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Category Archives: Trademark Law

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Trademark Protection for Your Brand Merchandise in the Age of Copycats, Counterfeits, and Fakes

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

With live events cancelled during the pandemic, content creators are increasingly dependent on merchandise sales.  Creators from podcasters to YouTubers to musicians are reliant on merch to bolster their revenue and their brands.  Subscribers stuck at home are watching more video and listening to more podcasts and music.  Apart from advertising and sponsorships, merch is… Continue Reading

Dogs, Whiskey, and Intellectual Property: Need I Say More?

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Trademark Law

Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States for certiorari following an unfavorable ruling from the Ninth Circuit in the matter of VIP Products LLC v. Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. In that case, VIP Products sued Jack Daniel’s after receiving a cease-and-desist letter concerning its Bad Spaniels Silly Squeaker dog… Continue Reading

The Second Circuit Vacates Tiffany & Co.’s $21 Million Judgment for Trademark Infringement and Counterfeiting Against Costco

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

Almost five years ago, I wrote an article published in the Daily Recorder about a ruling in the Tiffany & Co. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation case filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Specifically, I wrote about the Court granting Tiffany’s motion for summary judgment on liability, permitting… Continue Reading

You Must Prove Actual Damages if You Want Punitive Damages in an Infringement Action

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

Imagine litigating an infringement case for two years, and after a nine day jury trial, obtaining a jury’s verdict that says you’ve established infringement and awards your client $5,000,000.  Then you realize that the jury has awarded your client $0 in actual damages, and the entire $5,000,000 sum is for punitive damages.  The Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading

After Nearly 30 Years of Controversy, the Washington Redskins Will Retire the Redskins Team Name and Trademark

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

Watch: Author Josh Escovedo and trademark law professor Alexandra Roberts delve into the issues around the Redskins name change. On Monday, July 13, 2020, the ownership group of the Washington Redskins (the “Team”) announced that it will abandon the Redskins team name after nearly 30 years of controversy. The decision, despite what the Team says,… Continue Reading

PTO Fast Tracks COVID-19 Patent and Trademark Applications

Posted in IP, Patent Law, Trademark Law

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has established a new program for prioritized examination for patent applications for inventions related to COVID-19 and for trademark applications for marks used for certain medical products and services used in connection with COVID-19. On May 7, 2020, the Director of the PTO announced the program for patent… Continue Reading

Navigating the Hazy Intersection of Federal and State Law on Cannabis and Advising Clients on Protecting Their Trademarks

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

What was once illegal is now a thriving industry. That’s right—I’m talking about cannabis. But my initial statement isn’t entirely accurate. Although Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have legalized cannabis, the drug remains a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act. While buying, selling, and using… Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Affirms Ruling that COMIC-CON isn’t Generic for Comic Conventions

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

The battle started almost six years ago. A Utah-based company known as Dan Farr Productions (“DFP”) decided to use San Diego Comic Convention’s (“SDCC”) registered trademark COMIC-CON in conjunction with its own comic and popular arts convention, resulting in SDCC filing suit in the Southern District of California. SDCC alleged in its complaint that it… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Considers Whether Adding a Top-Level Domain Makes a Generic Term a Protectable Trademark

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

On Monday, May 4, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, B.V.  For the first time in the history of the Court, the argument was live streamed via multiple outlets, including CNN, enabling us trademark junkies to listen to the argument in… Continue Reading

Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19

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

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that, pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, certain deadlines for patent and trademark applications would be extended. The CARES Act authorizes the PTO to toll, waive, or modify any patent or trademark deadline in effect during the COVID-19 emergency. The… Continue Reading

Stay Away; No Trademark for Social Distancing and other Informational Terms

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

Call me a pessimist, but it was surprising to me when I recently checked the USPTO trademark database that I did not find an application to register “Social Distancing” for some other novelty item.  (It is also surprising that the tag #socialdistancing has only 159,000 uses on Instagram.) Nevertheless, I am sure some entrepreneurs will… Continue Reading

OK, BOOMER: Fox Media Seeks Registration of the Viral Phrase From the USPTO

Posted in IP, Trademark Law

If you’re plugged into the digital world and its constantly emerging meme trends, you’ve probably encountered various “OK, Boomer” memes by now. If you’re unfamiliar with the trend, here is a brief synopsis. OK, Boomer is a phrase that is used in response to members of the baby-boomer generation who have, through their conduct, demonstrated… Continue Reading

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