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Archive for March, 2017

This weekend marks the final games in the men’s college basketball season the Final Four®. Saturday evening, Gonzaga will play South Carolina in the first semi final, followed by Oregon versus North Carolina.  The winners will square off in the final game on Monday evening.

Of the four trademark portfolios, the North Carolina one is by far the most impressive. See details below.

Here are some of the pertinent trademarks for this weekend’s action (click marks/logos for USPTO information):

GONAZAGA BULLDOGS

  • The “Bulldogs” name is not registered, presumably because it is not unique.
  • But KENNEL CLUB is registered for a variety of goods and services.
  • ZAGS – registered for ‘educational services in the nature of courses at university and postgraduate levels; library services; arranging and conducting athletic competitions’
  • Mark Imageregistered for a variety of goods and services

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

  • The name may be strange, but is it unique for athletics.
  • COCKS – registered for apparel and more
  • GAMECOCKS – registered for clothing and more; in use since 1958
  • USC – used since 1890; note that Univ. of Southern California and South Carolina were once in engaged in a lengthy trademark dispute regarding SC logos that went to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

OREGON DUCKS

  • GO DUCKS – registered for athletic competitions
  • OREGON DUCKS – registered for education and athletics
  • Mark Imageregistered for variety of goods and services

NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

 

The games will be played at UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STADIUM registered for ‘Entertainment services, namely providing multi-purpose stadium and athletic field facilities for sporting events, concerts, corporate events, social functions, conventions and trade and consumer shows; information services, namely, providing information relating to sporting and entertainment events and activities by means of the internet.’

Some other pertinent NCAA marks:

A Facebook friend of client (a non-attorney) posted a question on Facebook regarding a potential trademark dispute, asking her friends to weigh in with their opinions as to whether it might be an infringement. The summary of the facts (no doubt missing some of the details) concluded with a request: Appreciate your thoughts and want to explore before I call my own attorney.

Here was my response:

I am a trademark attorney. And while I won’t comment here on the particulars, I would note that seeking input from others about a potential legal situation on FB is probably not the best idea. In a worst case scenario you could say or learn something via the post that could come back to harm any potential claims down the road.

I didn’t even get into other issues, like attorney-client privilege that could be waived if the poster’s attorney actually commented on it, or laches/acquiescence that could begin to toll more now that it has been made public that the poster is aware of the issues.

This is not the first time I have exhorted someone on Facebook not to share their potential trademark issue. Sharing it has a lot of potential downside, and little potential upside. What if dozens of people comment and almost all think that there is no infringement. And what if the alleged infringer sees that post or finds it later!? If they receive a “cease and desist” letter, I can only imagine the reaction.

And could a Facebook post be the basis for a declaratory judgment action? Probably not, but worth considering.

For some fun, true, and sad legal tips via Facebook, make sure to see https://www.facebook.com/funlegaltips/

And for my Facebook page, full of fun trademark news and tips, see:

Image result for facebook logo

Trademarks protection from A to Z

Posted by ipelton on: March 27th, 2017

Trademarks come in all shapes and sizes. All types of words, from common ones (APPLE) to made up ones (EXXON).  They protect all types of products, from clothing to manure. From food trucks to trucking services. Trademarks can be short (NBC), or long (TWOALLBEEFPATTIESSPECIALSAUCELETTUCECHEESEPICKLESONIONSONASESAMESEEDBUN). And trademarks start with every letter of the alphabet.

Over more than 16 years, our firm has registered more than 2,500 trademarks. Including brand names that start with each letter of the alphabet! (Click marks for USPTO records.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have recently updated the site for sofTMware.com®.
 Using a cloud-based secure website, sofTMware allows users, law firms, and businesses to:
  • Receive daily email reports featuring any USPTO status changes to monitored records
  • Monitor a group of U.S. trademark applications and registrations in one place
  • Create custom categories to organize the monitored applications and registrations
  • Link directly to multiple USPTO pages for each record (TSDR, TTAB, Assignments)
  • Import multiple application serial numbers at once

Give it a try – you can monitor your owne applications, ones that you find interesting, or ones from competitors.

www.softmware.com

Expert Tip: you can create separate accounts for different types of monitoring (yours, competitors, etc) and then each type will have its own daily email update report.

New York City coffee shops- a photo trademark journal

Posted by ipelton on: March 21st, 2017

This comes as no surprise, but on a recent trip to New York, I couldn’t help but notice that there are a plethora of coffee shops in each neighborhood. And not just Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and other chains. There are tons of independent places, many with creative names.

Here are some of the best ones I found:

Some related NYC trademark photo journal posts: