. upholding a trademark examiner’s refusal to register the mark SONIA for “sauces; chili sauce; hot sauce” holds a lesson for those of us that regularly advise clients on the registrability (and usability) of trademarks.  Assuming Verde Valle conducted… Continue Reading

Trademark Registration and the Presumption of Secondary Meaning

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was recently tasked with reviewing determinations made by the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) relating to trade infringement claims brought by Converse, Inc. with regard to a number of imported shoes that it alleged infringed on one of its trademarks. Although Converse sneakers have had largely the… Continue Reading

Procter & Gamble Seeks to Register Text Message Lingo Such as LOL and WTF

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

Procter & Gamble, the international consumer packaged goods conglomerate, recently filed a slew of trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to register WTF, LOL, FML, and NBD for use in conjunction with certain consumer goods. Now, I suspect most of you are familiar with these acronyms, but if you aren’t,… Continue Reading

“Honey Badger Don’t Care”: The Rogers test and Trademark Infringement

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

Christopher Gordon is a comedian who created a viral video about the honey badger with the notable catch phrase, “Honey Badger Don’t Care,” among others.  He later trademarked that phrase and sued greeting card companies for trademark infringement for using that phrase, or a variation thereof, without his permission.  As a result, the Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading

The Process: Who Does it Really Belong to?

Posted in IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

A few years ago, before the 76ers returned to playoff glory, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers’ ownership and front office began utilizing the phrase “Trust the Process” to represent their journey back to the top. Finally, after years of absolutely horrendous basketball, which enabled the 76ers to draft stars such as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons,… Continue Reading

Three-Stripes and the Burden of Irreparable Injury

Posted in IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

adidas and Skechers are athletic shoe and apparel manufacturers who have a long history of litigation between them arising out of claims that Skechers has repeatedly infringed upon adidas’ trademarks.  In Adidas America, Inc. v. Skechers USA, Inc. (decided May 10, 2018), the Ninth Circuit once again had to weigh in on Skechers’ alleged infringement… Continue Reading

LegalZoom Allegedly Engages in the Unauthorized Practice of Trademark Law

Posted in IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Trademark Law

According to a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by California law firm LegalForce RAPC Worldwide, LegalZoom engages in the unauthorized practice of law when its non-attorneys instruct customers on how to register trademarks. The lawsuit names various other defendants, including the Patent and Trademark Office and… Continue Reading

Ruling in Lawsuit Over Fox’s Use of “Empire” Extends Permitted Use of Third-Party Trademarks

Posted in Trademark Law

By Scott Hervey Did you ever wonder why some movies use fictional names for companies or sports teams? TV and movie producers intentionally avoid using brand or company names in order to avoid any potential of an entanglement with a trademark owner.  Some studio lawyers insist that no third-party brands may be used under any… Continue Reading

With a great trademark comes great responsibility: San Diego Comic-Con v. Salt Lake Comic Con

Posted in Trademark Law

Author: David Baker Earlier this month, a jury in San Diego federal court was asked to decide if the use of the trademark “COMIC CON” by Daniel Farr, Bryan Brandenburg, and Dan Farr Productions for a comic book convention held in Salt Lake City constituted an infringement of the trademark “COMIC-CON” (note the distinguishing hyphen)… Continue Reading

Wine and Spirits Are not Always Confusingly Similar

Posted in Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law

  Brand litigation can be extreme in the consumer products space and even more so for alcoholic beverages (legal cannabis brand owners take note and start stockpiling your war chest).  It’s not uncommon for litigation to arise whenever an alcoholic beverage brand owner believes that another alcoholic beverage brand infringes.  Such was the case for… Continue Reading