Trademark registration is an important part of brand protection, but hiring the best trademark registration attorney you can find is only part of the equation. Your trademark and brand value is determined by numerous factors. Of critical importance is the notion of trademark goodwill; how customers feel about your trademark protected brand.
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Domain Name Trademark Infringement Alert:
As internet lawyers, we understand how on-line / internet infringement affects trademark right owners across the world wide web. Each time a new domain extension is launched, new opportunities for trademark domain infringement arise. As .xxx comes closer to launch, you need to understand how to protect your trade mark in the pornography space.
Knowing how to select and register a trademark is tough. Knowing how to turn your trademark in valuable intellectual property is tougher still. While a trademark attorney can help you legally protect your mark, your creative and business team has even harder work. In this Trademark Law Radio interview, John Anderson, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.talks about how the Levi trademarks have evolved and become some of the most powerful brands in the world.
- It’s no easy business maintaining global brands and trademarks, and it’s even more difficult to keep a brand relevant while staying loyal to its roots. Brands live and die based on their relevance to what’s happening now with the culture, competitors, and consumers, and staying relevant is hard, constant work.
- We view our icons, not just as a form of marketing, but as a critical piece of brand and trademark protection.
- Brand protection is not a onetime deal and involves more than just registering trademarks. To protect a brand, you’ve got to constantly tend to it and, when necessary, to update it. In fact, the red tab helped distinguish our products for a few decades, until competitors began to incorporate the same idea into their products.
- For a brand to be globally relevant, it must always be innovative. This is the double-edged work that is necessary in our industry. A brand must be both timeless, yet cutting edge, novel but classic.
- In a world like this, brand matters more than ever, but the competition to keep brands and trademarks defended, and relevant, is one of the greatest business challenges managers face.
Update: Keyword search engine bidding cost hotels $ billions
According to a recent report on brandjacking done by MarkMonitor ®, the top online hotel brands lose over $2 billion a year as a result of brandjacking. The losses stem from competitors bidding on their company brand name in keyword search advertising programs such as Google’s Adwords.
The study identified over 2,100 instances of cybersquatting on the five brand names, where the registrant of the domain name was not the registered trademark owner of the brands. These cybersquatted domains generate traffic of 57 million page visits per year.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 DetroitHiring@uspto.gov.
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.