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Archive for October, 2013

TPAC Quarterly Meeting Summary – October 2013

Posted by ipelton on: October 29th, 2013

The following is a summary of some of the key points discussed at this month’s meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) of the USPTO. I was in attendance in person at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The handouts from the meeting are available in PDF below.

TPAC photo

Departing Members

  • Three members of the Committee were at the final meeting of their term. They were thanked for their service and provided certificates of appreciation.
    • Ann Chasser
    • Deb Hampton
    • Cheryl Black

CFO UPDATE – Tony Scardino, CFO

  • The USPTO continued operations during the government shutdown based on their ability to spend fees collected from prior to the end of the last fiscal year.
  • The trademark reserves are bigger than the patent reserves.
  • The USPTO is currently operating in FY2014 on a continuing resolution which funds it until 01/15/2014.
  • The budget for FY2015 has been present to O.M.B.
  • The USPTO’s Draft 2014-2018 strategic plan was recently released. Public comments can be submitted until 11/25/2013. There will be a public forum on the strategic plan on 11/05/2013.
  • Trademark revenue in FY2013 was $264m.
  • Trademark spending in FY2013 was $226m.
  • trademark operations has an operating reserve of $156m.

TRADEMARK OPERATIONS UPDATE – Commissioner Deborah Cohn

  • In FY2013, trademarks met or exceeded all of its performance goals.
  • 79% of trademark filings are now handled completely electronically without any paper incoming or outgoing.
  • The USPTO will be working in the next year to continue to try to increase the number of all electronic filings.
  • There are currently 409 trademark examiners, and the equivalent of 389 full time examiners.
  • An update to the TMEP will be released on 10/30/2013. It will include a section on handling #HASTAG trademarks along with other updates.
  • The USPTO’s draft examination guide on gTLD trademrsk is currently up for comment on IdeaScale.
  • The ID manual is being redesigned. The USPTO is also looking to update the descriptions in rapidly changing industries such as social media and is discussing with outside constituents.
  • There is a new tool available called “ID Assist” in the online TEAS applications that helps check whether an ID is acceptable.
  • The USPTO has posted a request for comments on changes to post-registration identifications based on changes in technology. Comments are due by 12/01/2013.
  • The electronic Official Gazette was deployed on 09/24/2013 and has been well received.
  • The USPTO’s public outreach on trademark issues continues. A new 42 minute video has been released “Trademark Basics: What Every Small Business Should Know Now, Not Later

INTERNATIONAL AND POLICY UPDATE – Sharon Marsh, Amy Cotton

  • An examination guide on internet specimens for service marks will be out soon
  • The Section 8/15 specimen pilot program related to possible “deadwood” on the register is still ongoing; the USPTO will review and report once all the information is received.

TTAB UPDATE – Chief Judge Gerard Rogers

  • 49 precedential decisions were issues by the Board were issued in FY2013 (22 were ex parte / 27 inter partes).
  • The number of new TTAB cases increased in FY2013.
  • The Board has made progress on decreasing the pendency of final decisions and motions.
  • 6 ACR cases were decided in FY2013.
  • Board will host a roundtable on 12/03/13 on “end to end processing” of Board appeal and trial cases. More details will be announced soon.

OCIO UPDATE – Raj Dolas & John Owen & Marcie Lovett

  • Progress on TMNG (‘trademarks next generation’) with internal and external systems continues

 

TPAC Meeting Slides – October 2013

A Boston Red Sox tribute: interesting beard trademarks

Posted by ipelton on: October 28th, 2013

The Boston Red Sox, currently playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series (for more on World Series trademarks, see my post). The Red Sox this year have a plethora of beards. It’s their thing.

And beards seem to be quite trendy this year, even beyond the Red Sox. For example, the following beard related trademarks were filed in 2013

  • FEED YOUR BEARD. – for Dietary supplements
  • BEARDILIZER - Dietary supplements
  • MISTER BEARD - Lotions, shampoos, and conditioners for beard
  • CRAFT BEERD - Printed Paper Goods and Fine Art paper prints, namely, posters, canvases for painting, stickers, postcards, and photographs; Clothing, namely, tops, shirts; Headwear
  • BEARD BEER – beer
  • KEEP HOUSTON BEARD - Hats; Sweatshirts; T-shirts
  • SECRET STACHE STOUT - Beer; Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter
  • Trademark image - Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting of competitions for men’s beards, namely, competition, exhibition, and demonstration of styling of men’s beards, men’s grooming services, men’s beard appearance, men’s grooming products, and men’s health care products, all as they relate to men’s facial hair; Promotional sponsorship of beard competitions, demonstrations, and exhibitions, including sales of promotional novelty items, namely, t-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, vests, jackets, caps, scarves, bandanas, belt buckles, cuff bracelets, decals, stickers, cups, mugs, shorts, beverage koozies, pens, key chains, dog tags, patches, USB drives, and the like
  • Trademark image- On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring facial hair

 

 

 

As I have said, the USPTO can be great for competitive research and the like. Someone from Potomac, Maryland (yes, that is where current Washington football team owner Dan Snyder lives) filed to register WASHINGTON BRAVEHEARTS this month. The story was actually first reported by TMZ.

Trademark image

As the media and public pressure to change the current team name grows, the information made the rounds in the news, and the Redskins’ spokesperson even commented on it.

NFL.com: Washington Redskins nix Bravehearts team name

DC Sports Bog: Redskins: No connection with ‘Bravehearts’

 

 

 

 

College football is in the middle of the season, and many big time programs across the country pack 100,000+ fans into their stadiums.  College football is full of great tradition – and interesting mascots and logos, and even a few non-traditional trademarks.

Here are a few of the most interesting college football trademarks [click marks for USPTO records]:

  • 12TH MAN – registered by Texas A & M University
  • HAIL TO THE VICTORS – registered by University of Michigan (claiming use since 1927)
  • BETWEEN THE HEDGES – registered by University of Georgia (claiming use since 1929)
  • FIGHTING OKRA – nickname of Delta State
  • Trademark image- University of Texas (pending application)
  • Mark Image- configuration of blue turf of Boise State
  • Trademark image- University of Tennessee end zone paint (in orange and white)
  • Trademark image- University of Idaho mascot
  • Trademark image- University of Alabama crimson red helmet
  • Trademark imageOhio State uniform configuration (pending application)

And the most interesting (potential) college football trademark is….

an application by the University of Arkansas for the sound of a cheer: 

The mark consists of a collegiate cheer which consists of the following words: Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Razorbacks! .

The evidence of use submitted by the university is a video of fans performing the cheer

 

Tonight, the Red Sox and the Cardinals will square off in the baseball World Series. These two teams are steeped in tradition – and in trademarks. Two of the Red Sox players even have their own registered trademarks.

Here are is a trademark guide to the World Series® [click names and logos for USPTO registration records]: