Category: Trademarks

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Stop the Insanity! Sports Trademarks Run Amok

Sports and sports teams have a long history with intellectual property law and, more specifically, trademarks.  Sports teams, colleges, and universities have long trademarked their names and logos, and have routinely and aggressively enforced those rights.  In 1988 Pat Riley, then the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, applied for a … Continue Reading

Was Missguided Misguided? Kim Kardashian West Obtains $2.7 Million Judgment in Right of Publicity and Trademark Suit

A federal district court in California has awarded a $2.7-million default judgment to Kim Kardashian West in her lawsuit against a fast fashion online retailer that allegedly used her persona and likeness to sell its clothing, in part by repeatedly tagging her on Instagram and linking to the retailer’s e-commerce site. Kardashian West’s suit is … Continue Reading

The Role of Artificial Intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the fashion and beauty industries — and the marketing of the same — has steadily gained traction over the last few years and it’s not hard to see why. AI provides a myriad of opportunities and potential applications within the fields of fashion and beauty, but it can … Continue Reading

United States Licensed Attorney Required for Foreign-Domiciled U.S. Trademarks

Since August 3, 2019, all foreign-domiciled U.S. trademark applicants, registrants and parties to proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the U.S. (as defined in 37 C.F.R. § 11.1). Such U.S. licensed attorneys are required to both affirm that … Continue Reading

NO LONGER “FUCT” – SCANDALOUS MARK PROVISION STRUCK DOWN BY SUPREME COURT

What constitutes a “scandalous” trademark? The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been grappling with this question since the enactment of the 1905 Trademark Act, later codified in the 1946 Lanham Act, which forbids registration of any mark that “[c]onsists of or comprises immoral . . . or scandalous matter.” Since the creation of this provision, the USPTO has regularly rejected marks for … Continue Reading

WORLD FAMOUS (By, Say, New Jersey Standards): Expanding The Right Of Publicity Nationally And Internationally

Springsteen. Sinatra. Chuck Wepner (for at least one night in 1975 and then through the “Rocky” avatar). At least some of the people that rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike are named after. These public figures are, or were, world-famous, and certainly had made a name for themselves outside of the Garden State, even … Continue Reading

Simon Cowell picks bone with “The Pets Factor” UK trade mark

When TV format creator Mark Duffy struck upon the tongue-in-cheek name “The Pets Factor” for what was (presumably) a talent competition for domestic animals, he might well have smiled at his own ingenuity. Conversely, when Simon Cowell heard about the name (via Mr Duffy’s application to register it as a UK trade mark in classes … Continue Reading

Understanding Trademarks Act Changes

On June 17, 2019, Canada’s Trademarks Act changed, resulting in its modernization. Canada has now joined five international intellectual property treaties, including the Madrid Protocol, Singapore Treaty and Nice Agreement, all related to trademarks. There has been a great deal of activity to get ready for the changes. To implement the changes, the Canadian Trademarks … Continue Reading

Trademark License Rights Survive Rejection in Bankruptcy

Settling a circuit split, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, has concluded that a trademark licensee’s rights are not automatically terminated when a debtor in bankruptcy rejects the license agreement. The case, Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC (Mission Product), arose from a pre-bankruptcy trademark license agreement between Tempnology, LLC, the bankrupt debtor, and … Continue Reading

Descendants of Danish well-known scientist could not prevent the use of his name by a large Danish based stated-owned energy company

The descendants of a well-known Danish scientist could not prevent the commercial use of the name ØRSTED as a trademark, domain and company name by the Ørsted Group (former Dong Energy A/S). The parties to the dispute Before going into the details of the dispute, the parties are briefly presented in the following. H.C. Ørsted … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Reminds Us That Extrinsic Considerations Are Narrowly Construed in Trademark Matters

2018 saw a number of important trademark cases decided across the United States.  Two cases illustrated the similarities between genericness analysis and one of the likelihood of confusion factors considered by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”).  Royal Crown Co., Inc. v. The Coca-Cola Co., 892 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and Omaha Steaks … Continue Reading

