TRADEMARK

On April 30, the USPTO issued the April 2016 Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (“TMEP”). The TMEP contains policy and procedural material for examining attorneys in the USPTO, trademark applicants, and attorneys and representatives for trademark applicants. The revised TMEP includes... read more
Now that inter partes review (IPR) has been around for a few years, more and more IPR decisions are making their way to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “Fed Cir”). It’s interesting to see how the Fed Cir is defining the procedural bounds for the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board... read more
Judge Percy Anderson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California recently granted summary judgment in the case Twentieth Century Fox v. Empire Distribution, Inc., Case No. CV-15-2158 PA (C.D. Cal. Feb. 1, 2016) in favor of Twentieth Century Fox Television (“Fox”) and... read more
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “Federal Circuit”) ruled today that the statutory prohibition against the registration of “disparaging” trademarks violates the First Amendment. The Federal Circuit struck down a nearly 70-year-old provision in the Lanham Act’s § 2(a), writing:It is... read more
The cease and desist letter - the infamous “legal nastygram,™” is the stuff of nightmares for business owners large and small. They rock confidence, paralyze business owners who aren’t sure what to do next, and are an all around “pain in the patoosh” (technically and legally speaking, of course).So... read more
The times they are a changin’ - this month the USPTO launched a pilot program allowing, under limited circumstances, amendments to descriptions of goods/services that would otherwise improperly broaden the current scope of a registration’s description. This program is specifically designed to... read more
As reported by the BBC, the 2020 Olympic committee scrapped the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo shown above on the left due to allegations that the logo’s designer, Kenjiro Sano, used other images as the basis for the logo. In particular, it is alleged that Sano used a design by Olivier Debie for the... read more
What’s in a name? These days, a lot. The wake of the digital revolution requires business owners to adapt their marketing and branding efforts at an incredible and often overwhelming pace.  In response, a brigade of creative firms has arisen offering cutting edge branding and design services.... read more
Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month?   To celebrate I decided that a perfect blog post is a discussion about ice cream and intellectual property litigation.  So, this post is dedicated to “ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”   There have... read more
The Washington Redskins are becoming all too familiar with losing, both on and off the field, in recent years. While losses to division rivals may cause the Redskins faithful to lose sleep during the season, the hit delivered recently to the Washington Redskins by the Federal District Court of the... read more
September 5, 2012, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals came to a decision regarding one of the most closely watched cases in trademark law, Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent. The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision which stated that a single color could not be trademarked in the... read more
Although college football is officially on hiatus until next season, the NFL is still generating controversy on the gridiron—this time in the world of trademark law. The issue arises from the Denver Broncos’ use of Texas A&M’s “12th Man” trademark during their playoff game against the Steelers... read more
Trademark law is an ingenious little creature of the law that has managed to disguise itself as simple and straightforward, when in reality it is anything but.  Trademark law is rife with complexity and subtle nuance, and at times can be unforgiving and uncompromising.  One of the most... read more
Looks like Netflix is having "the best month ever."  Not only are they at risk of losing over 1 million customers in the wake of their decision to split their streaming and DVD-by-mail services into two companies--Netflix for streaming and Qwikster for DVDs--but now Netflix has the privilege... read more
This is an old video from RocketBoom – but I really have been drawn back to it the last couple of days (probably because it was rerun).  It is a cool product and the issues it raises about the interaction between branding, packaging and art really made me stop and think. My favorite quote is... read more