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2013 Year in Review from Erik M Pelton & Associates

Posted by ipelton on: January 20th, 2014

Some highlights from a very busy year at our firm:

  • Working with many new pro bono veteran entrepreneur clients
  • Mentoring interns and law clerks from several law schools
  • Quoted in numerous publications
  • Presenting webinars for
  • Planning and organizing the USPTO Trademark Day event for the American Bar Association
  • Teaching two high school classes in Springfield, Virginia about trademarks and intellectual property
  • Attending INTA in Dallas, Texas and co-hosting the annual Meet the Bloggers party
  • Filing more than 240 new trademark applications for clients in the US
  • Receiving more than 190 new trademark registrations for clients in the US
  • Obtaining registration of ERIK PELTON® and SOFTMWARE® trademarks
  • Launching sofTMware beta
  • Launching Tuesday Trademark TipSM newsletter
  • Participating in Fashion Law Week at Howard University
  • Guest lecturing a law school trademark class at Catholic University
  • Sending EMP&A sunflower seed packets and coffee mugs to some our favority clients
  • Moderated a panel on Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issues at the ABA-IPL spring conference
  • Some fun non-traditional registrations received for clients:
  • Worked with local clients in Falls Church, Virginia like Dancing Mind, Sisslers Stone, Michael and Sons, Burger 7, Oh Mercy!, Bikenetic and Coleman Power Sports
  • Registered marks for clients from around the world, including Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Switzerland
  • Working to handle the trademarks of several other law firms
  • Receiving a trademark registration for a client that was filed more than 9 years earlier, in 2004
  • Appeared on the Washington Business Report television show to discuss The Little City® brand and trademark
  • Retained as an expert in a trademark dispute
  • Overcame many substantive refusals of trademark applications
  • Resolved many disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, including disputes with the New England Patriots and the band Twisted Sister
  • and much more….

2013 was a great year, and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!

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Top Trademark Trends from 2013

Posted by ipelton on: January 13th, 2014

The world of trademarks in 2013 once again reflected the overall culture and economy of the United States. Trademark application filings increased slightly by just over 1%. The year’s most popular terms made it into many trademark applications, and the biggest news stories of the year were also reflected in the trademark records.

  • BOSTON STRONG. The Boston Marathon bombing in April was a major news story. Regrettably, within days multiple parties had filed to register BOSTON STRONG trademarks. Most of these applications have been refused initially by the USPTO for failing to function as an indicator of the source of goods or services.
  • REDSKINS. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the USPTO heard oral arguments in a case seeking to cancel the registered trademark rights of the Washington Redskins football team. The plaintiffs alleged that the term ‘Redskins’ is disparaging and thus cannot be registered. While the hearing before the Board was held in March, a decision is still forthcoming. The controversy over the ‘Redskins’ name continued throughout the year as players, celebrities, the President, and the NFL Commissioner all provided comments about their position on the name.

  • Top pop culture terms of 2013. The most popular words and phenomena in pop culture made their way into many trademark filings. Such applications included TWERKING, TWERK TEAM, TWERK FOR TROOPS, HASHTAG LABS, HASHTAG LUNCHBAG, HASHTAG CLOTHING, YOLO HOTEL, YOLONOTES, YOLO KIDS, YOLO DONUTS, MUSTACHE SMASH, MUSTACHE PRETZELS, MOUSTACHE BREWING CO.
  • #HASHTAGS. Dozens of trademark applications were filed with the USPTO in 2013 for marks featuring hashtags, including: #DREAMJOB, #RUNTHISTOWN, #WECANDOTHAT, and #TAGMEBRO.
  • Non-traditional marks. Brands in 2013 continued to expand their use and registration of non-traditional trademarks. Sounds, shapes, colors, moving graphics, and other non-traditional trademarks continue to be effective ways for brands to connect with consumers in a world where it is increasingly difficult to stand out among the myriad of advertisements. For example, Facebook applied to register the design of part of its mobile app menu, Lego applied to register the configuration of is yellow head piece, Pepperidge  Farm applied to register the three-dimensional configuration of its Goldfish cracker, and the University of Arkansas applied to register the sound of its “Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!” cheer.
  • gTLDs. New “dot anything” top level domain names finally began going live late in 2013. To date, their impact on the internet and on brand owners has been less than most feared.
  • Trademark scams continue. Solicitations offering negligible or questionable services continue to get sent by a variety of companies, often with government-looking notices, to US trademark applicants and registrants. At the end of 2013, The U.K. intellectual property office began to crack down on such entities, partnering with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to handle complaints and consider legal sanctions. Perhaps the USPTO will follow suit in 2014?

