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Tag Archives: TTABlog

Are pretzel crisps crumbling into genericness?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Marketing types and legal types who review labels, be well advised to choose words used carefully. In other words, if you believe you own rights in Pretzel Crisps as a trademark, it’s not wise to use the number of so-called “Crisps” as the serving size, especially with no trademark notice symbol. Frito-Lay’s successful 2014 generic… Continue Reading

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve been stressing the importance of close collaboration between trademark and marketing types when it comes to forming public communications… Continue Reading

Actually Resisting the Temptation to Tout Function and Hopefully Own a Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Loss of Rights, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Technology, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Continuing our ramp up toward the launch of our Strategies for Owning Your Product Designs webinar next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Morton-Norwich factors — the common analysis for determining whether a product design or feature can be owned as a trademark or whether it is functional and part of the public… Continue Reading

Trademarks That Violate Public Policy

Posted in Articles, Branding, First Amendment, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

As our friend John Welch reported last week, the place to be on March 10, 2015, is Washington, D.C., at the 25th Annual “PTO Day,” sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association: John will be part of the panel update on TTAB practice, and I’ll be providing the overview of Section 2(a) of the Lanham… Continue Reading

No IP Holes in this Crystal Head

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink here over the past several years discussing the protection of non-traditional trademarks. We’ve also written about the importance of layering various intellectual property rights (trademark, copyright, and patent) to accomplish the competitive goals of a business. And, we’ve enjoyed writing about non-traditional vodka branding here and here. Today,… Continue Reading

Pretzel Crisps Genericness Decision Appealed

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB

A couple of months ago you will recall that the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held “Pretzel Crisps” generic for pretzel crackers. Here are links to our previous coverage of the case: Packaging that Kills (a Trademark) Crisps = Chips = Crackers? A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Tie Goes to the Brand or Generic Name?… Continue Reading

Single Color Trademark Developments

Posted in Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Over the past five years, we have spilled a lot of black digital ink discussing trademark ownership of single colors. Color continues to be an important aspect of branding and differentiation in a variety of markets, including many you’d expect, and some you might not. Christian Louboutin’s red color trademark helps to illustrate the importance of single color… Continue Reading

Having “Just Ship It” Reluctance?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, TTAB

Seth Godin — famous for inspiring those who create to “shipit” — took the opportunity yesterday to respond to those who contend he encourages others to “just ship it.” In Godin’s response he takes issue with the word “just,” because it “implies a throwaway“: “The just has a, ‘what the hell,’ element to it. With ‘just’ in… Continue Reading

Trademark Civility

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

About a week ago I had the honor and pleasure of once again presenting the annual trademark review at the 11th Annual Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with good friend and trademark guru Paul Mussell. And happily, TTABlogger John Welch once again graciously contributed the IP Book chapter on the Top Ten TTAB Cases. One… Continue Reading

AlphaWatch on the Streets of San Francisco

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

Something like 8,000 trademark attorneys are wandering loose on the streets of San Francisco for the International Trademark Association’s annual meeting. Once again, the main attraction was "Meet the Bloggers" — this edition happened to be "Meet the Bloggers VII" — where a record crowd crammed into Swig Bar a few hours ago, from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Thanks Marty, John, and Ron for another great event!… Continue Reading

And, Here’s . . . Jimmy’s Johnnys

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Television, Trademarks, TTAB

One good thing leads to another, or perhaps, vice versa (then again, maybe not):      Odds are, you probably are familiar with the logo on the left, but maybe not the history behind the brand and company it represents. Apparently, a guy named Jimmy John Liataud founded Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in Charleston, Illinois, in 1983, and since then, has grown… Continue Reading

Boston Bound for INTA Annual Meeting

Posted in Trademarks

Since we have descended upon Boston, like just about every other trademark attorney in the world, for the annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA), I’ll attempt to keep my remarks short and sweet today. Basically, I’m confident that the highlight of the INTA annual meeting (that has been observed to require an overhaul, to put it mildly) will be the unsponsored, unendorsed,… Continue Reading