Tag Archives: Trademark

Can a Trademark Licensee Keep Using the Mark after the Licensor Files for Bankruptcy? Circuit Split Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

All you trademark lawyers better sit down, because this may come as a shock: You are not “intellectual property” lawyers . . . at least not according to Section 11 U.S.C. § 101(35A) of the Bankruptcy Code, which intentionally omits trademarks from the definition of “intellectual property.”

Owing in part to this omission, there is an ongoing circuit split as to the rights of a trademark licensee when a licensor declares bankruptcy.… More

Flags as Trademarks: What are the Rules of the Road?

I never paid a lot of attention to Flag Day, until the year that my daughter was born on June 14.  Now Flag Day is a special day for our family, and of course there is a lot of flag waving on Independence Day which comes hot on its heels.  So this seems like a good time to review the rules on when you can register and use images of flags as trademarks.… More

Can We Give State Cannabis Trademarks Some Teeth While Waiting for a Federal Solution?

Cannabis trademarks. By now, most IP lawyers know two things about them.

First, even though cannabis is legal in an increasing number of states (9 allow recreational use; 29 allow medical use), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is refusing applications to federally register cannabis trademarks, no matter the home state of the applicant, until the substance gets reclassified by or removed from the Controlled Substances Act (which doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon).… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 10: Behaving Badly at the St. Francis Since 1907

This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern brands.… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 8: The Invention of the Super Market

This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern Washington became the 42nd state in 1889,… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 7: Ostrea Lurida & the San Francisco Oyster House

This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern brands.… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 3: The Feuding Fremont Undertakers

This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern brands.… More

Seattle Trademark History Tour, Part 1: The “Gargeline” Shootout at Pioneer Square

This year, the great city of Seattle, Washington is the location of both the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting (May 19-23) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 15-17). If you are one of the many lawyers attending these events and you want a Seattle trademark experience, you could do the obvious and visit locations associated with the city’s famous modern brands.… More

The Black Hole of Misappropriation: Astronaut’s Right of Publicity and Trademark Claims Survive Summary Judgment

Is astronaut David Scott more like fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin or NASA pilot Chuck Yeager? Scott was the Commander of the Apollo 15 mission and the seventh person to walk on the moon, so the obvious answer is Aldrin. However, when it comes to the right of publicity, Scott has much more in common with Yeager, at least according to Judge Nathanael Cousins of the Northern District of California in Scott v.… More

Port in Porto, Portugal: Wine And Geographical Indications At PTMG

I am in Porto, Portugal for the spring conference of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group, and I have enjoyed learning a bit about port wine – and the associated geographical indication – while I am here.  Port, of course, is a sweet, heavy wine popular as an after-dinner drink, though it comes in various varieties, including a white version handy for mixing cocktails.  The essential quality of port arises from the process by which it is made,… More

Creative Trademark Enforcement Part IV: Going “Olde” School

Over the past few years, we have seen numerous instances of companies protecting their trademarks in creative ways – approaches that leverage humor and the brands themselves in order to achieve an acceptable legal outcome while simultaneously promoting the company and its brands, thus minimizing the risk of public relations blowback. In this “Creative Trademark Enforcement” series of blog posts, I’ll be exploring some of the more interesting takes on this approach,… More

The Shape Of My Heart: A Guide To Chocolate Shape Trademarks For Your Valentine

The past year has been an active one in the chocolate trademark wars, as confectionery giants attempt to use trademark law to protect the shapes of iconic candy products.  In the US, and in many other jurisdictions, companies can protect product shapes or configurations, but only if they are sufficiently distinctive that the design functions as an indicator of source.  Chocolatiers have had varying degrees of success in convincing trademark offices and courts that their confections have attained that status. … More