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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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Starbucks appeals denial of cancellation of Korean company’s trademark

Starbucks is appealing a decision denying cancellation of a Korean company's trademark, asserting it infringes Starbucks' trademark. The Korean company, Starpreya, uses a green circular logo that Starbucks asserts is confusingly similar to its logo. Below are the two logos: Starbucks has already unsuccessfully opposed Starpreya's mark in two cases before the Patent Court of […]

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Protecting a business name: the basics

MSNBC has published an article with some basic tips for businesses to protect their trade names as trademarks. While the suggestions are fairly generic, it does at least provide some simple guidance for individuals who do not have any experience with intellectual property law in general or trademark law in particular. This piece is similar […]

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Holy trademark infringer, Batman!

The Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, commonly referred to as the GRU, appears to use a somewhat famous mark as part of its logo. The GRU's logo is shown below: Even Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to notice the distinctive logo at GRU headquarters: Of course, there are sovereign immunity issues that likely prevent DC Comics […]

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Buffett settles with alleged trademark infringer

Jimmy Buffett reached a settlement with a man he accused of selling merchandise that infringed his trademarks. The alleged infringer, Robert Akard, was selling Buffett-themed merchandise via his website. The judge in the case ordered Mr. Akard’s website shut down until the conclusion of the case and to disclose how much money he had made […]

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Washington Apple Commission takes on Chinese trademark office

The Washington Apple Commission has filed suit against the Chinese Trademark Review and Adjudication Board over its refusal to register a trademark. The mark at issue is shown below:This mark is registered in the United States, but in China, "well-known" geographical names cannot be used as trademarks unless there is also another meaning. The Apple […]

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Jimmy Buffett sues website owner for trademark infringement

Singer Jimmy Buffett has

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University of Alabama sues artist for trademark infringement

The University of Alabama has sued Daniel Moore, an artist who paints pictures of various sporting events. Among his work is a picture entitled “The Sack,” depicting a play in a 1986 college football game where Cornelius Bennett of the University of Alabama sacked Notre Dame’s Steve Beuerlein. The university claims that Mr. Moore is […]

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