What to look for in 2014. As the economy continues to grow slowly, it is likely that the number of new trademark applications will continue to rise. Expect even more trademark disputes to go viral via social media.

About Erik M. Pelton: Erik Pelton® has been making trademarks bloom since 1999® as the founder of Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC®, a boutique trademark law firm in Falls Church, Virginia. The firm has registered more than 1,900 U.S. trademarks for clients and has represented dozens of parties in trademark disputes. In 2013, Erik presented on trademark and branding issues to a variety of audiences, including the American Bar Association, Catholic University School of Law, and two high school classes.

Erik Pelton to present webinar: Market Your Firm Like a Pro

Posted by ipelton on: December 4th, 2013

Market Your Firm Like a Pro

AIPF Brand of Excellence Presentation

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:30PM EST

As the marketplace for intellectual property services grows, is your boutique IP firm taking advantage of today’s marketing tools, and consistently connecting with a pipeline of potential clients? Erik Pelton grew his trademark practice from humble beginnings to a position of thought leadership representing hundreds of trademark applicants each year. This WebIPHour will discuss how to make time for marketing, and where to focus on your practice’s marketing efforts. Topics will include:

  • Websites
  • Social Media
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs

Erik Pelton is the founder of Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC, a boutique trademark firm in Falls Church, Virginia. Prior to starting the firm, Erik worked for two years as an examiner at the USPTO. In more than 10 years of private practice, he has registered nearly 2,000 1,00 U.S. trademarks for clients, represented dozens of parties in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board disputes, and practiced before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is also the creator of the Apptorney iPhone® application for intellectual prop erty attorneys.

SPACE IS LIMITED

COST TO PARTICIPATE
Fee Waived for AIPF Member Attorneys
Fee Waived for In House Counsel/Corporate Managers
$100 per Telephone Line for Non AIPF Member Practicing Attorneys PAY BY CREDIT CARD

*For membership information, please contact AIPF Executive Office at admin@aipf.com or 1.201.403.0927.

Erik M Pelton & Associates client featured on CBS News

Posted by ipelton on: November 27th, 2013

Our client, and the Vegas Strip Steak cut of meat was featured on the CBS News last weekend:

 

Recent client trademark registrations LXI

Posted by ipelton on: November 19th, 2013

Here is another update of recent client registrations from the public records for readers to see real examples of brands and marks which are being protected [click trademark or logo to open USPTO records in a new window]:

  • EVERSCENT – Hunting equipment, namely, scent dispenser for attracting animals or covering odors; scent spray for attracting animals or covering odors, for use in hunting
  • Trademark image - Retail electricity provider services, namely, providing a service that allows customers to purchase energy, namely, electricity, wind, solar, and renewable energy
  • Trademark image  – Education services, namely, providing classes, telecourses and seminars in the field of personal development, behavior, life balance and navigation
  •  COLD TRAIL ALE – Beerhttp://www.erikpelton.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5950&action=edit
  • MANULA -  Computer services, namely, hosting and maintaining an online website and software for others for creating, editing and managing online manuals; Application services provider, namely, hosting, managing, developing, analyzing and maintaining applications, software and web sites of others in the field of creating, editing and managing online manuals; Providing an interactive web site featuring technology that allows computer users to create, edit and manage online manuals
  • BROAD RUN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT – Investment, financial, and wealth management services; asset management services; financial portfolio management; mutual fund selection and management; security investment selection services
  • SMPP – Business meeting planning, consulting services in the field of business meeting planning, and the distribution of printed materials in connection therewith
  • ALLCASHOFFER – real estate brokerage; website featuring real estate information and listings
  • SERIOUS COFFEE. HAPPY PEOPLE. – cafe services; coffee bars
  • TREIA SYSTEMS – heat recovery systems consisting primarily of compressors, pumps, and heat exchangers
  • LOFT HOME – Furniture; home furnishings and accessories, namely, coffee tables, end tables, dining tables, beds, sofas, chairs, sectionals, dressers, dining chairs, ottomans, bookcases, armoires
  • Trademark image - heat recovery systems consisting primarily of compressors, pumps, and heat exchangers
  • QUANTUM PAIN RELIEF – Education software featuring instruction in the field of physical fitness, namely, exercises and stretches for preventing and relieving repetitive motion injuries and chronic pain
  • SASSY PRINCESS SPA – Salon party services for entertainment, namely, manicures, facials, massages, makeup application, nail care, and beauty salon services, all for children and adults
  • WILSHIRE – athletic clothing, namely, shirts, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts; hats