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Ketchup makers battle over rights to “red zone”

Ketchup giant Heinz and rival ketchup maker Red Gold are embroiled in a trademark dispute over the right to use “Red Zone” in promotions associated with football games. In football, the red zone is the common name of the area between the 20-yard line and the end zone, and a team’s offense is often measured […]

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University of Texas sues over use of “sawed-off” horns logo

The University of Texas has sued Aggieland Outfitters, a retailer in College Station, Texas (home of rival university Texas A&M) over its use of a modified version of the Texas Longhorns logo. The original logo and the modified version appear below: The retailer has been selling merchandise bearing the "sawed off" logo since 1997, but […]

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Trademark “use in commerce” must be lawful to build trademark rights

When is a use in commerce not sufficient to build trademark rights? When that use is unlawful. The Ninth Circuit, in a dispute between two manufacturers of antioxidants made from olive extract, held in an issue of first impression in that circuit that unlawful use in commerce cannot support federal trademark rights. This decision agrees […]

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Starbucks loses Korean appeal, Starpreya can continue to use name there

The Korean Supreme Court today denied an appeal by Starbucks to cancel a rival's trademark there. Specifically, the Court noted that Starbucks was not well-known in Korea when the rival coffee provider (who uses a similar logo) registered its trademark. MVS previously blogged about the appeal here. This case, along with the ongoing saga between […]

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“Trademark” as a trademark?

Can the word "trademark" be a trademark itself? Breckenridge Brewery sells Trademark Pale Ale, which raises this interesting issue. Images of Breckenridge's packaging can be seen below: Under trademark law, there is no restriction on use of "trademark" as a trademark, as long as it meets the statutory requirements. For example, a search of USPTO […]

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2006 TTAB year in review

John Welch at The TTABlog has compiled a list of all citable opinions of the TTAB in 2006 organized by the substantive legal issue in each decision. This is a useful tool when looking for the most recent TTAB case law on a particular issue. The 57 citable decisions in 2006 are almost double the […]

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Cisco sues Apple over iPhone trademark

Apple, the company that dominates the digital music player market with the iPod, announced this week at the annual MacWorld show in San Francisco that Apple will be entering another lucrative consumer electronics market: the mobile phone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced his company's newest offering: the iPhone. Apple's stock increased 10% just from the […]

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Sioux Falls inventor files one millionth electronic trademark application with USPTO

The USPTO recently received the one millionth trademark application filed electronically via its TEAS system. It took just under ten years for the one millionth electronic application to be filed, as the TEAS system first became available in November, 1997. The applicant, Donald Junck of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was flown out to the USPTO […]

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“Use in commerce” not necessary to support trademark opposition, just use in the United States

The Federal Circuit, reversing the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB"), found that a Canadian company who arguably only did business in Canada could oppose a trademark application based on "spillover" use of its unregistered trademark in the United States. The Canadian company, First Niagara Insurance Brokers, opposed several trademark applications filed by a United […]

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Anheuser-Busch and Budvar reach agreement, but trademark fights continue

United States brewer Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser beer, has reached an agreement with Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, to distribute Budvar's Czechvar lager. This agreement is interesting because the two companies have been involved in trademark disputes around the world over which company has the right to use the name "Budweiser." Budvar's beer is sold as […]

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