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Posts Tagged ‘TTAB’

Last week, several notable and interesting trademark opposition cases were filed at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO:

Trademark image Trademark image

  • Selfie Inc. opposed registration of SELFIE + for Downloadable camera app for photo distribution
  • The Edison Institute DBA The Henry Ford (which includes the Henry Ford museum and attracts nearly 2 million visitors) opposed THE WRIGHT BROTHERS bumper stickers and other items from The Wright Family Foundation

As with Oppositions in general, many of these cases will be likely settled. Some of the application will likely be abandoned. Neither action is necessarily an indication of whether the claims had legal merit.

 

Major League Baseball teams oppose many trademark applications. Got a “W” or a “C” in your logo? Better be prepared to hear from Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs. Got “Boston” or “Detroit” in your name? You might be hearing from the Red Sox or the Tigers.

For example, the Chicago Cubs recently opposed this logo:

In one recent week, MLB teams filed at least 8 oppositions at the USPTO. See below for details — click TTABvue for the full USPTO records.

Are MLB teams pushing the boundaries of reasonable trademark enforcement? Are they trademark bullies? Are they using their power and money to expand their trademark protection beyond where the law is meant to allow? I think these questions are worthy of discussion. For now, I will leave the answers up to you.

For more filings at the TTAB, including those from MLB, see www.TTABulator.com.

TTABVue 91215978 CFAN DESIGNS, INC. 85945826 C/FAN Chicago Cubs Baseball Club, LLC
TTABVue 91216093 BROOKLYN ARENA, LLC 85837679 BROOKLYNTASTE Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC
TTABVue 91216090 CAPTURE MEDIA INC. 86028767 C CAPTURE Chicago Cubs Baseball Club, LLC
TTABVue 91215982 EBSCO INDUSTRIES, INC. 85944984 PAWS N CLAWS Detroit Tigers, Inc.
TTABVue 91216073 EDGE ATHLETIC CLUB, INC. 85313268 EDGE ATHLETICS Athletics Investment Group d/b/a The Oakland Athletics Baseball Company
TTABVue 91215980 GRAND PRIX ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS, LLC 85918689 ROYAL Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation
TTABVue 91215977 MG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP INC, MG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, INC. 85929544 DUELO DE GIGANTES San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC
TTABVue 91216104 UBISOFT ENTERTAINMENT 85966322 RAYMAN Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Ltd.

 

On behalf of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual property law, I have been involved in helping to organize this webinar on February 13th at 1pm EST.

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Tips: Motions for Summary Judgment webinar to feature TTAB Judge.

On Thursday, February 13, 2014, the ABA-IPL will present this webinar featuring an in depth discussion of summary judgment and related issues in disputes before the USPTO’s trademark appeal board. Featuring TTAB Judge Michael Adlin and Interlocutory Attorneys Cheryl Goodman and Cheryl Butler, the panel will cover a variety of topics related to Summary Judgment Motions, including procedures, discovery, and accelerated case resolution (ACR). The webinar will run from 1:00 -2:30 PM EST and qualifies for 1.5 CLE hours in 60-minute-hour states and 1.8 CLE hours in 50-minute-hour states.

Register Now at: : http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/t14msj1.html Event Code: CET4MSJ.

American Bar Association

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.

Ever week (approximately) over at the TTABulator® blog (www.TTABulator.com) I post a table of all the recent inter partes cases filed at the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

This week’s update includes filings by Will.i.am, the Boy Scouts of America, the San Francisco Giants, and much more.

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