We are excited to launch our new free trademark teleconference series next week, and we hope that you will join us!

Attorneys from Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC (“EMP&A”), will host the first in a new series of trademark law teleconferences on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 12:00 PM EST. January’s teleconference, titled “Ten Essential Trademark Tips,” will feature an introduction to the fundamental concepts in the trademark law as well as practical lessons for obtaining and protecting trademark rights.

The series of teleconferences will be free, and anyone interested in learning more about trademark law is welcome to join, regardless of expertise. “Even though Americans encounter hundreds of trademarks every day on the products they buy and in the advertisements they see and hear, people are often less familiar with the basic principles of trademark rights compared to other forms of intellectual property, like patents and copyrights,” said attorney Erik Pelton, founder of EMP&A. “The goal of our series is to bridge that knowledge gap, so that individuals, entrepreneurs, small businesses, journalists, and others are able to recognize the role trademarks play in business and commerce today, as well as some of the legal issues surrounding them.” In particular, small business owners will receive practical tips to maximize the protection and value of their trademarks and other intellectual property. The use of trademarks on social media websites will also be discussed.

“Ten Essential Trademark Tips” will begin at 12:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.  To participate by phone, call (217) 258-5590 and enter Pin Number 15613

Trademark Tip:
USPTO Seeks Public Comments about “Abusive Trademark Litigation Tactics”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Request for Comments regarding abusive trademark litigation tactics has been extended through February 7th.

We encourage all trademark owners and others with an interest in the rights of small businesses to submit comments. Here is the link to our firm’s comments: Comments Regarding “Small Business Study” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office | Erik Pelton – via JDSupra.

Trademarks in the News: NFL Playoffs

Which is your favorite logo and brand among the NFL playoff teams? The playoffs will culminate in the Super Bowl, one of the most well-known, valuable and well-protected trademarks in the US. Did you know that the shape of the ‘Vince Lombardi Trophy’ awarded to the winning team is a registered trademark?

In the NFL, the logos can be sorted into two types: (1) old school classic looking designs, and (2) modern sleeker designs. I generally think the classic timeless designs are the best.

Modern Logos in the Playoffs

New York Jets

Baltimore Ravens

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks

Philadelphia Eagles

Atlanta Falcons

Classic Logos in the Playoffs

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs
Since 1972. Original logo (not the most original name).
Pittsburgh Steelers
Logo used since 1962. Iconic. Simple. Original and unique.
New Orleans Saints

Green Bay Packers
Essentially the same since 1969
Chicago Bears

Essentially the same since 1962

Which playoff team’s logo makes the best brand and the best trademark? Of the classic logos, the Saints logo is great and represents the city and culture of New Orleans quite well – although the ‘fleur-de-lis’ is a common symbol in places settled by the French. The Steelers is excellent – the name is unique and also represents the core of the history and culture of Pittsburgh, and the logo is distinctive. The Colts name and logo are also quite unique. The C of Chicago and the G of Green Bay are good and are classics, but they do not have the character or meaning of some of the other good logos. Of the more modern designs, I find the Patriots and Ravens logos to be hideous, although both team names are unique and provide character. The Eagles is a boring name and the connection to Philadelphia is a bit weak (especially since it is not an American bald eagle); yet the sleek and scary bird in the logo is very well done. The same goes for the Falcons – not unique and no real meaning for the city or team. Of the modern designs, the Seahawks have the nicest design. The Seahawks name, while original, is a bit odd  – a ‘seahawk’ is another name for an osprey.

Overall, I like the Steelers the best! Here are a few of the trademark registrations owned by the Steelers:

STEELERS – registered for
Entertainment services int eh form of professional professional football games and exhibitions
Football helmets and large variety of goods

– registered for
Football helmets and a large variety of goods
Articles of clothing and a large variety of goods; production of radio and television programs, football games, ….

PITTSBURGH STEELERS – registered for
Entertainment services – namely, football exhibitions rendered live in stadia…
Football helmets and a variety of goods
Articles of clothing and a variety of other goods

STEELY MCBEAM – [the mascot’s name] registered for performances and appearances by a costumed mascot for a professional football team, and other goods and services

– registered for Jerseys; Education and entertainment services in the nature of organizing and presenting professional football games and exhibitions; and other services

– registered for “Jerseys; Education and entertainment services in the nature of organizing and presenting professional football games and exhibitions;, and other services

– registered for “Entertainment Services in the Form of Professional Football Games and Exhibitions”

– registered for “Entertainment Services in the Form of Professional Football Games and Exhibitions”

Did You Know?

Here are some interesting “2011” trademark filings(click images or trademark names for USPTO records):

– pending application for “Arranging and conducting athletic competitions”
– pending application for a vareity of items [Note: An extension of time to file an Opposition has been filed by the U.S. Dept. of the Navy]
– pending application for “Entertainment, namely, live music concerts and military tributes; educational services, namely, developing, arranging and conducting workshops, programs, and seminars in the fields of history, civics, education, and government; museum services; special event coordination and consultation services; Restaurant and catering services”
– pending application for a very large variety of goods and services [Note: The English translation of “UNIVERSIADE” in the mark is “World University Games”.]
– pending application for “Entertainment services in the nature of professional baseball games and exhibitions…”
– registered for “Advertising and promotional services; Chamber of commerce services, namely, promoting business and tourism in the Southern/Central California area”
and GDL 2011- pending applications for variety of goods and services [Note: Guadalajara is the site for the 2011 Pan American Games]
– pending application for “Charms; Lapel pins; Ornamental lapel pins; Pins; Pins being jewelry; Rings” [Note: the application is the subject of an Opposition filed by Omega SA, the watch company]

Some of these are for one time events, some are to commemorate brands or events that have been around a long time. Regardless of how new or how old, how long or how brief, brands are cornerstones to most businesses. As these 2011 brands demonstrate, they should be protected and registered for maximum value.

Firm News

Erik Pelton was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Donahey was recently appointed to the Economic Development Committee of the National Small Business Association.


If there are any topics or issues you would like to see covered here, let us know!

This publication has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not intended to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter. Under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions, it may be considered advertising material.

© 2011 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC.

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