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State Agency-Sponsored Pizza? TTAB Rules on New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s Trademark Opposition

By Nicholas J. Krob

Do you often find yourself asking which highway management state agency has the best pizza? Or do you ever show up to a pizza chain, disappointed it isn’t a highway management state agency? If not, a recent decision by the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will likely make some sense to you. In 2014, […]

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Just Because It’s Nanoscale, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not a Big Deal

By Jonathan L. Kennedy

Nanotechnology has been taking innovation by storm for decades now and its only increasing its footprint. This is reflected in the growing number of granted patents and published applications directed to nanotechnology inventions. For example, according to StatNano (an organization that monitors and publishing information regarding nanotechnology global developments), more than 20,000 granted patents and […]

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The Plant Naming Conundrum … Protecting Your Plant Varieties in the Short and Long Term

By Christine Lebron-Dykeman

Development of a new plant cultivar or varietal often requires substantial research and development. These costs can be recovered, however, if a breeder is able to successfully market, sell and/or license the resulting product, while maintaining exclusive ownership rights therein.  There are, of course, a variety of intellectual property protection schemes available to maintain those […]

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Sail On: Former Commodores Guitarist Fails to Establish Rights in Band’s Trademark

By Nicholas J. Krob

Who owns a band’s trademark when that band is composed of multiple people? And more importantly, what rights does a band member have in that trademark when they leave the band? Earlier this week, the Eleventh Circuit addressed these very questions in a case involving legendary funk/soul band the Commodores. The Commodores, famous for chart-topping […]

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Cancellation of a registered trademark for non-use soon could be easier

According to Chief Administrative Trademark Judge Gerard F. Rogers in his blog post on the Director’ Forum last week, PTO found out through a pilot program that “more than half of registrations being maintained include at least some goods or services for which the registered mark is not actually being used.” “These registered trademarks that […]

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Levi’s Sues Over Pocket “Tab”

Can you use of a piece of fabric no bigger than a fingernail to constitute a trademark infringement?  Levi’s appears to think so. Late last month, Levi Strauss & Co. filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco against Vineyard Vines, LLC alleging the clothing company has been infringing Levi’s trademark rights by sewing a small […]

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Domain Name Disputes: A UDRP Primer

Has someone registered a domain that is identical or strikingly similar to your brand name or trademark? What rights do you have and what legal remedies are available if you or your company find yourself in a dispute over a domain name? This article is intended to serve as a brief overview of domain name […]

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What’s In A Name?

Theresa Earnhardt, widow to professional race car driver Dale Earnhardt and step-mother to Kerry Earnhardt, appealed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that her stepson’s mark, EARNHARDT COLLECTION, was notas a whole primarily a surname. Theresa Earnhardt is the owner of trademark registrations and common law rights in the use of the mark DALE […]

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Gene Simmons Attempts to Trademark Iconic Hand Symbol

Kiss lead singer, Gene Simmons, recently filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register the famous rock ‘n’ roll “horns” hand gesture as a trademark. Simmons filed the application June 9th to register “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended […]

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Say What You Will About Trademarks

Simon Tam chose to name his band “The Slants” with the intent to reclaim the term and erase the denigrating connotations associated with it. However, he was confronted with the denial of his trademark application based on the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. This raised an interesting issue of whether the disparagement clause violates […]

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