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Posts Tagged: "trademark registration"

Apparel Trademarks: How the Mere Ornamentation Technicality May Be Undermining Your Brand

The value of your company’s intellectual property cannot be understated, particularly in the current economic climate. But this should not be news to you, especially if you are in the business of displaying your brand name or logo on merchandise for sale. In that case, you know how important it is to protect your trademarks, so as to thwart the attempts of opportunistic parties that seize upon your IP for their own profit. Case in point: online companies selling apparel featuring the names, logos, and even mascots of high schools and colleges nationwide without any prior authorization to do so. How do businesses like these get away with what seems to be a fundamentally illegal business model—selling knockoff hoodies, tees, and similar spirit wear?

Trademark Lessons from BLACK LIVES MATTER Name Confusion

Many people are looking for ways to support the Black community and to encourage police reform following the death of George Floyd and others by police. One of the most common ways to provide support has been to organize fundraisers and donate money to nonprofits and grassroots organizations coordinating these efforts. Unfortunately, organizations sometimes adopt similar names or slogans, and donations can be misdirected. In one recent example, donors who thought they were donating to the Black Lives Matter movement—operated under the name Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLMGN)—mistakenly designated funds to an unrelated nonprofit called the Black Lives Matter Foundation. The Black Lives Matter Foundation has a very similar name to the Black Lives Matter movement, but a different mission. Donors were dismayed to discover that they had inadvertently committed funds to the wrong organization.

International Trademark Filing Strategies: How, When & Where to File a Trademark Outside the U.S.

International trademarks were once only necessary for large scale businesses and corporations. In today’s global marketplace, however, nearly any business, especially a business with online exposure, should consider filing for an international trademark. With the rise of counterfeiters and cybersquatters in other countries, like China, protecting your brand at home and across the world may be more critical than ever. Having a strategic trademark plan on a global scale will ensure your brand’s value will be managed by you, not an imposter from a country half the world away. Consider the following as you begin the process to register your trademark internationally.

Managing Trademark Clutter in a Busy IoT World

The default position of brands has often been to protect as many marks as possible, driving other applicants out and helping establish a well-known and profitable identity. When names can make or break a brand, a significant number of trademarks are created purely for protection. However, these protective practices lead to a systemic problem. When new entrants to a market are faced with trademark clutter, their only choice is to adopt equally aggressive application strategies. This behavior leads to more clutter and further reduces the available pool of marks for the next generation of applicants.

Protecting Your Brand Portfolio: Four Steps for a Proper Trademark Audit

A trademark audit is a review of a brand owner’s current trademark portfolio to ensure that the brand owner’s trademark usage and trademark holdings are sufficient, comprehensive, and accurate. Good practices requires that a trademark audit be conducted yearly, or any time an existing trademark portfolio is acquired, even if there has already been IP due diligence. The primary goal of conducting a trademark audit is to ensure that there are no deficiencies in protection.

Using Do-It-Yourself or Online Trademark Registration Services Can Prove Disastrous for Entrepreneurs

Mass market online filing services simply do not give their clients the time and attention they require and deserve during the trademark application process. The money clients end up spending trying to fix mistakes – in legal fees, settlements and redeveloping products, packaging and marketing materials – would have been better spent doing it right from the start with a professional who is qualified to advise and guide them.

Trademark Alert: Unauthorized Changes to Trademark Applications and Registrations

The United States Patent and Trademark Office sent an e-mail notifying stakeholders of an alarming ongoing scheme to hijack trademark files. Apparently, there has been a number of unauthorized changes made to active trademark applications and registrations. It seems that these changes are part of a larger scheme to register the marks of others on third-party brand registries. If a change is made to an application or registration an automated e-mail is immediately sent out by the USPTO. If you receive one of these e-mails do not ignore it.

Trademarks: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know about Securing and Protecting Trademarks

Trademarks protect distinctive marks, such as brand names, logos, and designs.  This protection allows a trademark holder to exclude others from using the mark without permission of the owner. The following includes important, basic information about trademarks, as well as how start-ups can protect their trademarked intellectual property.

