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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Trademark Attorneys | Another University Enforcing Its Trademark Rights

We have seen it before - a university seeking to protect its alleged trademark rights in its mascot.  Whether it is the Florida State University protecting its beloved SEMINOLES logo or the University of Southern California Trojans protecting its SC logo, universities appear to be taking their trademark rights and trademark registrations seriously.  The latest involves the University of Cincinnati's attempt to enforce its BEARCAT mark.

Cincinnati.com summarizes the University of Cincinnati's efforts to force a bar near its campus, known as "Baba Budan's Bearcat Cafe," to cease use of the BEARCAT mark.  However, this does not appear to be an open and shut intellectual propoerty case.  Multiple legal issues are apparent, including:

Continue reading Trademark Attorneys | Another University Enforcing Its Trademark Rights >>
Thursday, 07 April 2011

Trademark Litigation Blog | Can Charlie Sheen Teach Us How To Trademark A Phrase?

Charlie Sheen is effectively teaching us all about trademarks and showing that: (1) it is possible to trademark a phrase; (2) filing a trademark application early helps to establish priority trademark rights against infringers; and (3) trademarks are valuable intellectual property that are best protected with formal registration.

Now that he’s lost his $1.8 million dollar per episode gig, Charlie Sheen is moving on to legal pastures with trademark registration applications–filed by Hyro-gliff, a company with ties to the former Two and a Half Men star–for 22 of his recent notable quotes.  Among the phrases are: Duh, Winning, Vatican Assassin, Tiger Blood, Rock Star from Mars, Sober Valley Lodge, and Sheen’s Goddesses.   

Sheen's applications seek protection for the production and sale of a whole slew of products including clothing, drinks, games, candy and slot machines.  According to his website, wait time on these products is backed up due to high demand.  Hopefully his trademark attorney performed an extensive trademark availability search before he started generating income off the sale of these products, otherwise he may be subject to claims of infringement or even trademark litigation. 

According to reports, Sheen isn’t the only one learning how to trademark a phrase – others have recently registered marks such as “Winning!”, “Uh Winning”, “World Wide Winning Connections” and “Who’s Winning?” in an attempt to capitalize on his dialect, keeping the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) busy reviewing Sheenisms, their proposed classes and intended uses.  A cursory search of trademark applications for TIGER BLOOD shows that many others are trying to capitalize off of the phrase. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Top Trademark News of Feb 2011 | Trademark Law Firms Blog

Here are the top 10 trademark news stories of February 2011:

1. Subway tries to trademark "Footlong." Casey's General Stores, an Iowa-based retailer, is working with a trademark law firm to fight against Subway's attempts to file registration for "Footlong." Casey's General Stores claims the term is generic.

2. Sarah and Bristol Palin attempt to trademark their names. Sarah and Bristol Palin are attempting to trademark their names for use in association with motivational speaking. Sarah Palin has filed for registration in International Class 041 for use in association with "Educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values."

3. Ford sues Ferrari over naming of Formula 1 car. Ford has sued Ferrari in a Detroit federal district court over its adoption and use of the name "F-150" for its Formula 1 car.

4. Bing and Yahoo change policy concerning the use of trademark keywords in advertisements. Bing and Yahoo will change their policies concerning the use of trademark keywords in advertisements starting March 3. This change means that Bing and Yahoo will no longer police advertisements for trademark infringement and trademark owners must now police the marketplace on their own accord.

5. President Obama says modernizing USPTO is key to success. President Obama has committed to modernizing the technology used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office according to the New York Times. More than 1,000 examiners will be added over the next two years.

6. Two taverns fight over "Tavern on the" moniker. Tavern on the Plaza, a yet to be opened Indianapolis bar, is suing Tavern on the Green, a Manhattan-based bar that is now undergoing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Tavern on the Plaza filed suit in Indianapolis after receiving a trademark infringement threat letter from the Chapter 7 trustee in Tavern on the Green's bankruptcy.

7. Pittsburg Steelers wins trademark dispute over counterfeit t-shirts. The Pittsburg Steelers have won a trademark dispute over counterfeit t-shirts. A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Nicholas Wohlfarthof Turtle Creek Sportswear has violated a 2005 consent judgment that barred him from selling counterfeit Steeler's merchandise. 

