Judith L. Grubner is a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, specializing in intellectual property law. She has concentrated her practice on intellectual property, business and litigation. She currently practices in trademarks, copyrights, advertising, unfair competition, domain name disputes, and sweepstakes, contests and game promotions law.
Ms. Grubner is a member of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, and Chicago Bar Association. She has published numerous articles and has been a lecturer in the fields of trademark, copyright and sweepstakes law for over 25 years. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1973 and The George Washington University National Law Center in 1976. She is admitted to the state and federal courts in Illinois and the District of Columbia, including the Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, as well as several other U.S. District Courts and U.S. Courts of Appeals.
Although U.S. common law trademark rights are gained through use of the mark in commerce (without registration), registration of a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) provides the owner with additional rights and benefits. These include nationwide enforcement of the mark against infringers; constructive notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership of … Continue Reading
Unlike the practice in many countries, in most cases the U.S. requires a trademark owner to place the mark into actual use in commerce and provide specific types of proof of use before the registration certificate will issue. Similar requirements apply to the mandatory declaration of use to maintain or renew a U.S. registration. Effective … Continue Reading
As often as we warn our clients about unscrupulous companies that prey on trademark owners using notices and invoices that appear to come from government agencies, these worldwide scams continue to reap large quantities of fraudulent proceeds. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) works in a variety of ways to alert the public to … Continue Reading
When we last left the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB,” an administrative arm of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), they had issued a precedential opinion that registrations could not be issued for marks that covered the sale and use of marijuana products or paraphernalia primarily intended or designed for use in ingesting or … Continue Reading
In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB,” an administrative arm of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) affirmed the trademark examiner’s refusal to register HERBAL ACCESS for retail store services featuring “herbs.” Although the application did not mention marijuana as one of the “herbs” being sold, applicant Morgan Brown’s specimen of … Continue Reading
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hears applicant appeals from the final decisions of trademark examiners, and oppositions to trademark applications, concurrent use proceedings, and cancellation proceedings against trademark registrations. The proceedings are held on a paper record with oral arguments by counsel. Matters before the … Continue Reading
When is a photographer not the “author” of a photograph for copyright purposes? According to a federal judge in San Francisco, when the photographer is a monkey! Sometime in 2011, a crested macaque monkey living on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, used the camera of nature photographer David Slater to take a number of self-portraits, … Continue Reading
ILN IP Insider is starting a new series – we’re featuring interviews with ILN IP lawyers, asking them questions on the state of IP Law in 2016. These will typically be one to two-question interviews with our practitioners from around the world. Our first interview is with Arnstein & Lehr lawyer, Judith Grubner: What’s the … Continue Reading
Social media sites are becoming increasingly popular for marketing a company’s goods or services. Facebook is commonly used to promote sweepstakes and contests intended to attract new customers and increase “likes.” However, if a contest contains a popularity feature, such as a photo contest where the public can vote on which image they prefer, it … Continue Reading
A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (M.Z. Berger & Co, Inc., v. Swatch AG  Fed. Cir.) has clarified the standards applicable to determining whether an applicant relying on an “intent-to-use” basis had the required “bona fide intention” to use the mark in commerce when the application … Continue Reading