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Category Archives: TTAB

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Has Brand Jordan Stepped Out of Bounds?

Posted in Branding, Fashion, Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, TTAB

- Draeke Weseman, Weseman Law Office, PLLC In 1984, Nike needed an NBA superstar. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird wore Converse brand basketball shoes, as did most of the other major NBA stars. Adding to the pressure, Nike sales were in general decline as Reebok was dominating the broader fitness shoe market with its white… Continue Reading

Hours of Energy, But No Trademark Registration

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

The energy drink businesses is big, big business. From Red Bull and Monster to that strange 35 ounce purple can that you saw in a gas station once, consumers love energy drinks. Along with Red Bull and Monster, 5-Hour Energy is one of the most successful and recognizable brands. Innovation Ventures, LLC, the owner of the… Continue Reading

Oz The Saying Goes…

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Loss of Rights, Television, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

There’s no place like home. Just be careful where and how you say it. It is common knowledge among lawyers that copyright protection does not normally extend to titles, words, or short phrases. Movies, politicians, and our family and friends constantly quote books, movies, and famous politicians, actors, and others. From a trademark perspective, we see famous quotes… Continue Reading

Victoria’s Secret Defends Dream Angels?

Posted in Articles, Contracts, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

How important is the DREAM ANGELS brand to Victoria’s Secret? Victoria’s Secret has a robust portfolio of federally-registered trademarks to protect the DREAM ANGELS sub-brand for undergarments and a line of personal care products and fragrances. Years ago, apparently Victoria’s Secret entered into a consent-to-use agreement with Airs International, a company that had rights in ANGEL DREAMS… Continue Reading

Packaging that Kills (a Trademark)

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB

Killer packaging is a good thing. It can increase sales and establish a stronger emotional bond between the consumer and the product brand. The current packaging of Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps pretzel crackers might qualify as killer, but a long-anticipated and important trademark decision issued last Friday relied on an earlier version of the product packaging… 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

Crisps = Chips = Crackers?

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

Seeing these on the store shelf this weekend reminded me that we are still anxiously awaiting the USPTO’s decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) as to whether the words “pretzel crisps” will be found generic for “pretzel crackers” –basically, a public domain category or class of goods term, in the same way that “footlong”… Continue Reading

Red Bull v. Victoria’s Secret

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Famous Marks, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

When getting your wings might give you trouble from the one that gives you wings: Looks like Red Bull — owner of federally-registered rights in Gives You Wings — is considering a trademark opposition to prevent registration of Get Your Wings by Victoria’s Secret. Interesting and unlikely adversaries to say the least. Any predictions on whether… Continue Reading

The True Meaning of C [hristmas]

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Yes, it has finally arrived: the end of December. Whether you’re someone who views the day as bitter sweet, dreading the day when the dirty looks from your neighbors force you to finally take down your decorations in February, or whether you were ready for it all to be the over the very moment you… Continue Reading

What Does it Take to Be Famous?

Posted in Famous Marks, Trademarks, TTAB

Trademark law provides additional protection for famous trademarks.  We have all heard of the famous trademarks COCA-COLA, KODAK, and WIMBLEDON.  Although many trademark owners try, it is very difficult to achieve famous status.  You may recall my post in June, “Are You Famous Enough?”, where the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) rejected the… 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

The R-Word, Postponing the Inevitable

Posted in Almost Advice, AlphaWatch, Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

As many anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) decision in Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., a trademark cancellation action seeking to revoke six federal service mark registrations containing the R-Word (issued between 1967 and 1990), the pressure is mounting for the NFL team located near our Nation’s Capital to stop postponing the inevitable: A name change. Change… Continue Reading

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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

We continue to anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, especially given the Board’s recent genericness ruling in Sheetz of Delaware, Inc. v. Doctor’s Associates, Inc., finding FOOTLONG generic for “sandwiches, excluding hot dogs.” The question at issue in Frito-Lay’s trademark challenge to registration by… Continue Reading

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, False Advertising, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

                A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving as a trademark for any kind of sandwich. This is true despite Subway’s claimed… Continue Reading

A Fluid Family of Trademarks?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks, TTAB

John Welch over at the TTABlog recently reported that oral argument will be heard by the TTAB later this month in McDonald’s opposition of McSweet LLC’s application to federally register McSweet for pickled vegetable products. It appears many resources have been invested on both sides of this battle for more than six years; it is unclear… Continue Reading

Trademark Clearance Opinions Webinar

Posted in Almost Advice, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Infringement, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Teaming up with Susan Upton Douglass of the Fross Zelnick firm is always fun, so don’t miss our upcoming webinar on September 11, 2013. It is entitled “Structuring Trademark Clearance Opinions: Assessing Search Results to Identify Infringements, Overcoming Clearance Challenges, and Preparing Opinions to Reduce Legal Risks,” and it is offered by Strafford Publications. We’ve… Continue Reading

Tie Goes to the Brand or Generic Name?

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

Boys baseball occupied a fair portion of my evenings last week and this past weekend, a game where almost everyone has at least heard: The tie goes to the runner (when it comes to running the bases anyway – because when it comes to the final score the game continues until someone wins, even if it takes twenty… Continue Reading

Sheetz Flushing Subway’s Footlong TM Hope?

Posted in Branding, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

It has been almost six months since oral argument before the TTAB over the question of whether the word “footlong” is a trademark or a generic name for a type of sandwich. What type of sandwich you ask? One about twice as long as a six inch sandwich, let’s say about twelve inches in length, making it, oh, about a foot long. Needless… Continue Reading

Monster Cable Ordered to Pay Monster Daddy Attorneys Fees in Meritless Appeal

Posted in Contracts, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB

Techdirt has written extensively about why Monster Cable is considered ”somewhat famous as a trademark bully.” Numerous comments to a TTABlog post reinforce this view. One of the examples Mike Masnick over at Techdirt has highlighted is a TTAB case we handled for a Monster Cable victim a few years back, reported here, with pleadings here. This victory led us… Continue Reading

No Plaque on This Scope Bottle Trademark

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, TTAB

Would you place this mouth wash bottle on your bathroom counter or hide it under the counter? The answer to this question, it appears, can have a material impact on whether the shape and design of the bottle functions as a non-traditional trademark. The Procter & Gamble Company created this elegant container design — to counter the out-of-sight-out-of-mind… Continue Reading