8. Google attempts to block documents that may show extent of consumer confusion. Google is attempted to block the release of documents in a Virgina federal appeals court. These documents, which arise out of a lawsuit filed by Rosetta Stone against Google for keyword advertising trademark infringement, are alleged to reveal the extent that consumers are confused by Google advertisements when they search for trademarked terms.

9. Phat Farm sues "Phag Farm" for trademark infringement. Hip hop clothing manufacturer Phat Farm has initiated trademark litigation against a Florida company that produces t-shirts bearing the term "Phag Farm." The suit seeks $7 million in damages.

10. Audio accessories company wins $2 million in statutory damages in trademark infringement lawsuit. Audio accessories company Odyssey Innovative Designs has won $2 million in statutory damages against Rack in the Cases Limited, a competitor in the audio market. Their trademark law firm alleged that Rack in the Cases Limited made knock-off copies of Odyssey products.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Trademark Lawyers Blog | Pac 12 Knows How to Protect & Enforce Their Trademark

In the United States, one acquires trademark rights when it first uses a distinctive mark in interstate commerce.  Both "distinctive mark" and "use in interstate commerce" are terms of art for trademark lawyers.  However, prior to making a use in commerce, one can file an intent to use trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), so long as she has a bona fide intent to use the trademark.  This filing serves as a constructive first use as long as the trademark is eventually used and procures into a trademark registration.

The college football conference formerly known as the PAC 10 has sought numerous intent to use trademark applications in light of its adding two teams to its conference.  The PAC 12 Conference filed an intent to use trademark application for logos as well as the PAC-12 characters themselves.  Their attempts to register a trademark were presumably done to take advantage of the constructive use benefit associated with filing an intent to use application.

Continue reading Trademark Lawyers Blog | Pac 12 Knows How to Protect & Enforce Their Trademark >>
Friday, 04 February 2011

The Super Bowl MVP Goes To...Trademark Registration

Trademark Registration A recent article from Yahoo! Sports points out how the NFL is vigilant about protecting its phrase: SUPER BOWL.  The Washington Post goes into further detail and makes reference to "trademarked words" and their effect on who may and who may not use such trademarks.  These articles are popular because the National Football League applied for and became the owner of a trademark registration, and more than one for that matter, for SUPER BOWL with the USPTO.  In doing so, they took the first step toward securing the additional benefits inherent in a trademark registration.  The reason the NFL's trademark for SUPER BOWL is in the news, however, is because the NFL did not stop once it got its trademark registration.

Continue reading The Super Bowl MVP Goes To...Trademark Registration >>
Friday, 28 January 2011

"How To Trademark" Update: USPTO to Open Office in Detroit, Michigan

Trademark registration office The USPTO  is opening its first satellite office in USPTO history.  Currently patent and trademark examiners are located in Washington, D.C. Where will the new USPTO office be located?  You might be surprised.  While their initial call is for patent examination positions, one has to wonder if trademark registration issues will soon be handled by USPTO trademark examing attorneys located in Detroit, MI? Email to [email protected].

Traverse Internet Law attorneys regularly help clients understand how to trademark a name Contact us for more information about trademark registration, trademark clearance and trademark opposition issues.

Monday, 06 December 2010

Facebook Close to Completing Trademark Registration of the Generic Term “Face”

How to trademark the name "face":  In a story first reported by TechCrunch, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance for registration of the word “Face”. Facebook filed registration for the mark within the category of "telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.”Trademark registration

Apparently, there are only a few remaining barriers Facebook has left to perform before its registration of the “Face” trademark is complete.
1) Facebook has to pay the issue fee (no foreseeable problems here),
2) Facebook must file a sworn Statement of Use that it intends to use the trademark in conjunction with products or services in commerce, and
3) Facebook must demonstrate its actual use of the mark in commerce.

Continue reading Facebook Close to Completing Trademark Registration of the Generic Term “Face” >>
Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Apple Trademark Registration for “There’s An App For That” is Likely Subject to Attack

Just because you achieve trademark registration with the USPTO, does not mean you automatically win.