When appealing bears fruit: Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple

Are apples different from pears? Or are they both just fruit? Or, as cockney rhyming slang would have it, are they stairs? These are the questions (excepting the last one) that the distinguished judges of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) have been gr-apple-ing with in the recent case of Pear Technologies … Continue Reading

“…For me? As what? Tough guy? I don’t need tough guys. I need more lawyers…”: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

There is a popular vintage Harley Davidson t-shirt that says “Tough Guys Finish First.”  That may be true.  But, sometimes, to finish first, one does not need more tough guys; one needs more lawyers, as a crime-related matter involving the Mongols Motor Cycle Club has recently shown.  So today we thought that we would use … Continue Reading

Case update: trade mark licensing and register formalities in the spotlight

The Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Calico Global Pty Ltd v Calico LLC1. This decision highlights the potentially fatal consequences of not updating the IP Australia register to reflect a change in trade mark ownership. The decision also serves as a reminder of the fundamental importance of ensuring that the owner of … Continue Reading

1-800 Contacts Unlawfully Restricted Competitors’ Trademark Use in Search Engine Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently decided that agreements reached by 1-800 Contacts, Inc. with a number of its competitors to settle claims that the competitors’ online search advertising infringed on 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks unlawfully restricted the competitors’ ability to engage in search engine marketing, to the detriment of both consumers and search engines. The … Continue Reading

TOP-10 IP Disputes in 2018

in PDF format CATEGORY: Trademarks CASE: Sony vs. PAG DETAILS: Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 8-P dated 13 February 2018 SUMMARY: Unlike the counterfeit, the original (grey) product cannot be destroyed under the court judgment (unless it endangers human health, the environment or cultural heritage) and it is impossible to recover a large compensation… Continue Reading

Client Wants To Do Business in US, What To Do from an IP Perspective

The Amazon Marketplace, an online sales platform for third-party sellers, has seen a significant increase in popularity. It is not, however, the only third-party sales platform, Walmart.com, e-Bay, and Etsy are other popular marketplaces in the U.S., and all offer great ways for international sellers to enter the U.S. market. There are, however, some IP … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks Be Primarily Geographically Descriptive?

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business.  What if the trademark describes a geographical area such as eastern?  Should you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  Can you obtain a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  The … Continue Reading

CANNABIS AND CANADA

Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada under the Canadian Cannabis Act on October 17, 2018 and sales have begun. Prior thereto, only medical marijuana was available in Canada. The Canadian Trademarks Act has not been amended in any way in respect of the sale and promotion of recreational cannabis in Canada. The law regarding registration … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Establishes New Test for Trade-Dress Secondary Meaning

The United States Federal Circuit recently issued a precedential opinion addressing trade dress secondary meaning.  The decision establishes a six-factor test to determine whether trade-dress acquired secondary meaning and clarifies a variety of other, related matters. Converse appealed a final determination of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) that Converse’s U.S. trademark number 4,398,753 (“the ‘753 … Continue Reading

“Liquor Before Beer, You’re In The Clear… Beer Before Wine, You’ll Be Fine,” and So On: “Confusing” Advice For The Reveling Tippler & Registering Trademarks

The relationship of wine, beer, and spirits has often proved complicated and confusing for the tippler, regardless of country.  There are old saws that many repeat, and report on, that say things like “Beer Before Liquor, Never Sicker; Liquor Before Beer, You’re In The Clear” and “Wine Before Beer Leaves You Queer, But Beer Before … Continue Reading

Russian IP Court compelled domain name registrars to remove illegal content reported by trademark holders

On 4 July 2018, Russian IP Court rendered a landmark judgment in case No. A40-132026/2017. Under the merits of the case, LLC Azbuka Vkusa (trademark holder) sued LLC Registrator R01 (prominent domain registrar) seeking to cease delegation of the disputed domain name. It was apparent that the claimant’s trademark AZBUKA VKUSA was infringed in the domain … Continue Reading
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