Trademark Application filed for ‘FitzMagic’, but not by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Whether Ryan Fitzpatrick opposes or otherwise challenges Minkah Fitzpatrick’s registration of FitzMagic, one has to question the wisdom of seeking a trademark that NFL fans will associate with someone other than the trademark owner. “That defeats the entire point of a trademark,” said Gene Quinn, founder of IPWatchdog.com. “Trademarks are supposed to set you apart and specifically identify the source, this just seems guaranteed to cause confusion if the USPTO issues the trademark. Not a smart business move.”

EP’s Louboutin Decision Opens the Door for U.S. Businesses to Protect Their Color/Shape Brands in Europe

The issue faced by the EU High Court was whether shape and color of Louboutin’s mark could be separated under the circumstances; i.e., whether color applied to the sole of a high-heeled shoe is essentially a “shape” mark within the meaning of the EU trademark law. The EU High Court found in favor of Louboutin, pointing out that Louboutin did not seek to protect a particular shape, but the application of a color to a specific part of a high heeled shoe. 

Can You Trademark a Color?

Yes, under certain circumstances you can trademark a color… Examples of protectable color marks include: red soles for women’s high-heel dress shoes, where the rest of the shoe is not also red (Louboutin); pink fiberglass insulation (Owens-Corning); red knobs on cooking appliances (Wolf); light blue for jewelry boxes (Tiffany); brown for parcel delivery trucks and uniforms (UPS); magenta for telecommunications services (T-Mobile); and orange for scissor handles (Fiskars).

Federal Circuit Finds TTAB Erred In Determining Genericnessof Coca-Cola’s ZERO Trademarks

On Wednesday, June 30th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Royal Crown Company, Inc., et. al. v. The Coca-Cola Company which vacated and remanded an earlier decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) regarding the use of “ZERO” trademarks on soft drink beverages marketed by Coca-Cola. The Federal Circuit panel, consisting of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Kathleen O’Malley and Richard Taranto, found that the TTAB had erred in its legal framing of the question regarding the claimed genericness of Coca-Cola’s mark and failed to determine whether the mark was at least highly descriptive if not generic.

Influx of Trademark Applications at the USPTO Subsidized by Chinese Government, Include Doctored Product Images

According to Eric Perrott, a trademark and copyright attorney with Gerben Law Firm, chatter among U.S. trademark officials and attorneys regarding the increase of potentially fraudulent Chinese applications became more serious about a year ago. At that time, people were noting an increase of applications from specific Chinese provinces including Shenzhen, considered by many to be the Silicon Valley of China. “There’s a clear pattern that you can tell with some of the applications,” Perrott said. “They appear to be marks with arbitrary names or made-up jumbles of words.” Perrott notes that filing for marks that have no translation in a foreign language allows an applicant to file a trademark application on the cheapest basis possible, removing the need to file a $50 translation fee.

UMBC files trademark application to celebrate historic upset in NCAA Tournament as 16-Seed

UMBC has filed U.S. Trademark Application No. 87838422 which would protect the use of the standard character mark ’16 over 1′ for the sale of athletic apparel including footwear, hats and athletic uniforms. The university also filed U.S. Trademark Application No. 87838378, covering the standard character mark “RETRIEVER NATION”, and U.S. Trademark Application No. 87838377, covering the standard character mark “UMBC RETRIEVERS”. Each of these trademarks was filed on March 17th, one day after the UMBC Retrievers’ victory over the Virginia Cavaliers.

Incontestable Status: What it is and why trademark owners want it

Incontestable status does not make the trademark immune from all possible challenges, however, the most problematic challenges from a trademark owner’s perspective are gone… “To me, incontestable status is important as it removes the ability for the trademark to be cancelled by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for descriptiveness,” said attorney Mark Malek of Widerman Malek.