There’s been a lot of press lately about Apple’s trademark application for “there’s an app for that.”

trademark registration
But just because Apple is able to navigate the requirements of the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its trademark registration, does not mean Apple would automatically win.  Apple’s registration for this trademark indicates a “first use anywhere” of January 26, 2009.  Take a look at these Goolge Search results for “there’s an app for that” from January 1, 1989 to January 1, 2008, before Apple started using the phrase to designate its slogan. 

It appears that Apple stole its slogan prior to Apple’s first use.  At a minimum, there will be many arguments for “fair use” as merely descriptive language for various software applications.

Tuesday, 05 October 2010

Intellectual Property Value is The Basis for Economic Recovery | Patent & Copyright Lawyers

Trademark Law Radio:  Glenn Purdue Discusses Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents & Trade Secrets

  • Glenn has been retained as an expert witness for software related cases in which patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark protection and related damages were in dispute. 
  • There are several models to value trademarks, service marks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets. Glen discusses cost-based approaches, market-based approaches, and income-based approaches to intellectual property valuation.

Glenn Perdue, managing member at Kraft Analytics, LLC, a valuation, forensics, consulting firm that works with attorneys related to valuation issues, transactional disputes, economic damages, intellectual property, antitrust analysis, corporate investigations, employee fraud, computer forensics and e-discovery, discusses three approaches in valuating intellectual property.

Announcer:  Welcome to Trademark Law Radio, sponsored by Traverse Trademark Law, Internet Lawyers specializing in Trademark Infringement, Trademark Licensing and Trademark Registration.  Now here is your host, Damien Allen.

Damien Allen:  Good afternoon and  welcome to Trademark Law Radio.  My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the phone is Glenn Perdue of Kraft Analytics, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.   Good afternoon, Glenn.  Welcome to the program.

Continue reading Intellectual Property Value is The Basis for Economic Recovery | Patent & Copyright Lawyers >>
Friday, 10 September 2010

Trademark Registration Proves Difficult for MTV’s Jersey Shore Cast

In a series of trademark registration decisions issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Office has almost roundly denied trademark registration applications submitted by MTV’s Jersey Shore cast members seeking to register marks in their nicknames.

register a trademark For example, Paul Delvecchio, Jr.’s (recognized on the Jersey Shore as ‘Pauly D’) efforts to get his DJ business going have been stymied in the USPTO by another trademark that has been in effect since 1973. The trademark preventing Pauly D from registering the trademark ‘DJ Pauly’ is held by another DJ going by the nickname ‘DJ Paulie’.

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino has also run into trademark registration troubles. Sorrentino’s attempt to register the trademark ‘The Situation’ in conjunction with T-shirt and underwear sales was recently suspended by the USPTO.

Continue reading Trademark Registration Proves Difficult for MTV’s Jersey Shore Cast >>
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Trademark Blog Homepage: Trademark Attorney, Lawyer: Trademark Registration & Trademark Infringement

Trademark Infringement: Cease & Desist Letter Help

  • Trademark Threats: 6 Reasons To Take Them Seriously
    Trademark attorney Enrico Schaefer explains what you should do when you receive a trademark cease and desist letter. Listen as he reviews 6 reasons why you should take any trademark threat letter seriously, and what you should do when you receive a cease and desist.
  • How to handle a trademark cease and desist letter?
    Trademark Attorney Brian Hall discusses what you should do when you receive a trademark cease and desist letter. What a trademark threat letter? Why trademark owners send trademark threat letters? What you should do when you receive a trademark infringement threat letter.

How to Trademark A Name?

  • How to Register a Trademark - USPTO Stopfakes.gov
    You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark. However, owning a Federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages ... here is how.
  • Types of U.S. Trademarks - USPTO Stopfakes.gov
    Specific types of trademarks include: Service marks which identify and distinguish the source of a service rather than a product; Certification marks are used by someone other than its owner, to certify quality or other characteristics of such person's goods or services; Collective marks are trademarks or service marks used by the members of a collective group or organization.
  • Definition of a "Trademark"- USPTO Stopfakes.gov
    A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.
  • How To Copyright and Trademark a Catchphrase!
    Wondering how to trademark a catchphrase? You should also think about how to copyright a catchphrase. Some intellectual property can be protected by both a trademark and copyright registration.

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