While all eyes have been trained on the confirmation hearings from last week, the Supreme Court made news in the IP world. The Court granted certiorari in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew (Nos. 19-1434, -1452, -1458), a decision analyzing the Appointments Clause, U.S. Const. Art. II, § 2, Cl. 2. In Arthrex, a panel of the Federal Circuit held that the statutory scheme for appointing administrative patent judges (APJs) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board violates the Appointments Clause.… More
Tag Archives: TTAB
Upcoming Event: Boston Trademark Roundtable with the USPTO (September 17, 2019)
The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and Foley Hoag are pleased to invite you to an open roundtable discussion with USPTO officials Meryl Hershkowitz (Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations, United States Patent and Trademark Office) and Larry Stanley (Interlocutory Attorney, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board).
Topics will cover a range of USPTO trademark operations, procedures, and policies, including the recent and upcoming changes to representation of foreign applicants,… More
Restating the Obvious: Beer and Wine are Related Goods for Trademark Purposes, Except when They Aren’t
Beer and wine are related goods for trademark purposes. Right? We’ve seen that truism announced by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) time and time again. So, do you really have to prove it from scratch in every trademark proceeding?
Yes, you do. Sure, it may seem obvious that consumers expect beer and wine to emanate from the same source. After all, they are both beverages,… More
10 Trademark Cases About Yo Mama
Anna Jarvis led the efforts to establish the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in 1908, during which she honored her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a Civil War-era social activist. But about a dozen years after that first celebration, Anna Jarvis had become the holiday’s most vocal opponent. Why? Commercialization. The floral and greeting card industries had already taken over her idea,… More
Marijuanaville v. Margaritaville: Registering Trademarks For Chemically Induced Mental Paradises
Although marijuana is becoming legal to varying degrees in an increasing number of states, your chances of getting a marijuana trademark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are still grim. In order to register a trademark with the PTO, the applicant has to show that the goods or services with which the mark will be used are permitted under federal law. Therefore, until marijuana gets reclassified by or removed from the federal Controlled Substances Act,… More
A Trademark Year In Wine And Beer 2016: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide To Disputed Beverages
Just in time for the holiday season, we present our third annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer, a wrap-up of alcohol-related trademark and trademark-ish disputes dating back to December 2015, when we published our last edition. Our scope includes lawsuits brought in U.S. Courts, actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”), arbitrations pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”),… More
Miss Trademark USA: Beauty Pageant Naming Disputes
Just this month, two disputes over the trademark rights to beauty pageant names were resolved, pending appeal. In World Pageants LLC v. Miss G-String International LLC, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) dismissed an opposition to the registration of MISS G-STRING INTERNATIONAL because the opposer’s mark (MISS NUDE INTERNATIONAL) just wasn’t similar enough to cause confusion. Meanwhile, in Organizacion Miss America Latina v.… More
Trademark Red Tape: Incoming Fee Increases And Sweeping TTAB Rule Changes
Welcome to Trademark Red Tape, our periodic round-up of trademark news and happenings at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Here are the highlights:
- Disparaging Marks Still Held in Abeyance. As an update to our last Trademark Red Tape, the USPTO, which has now filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in In re Tam with respect to the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act,…
Skippy Still Hates Peanut Butter: TTAB Denies Petition To Cancel 1947 Trademark Registration . . . Again
Two years ago in March, in honor of National Peanut Month, we recounted the truly epic struggle for the SKIPPY mark between the once-iconic cartoon character and the still-iconic peanut butter brand. The story began nearly 90 years ago and involves a multi-generational dispute between one indefatigable family and a succession of large food companies. The very first decision in this dispute was issued by the US Trademark Office in 1933. … More
A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer 2015: Our Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages
Just in time for the holiday season, we present our second annual Trademark Year in Wine and Beer. Whether you are planning a holiday party or just having some friends over, you are probably in the market for some liquid holiday cheer. Sure, you could make your beverage purchases based only on taste or price, but instead why not mix it up this year and pick a drink that was the subject of a recent notable trademark dispute?… More
Supreme Court’s B&B Hardware ruling creates the potential for court deference to the TTAB — but will it happen?
Did TTAB proceedings — until now considered a relatively obscure branch of IP litigation, conducted before an administrative body of which most attorneys are blissfully unaware — just assume greater importance? That seems to be the general reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries last month.
B&B Hardware took an unusually aggressive approach to its trademark dispute with Hargis,… More
Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation
Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and neighbors some NFL-related litigation that you haven’t been following? We can’t help you with the first problem (although, as an Iggles fan living in the heart of Patriots Nation,… More
The PTO vs. The Phantom Marks: A Ghost Story
Don’t read this one before bed.
As autumn sets in and Halloween approaches, my mind turns to jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and phantoms. Phantom marks, that is. Equally incorporeal though perhaps somewhat less frightening than their ghostly namesakes, phantom marks are registered trademarks that contain a “phantom,” or changeable, element. A well-known phantom registration was _ _ _ _ _ _ FOR DUMMIES for various self-help books,… More
Divided TTAB Panel Once Again Finds REDSKINS Trademarks Disparaging
In a ruling sure to generate heated discussion in the sports world, the trademark community and elsewhere, a divided panel of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has ruled that six registered marks including the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington NFL franchise should be cancelled.
A Long, Strange Trip
Of the six marks at issue, one was registered in 1967,… More