Archives: Trademark

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Is Your Trademark Portfolio Brexit-Ready? Steps to Take Now to Ensure a Smooth Transition

While the UK formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, “Exit Day” will occur on December 31, 2020. Are your trademarks ready? This article provides a brief checklist of considerations as we approach the hard exit date at the end of this year. For existing European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) registrations, each registration will … Continue Reading

CAFC Holds the Lack of a Property Interest in a Trademark Does Not Prevent the Commencement of a Cancellation Proceeding

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”), in a 2-1 vote, held in Australian Therapeutic Supplies Pty., Ltd. v. Naked TM, LLC, Appeal No. 2019-1567 (Fed.Cir. July 27, 2020) (accessible at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/node/26425), that a property interest in a mark is unnecessary for a cancellation petitioner to establish a statutory right to commence a … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Holds that ‘generic.com’ Trademarks Like Booking.com May Be Capable of Registration

Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the trademark registration case United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V., holding “A term styled ‘generic.com’ is a generic name for a class of goods or services only if the term has that meaning to consumers.” Justice Ginsburg delivered the majority opinion, in which justices … Continue Reading

Fast-Track Examination for COVID-19-Related Trademarks and Service Marks

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice on June 12 announcing a new, accelerated examination program for certain COVID-19-related trademark applications. The USPTO will begin accepting petitions for fast-track examination on June 16, 2020. This is great news for those developing and researching new products to help combat COVID-19. Applications are typically … Continue Reading

No Luck Needed for Lucky Brand at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court yesterday issued its second trademark decision of this term. In Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc., Case No. 18-1086 (S. Ct. May 14, 2020), the ultimate question before the Court was the applicability of “defense preclusion.” Specifically, the Court considered whether and under what circumstances a defense may be … Continue Reading

[Insert Yell Here]: Rapper Pitbull Receives Trademark Registration for “EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!” Sound Mark

Platinum-selling music artist Pitbull has received two trademark registrations for a signature yell used in his music. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued two sound mark registrations, U.S. Reg. Nos. 5877076 and 5877077, for “entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances” and “musical sound recordings; musical video recordings,” respectively. For … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Livestreams Oral Arguments on BOOKING.COM Trademark Registerability

On Monday, we listened in real time to the livestreamed Supreme Court oral arguments in the trademark registration case United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.  Because of COVID-19, the arguments were done telephonically, but with the added twist of a live broadcast. The event itself was remarkable, considering the impact of the … Continue Reading

A Finding of Willfulness Is Not Required for an Award of Profits in a Trademark Infringement Case

The Supreme Court has definitively answered the question of whether a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit is required to show, as a precondition to a profits award, that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff’s trademark. By a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court said NO. In Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., Romag, a … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Upholds Trademark ‘Fair Use’ Doctrine

In an August 2019 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the earlier finding by the Northern District of Illinois of summary judgment that PepsiCo’s Gatorade division’s use of the phrase “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” on its Gatorade family of products did not infringe SportFuel Inc.’s SPORTFUEL trademark because the use of … Continue Reading

Really? Someone thinks I HEART COVID-19 should be awarded a US trademark registration?

Aside from I HEART COVID-19 (stylized) being an offensive slogan given the hundreds of thousands of people affected throughout the world by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. trademark application for this slogan, filed by an entity called Bad Covid, LLC, is likely to fail like most of the other opportunistic trademark filings for terms related … Continue Reading

USPTO Waives Petition to Revive Fees for Patents, Patent Applications, Trademarks and Trademark Applications Abandoned Because of an Inability to Respond Due to COVID-19

To give patent and trademark applicants as well as patent and trademark owners relief from the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) determined that the COVID-19 outbreak qualifies as an “extraordinary situation” and exercised its authority to waive certain petition fees. For patent owners and applicants unable to … Continue Reading

Trademark Fraud Sparks Rare Bipartisan Action

In a political environment in which even a global virus pandemic cannot seem to foster bipartisan legislative cooperation, the growing surge in fraudulent trademark applications – many of which are maturing into issued trademark registrations – has done just that. On March 11, 2020, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Ranking Judiciary Member Doug … Continue Reading

What Does Brexit Mean for Your European Union Trademarks?

The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union today. The implementation period runs for the next 11 months, through Dec. 31. During this time, European Union trademark filings (“EUTMs”) will continue in full force in the U.K. Unless the time is extended, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, EUTMs that have already registered will automatically be granted protection in … Continue Reading

Can Booking.com Trademark Its Company Name? How Will the U.S. Supreme Court Resolve Whether a Generic Term Plus a Top-Level Domain Is Protectable?

The legal battle between Booking.com BV and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began more than five years ago and concerns whether the online hotel booking company can secure a trademark registration for its name. After filing for trademark protection, Booking.com commenced a federal lawsuit in connection with the USPTO’s refusal to issue a … Continue Reading

Who Is Holding the Bag: How Will the Supreme Court Resolve the Circuit Split on Recovery of Profits in Trademark Cases?

Two weeks from now, on January 14, 2020, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc. on the long-standing circuit split over whether willful infringement is a necessary precondition for an award of profits in a Section 43(a) trademark infringement case. Under the Lanham Act, a victorious plaintiff in … Continue Reading

The theory of “trademark neutralization.” What is it and will it likely be adopted in the US?

Have you heard of the theory of “trademark neutralization?” It was developed by the European Union (EU) General Court and the European Union Court of Justice (“CJEU”) in 2006 (Case No. C-361/04 (ECJ Jan. 12, 2005)) holding PICASSO/PICARO not confusingly similar and was followed in Case C-206/04 (ECJ Mar. 23 2006) holding SIR/ZIRH not confusingly … Continue Reading

A Punctuation Mark: Off-White Files Trademark Application for “PRODUCT BAG”

Last summer, streetwear brand Off-White filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register the mark “PRODUCT BAG.” With other Off-White goods bearing logos such as “MAKE UP,” “GOODS,” and “SCULPTURE,” those familiar with the brand know that founder Virgil Abloh is no stranger to the use of quotation marks. … Continue Reading

Oh! Mega Liability for Landlords Under Second Circuit’s Recent Trademark Infringement Ruling in Omega SA v. 375 Canal LLC

In March 2019, after a seven-year-long legal battle, a Manhattan jury found defendant landlord 375 Canal LLC contributorily liable for trademark counterfeiting and infringement and awarded Omega SA statutory damages of $1.1 million ($275,000 for each mark infringed).[1] In the suit, plaintiff Omega claimed that the Canal Street landlords knew about, had reason to know … Continue Reading

Session not Season

When the Supreme Court opens its new session on Oct. 7, one of the cases it will determine, Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., et al. Case No. 2018-2417, is expected to resolve a stark difference among circuits over when a trademark owner is entitled to disgorgement of an infringer’s profits due to an infringing … Continue Reading

USPTO Proposes New Fee Schedule

On August 29, 2019, the Director of the USPTO notified the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) of the Office’s intent to set or adjust trademark related fees and submitted a preliminary trademark fee proposal for comment. There are multiple timelines for public debate and comment on the proposed new fees, with a tentative implementation date … Continue Reading
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