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Archive for January, 2016

Another big snow storm hits the East Coast this weekend. Here in DC, the preparations and warnings have been extensive. Here are some fun snow and winter themed trademark filings from the last few years, including many POLAR VORTEX filings (note that many are pending applications) [Click marks for USPTO records]:

  • RED, WHITE & SNOW – Charitable fundraising services by means of a culinary, wine and ski festival
  • POLAR VORTEX – snow sleds
  • POLAR VORTEX – breath freshener
  • Polar Vortex Ice Melt – Chemical preparations for melting snow and ice
  • SnoShark – Hand tool, namely, a hand-operated tool for removing snow
  • SNOW AND TELL – Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter
  • EL NINO BUSTERS – Restoration in the field of fire, smoke, flood, and water damage restoration; mold remediation; bath resurfacing; counter resurfacing; carpet cleaning; painting; Renovation and restoration of buildings
  • SNOW BOOGER REMOVER – A hand-held utility tool for removing ice and snow deposits from vehicles
  • SNOWOPOLIS – Ice cream shop services in the nature of a restaurant
  • SNOWZILLA – Restaurants featuring frozen desserts, namely, snow cream, snow ice, and shaved ice
  • SNOW MERCY – Entertainment services, namely, live stage performances in the nature of lectures for hire in the field of adult entertainment by an individual; Entertainment services in the nature of ongoing television performances in the field of adult entertainment; Entertainment services in the nature of film production; Entertainment services in the nature of live dance performances; Fashion modeling for entertainment purposes; Entertainment services, namely, spokesperson appearances by a professional entertainer;  Cosmetics, namely, fragrances
  • I AM SNOW ANGEL – Entertainment services in the nature of recording, production and post-production services in the field of music; entertainment services, namely, providing non-downloadable playback of music via global communications networks; music production services; music publishing services; song writing services for non-advertising purposes; Entertainment services in the nature of live music concerts, live music shows and live musical performances
  • WE NO SNOW – metal and non-metal roof vents for heating, cooling, and ventilation in residential and commercial buildings
  • COLUMBIA EL NINO – GROUND AND WHOLE BEAN COFFEE FROM COLOMBIA
  • EL NIÑO QUE VINO DEL MAR – Entertainment services in the nature of a continuing dramatic show broadcast over the internet and an ongoing dramatic television program
  • INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT – Synthetic fiber play balls

Related post: Trademark filings follow pop culture: Five recent filings for “POLAR VORTEX”

Top Trademark Misunderstandings

Posted by ipelton on: January 22nd, 2016

I am pleased to share the first of my series of new videos. In this video, I speak about three top trademark misunderstandings. Let me know what you think! And thank you to the incomparable client and friend Chad Barr for the video shoot and production!

I generally report quite a lot of discouraging news on this blog about trademark scams – namely that they are rampant, that they seem to be increasing in number and scope, and that it generally appears that the government is doing little to counter them. However, yesterday brought some good news as the Federal government charged two persons with a mass mailing scam targeting trademark holders. These appear to be additional charges and details from the indictment brought in October 2015, as well as the involvement of a second person.

The two scams operated by these individuals were the Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) and the Trademark Compliance Office (TCO). In the past, I had written about each of these scams:

Warning: Trademark Compliance Center has nothing to do with the USPTO (6/26/2014)

Warning: U.S. Trademark Compliance Office has nothing to do with the USPTO (10/12/2015)

Some additional details from the Dept. of Justice press release:

Artashes Darbinyan, 36, and Orbel Hakobyan, 41, were charged in a superseding indictment that was unsealed today in the Central District of California with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  Darbinyan was also charged with four counts of mail fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of concealment money laundering and one count of bank fraud for a separate scheme.  Hakobyan was also charged with one count of bank fraud.

According to the superseding indictment, Darbinyan operated and controlled Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) and Trademark Compliance Office (TCO), which purported to offer trademark registration and monitoring services.  The superseding indictment alleges that, through TCC and TCO, Darbinyan sent mass solicitations offering, for a fee, trademark registration and monitoring services to holders of trademarks recently registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, services which Darbinyan did not intend to, and did not, provide.  To accomplish this scheme, Darbinyan used the names of other persons to open accounts for TCC and TCO at “virtual office centers” (i.e., businesses that offered call answering and mail forwarding services) in the Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles areas, and directed employees of the Washington, D.C.-area virtual office centers to forward mail addressed to TCC and TCO – envelopes containing payments from trademark holders – to the virtual office centers in the Los Angeles area, the superseding indictment alleges.

While this is great news for trademark holders, and perhaps it will give pause to some of the others operating scams, I have some questions: How was this case initiated? Has the DoJ investigated other scam outfits? How long was the investigation?

Recent Client Trademark Registrations LXXXIV

Posted by ipelton on: January 20th, 2016

The following is another update of recent Erik M. Pelton & Associates client trademark registrations obtained from the public records of the USPTO so readers can see real  examples of brands and marks which are being protected – and the wide range of variety in brand names, logos, products and services. [Click trademark or logo to open USPTO records in a new window]

  • THE QUESTION IS THE ANSWER – Consulting services in the field of organizational development
  • Trademark image – Restaurant services
  • Trademark image – Restaurant services
  • COMPASSIONATE CONFRONTATIONS – Workshops and seminars in the field of business, namely, business management and business relationships; business coaching in the field of leadership development and executive coaching
  • SFL – Business consulting services excluding financial literacy services
  • SANCTUARIA – Restaurant and cocktail bar
  • DRIVING EXPONENTIAL GROWTH – Business consulting services; business advisory services; business analysis services in the fields of accounting, finance, strategy, operations, and management
  • Trademark image – Government contracting in the field of food services, namely, procuring and administering Government contracts for purchasing and serving food
  • ALI BOUBBA – Hookahs and hookah accessories, namely, hoses, bowls, mouthpieces, bases

Trademark applications generally act as a barometer for the economy overall, and for the rise and fall of particular industries and general cultural trends. For example, see my prior posts on drones, cupcakes, and beer.

In recent years, several states have legalized the use of marijuana. Other states may soon follow. The USPTO trademark filings reflect the growth in the industry:

  • 2005 USPTO trademark filings featuring “cannabis or marijuana” in the description of goods or services: 9
  • 2011 USPTO trademark filings featuring “cannabis or marijuana” in the description of goods or services: 71
  • 2013 USPTO trademark filings featuring “cannabis or marijuana” in the description of goods or services: 83
  • 2015 USPTO trademark filings featuring “cannabis or marijuana” in the description of goods or services: 433

I imagine that the coming years will see even more growth in this industry, and related business, and a correlating continued increase in USPTO trademark filings.

File:Cannabis Station.JPG

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cannabis_Station.JPG