Words matter

Words are almost everything in a trademark registration, notwithstanding that one drawing.  Stick with me.  It’s going to get a little esoteric — not to say woolly — but hey, it’s a blog post.  And you have my word that when we’re through, there won’t be any more. So, it may sound obvious, but it is as clear as the pixels on the page you are perusing that the words (and the drawing!) on a trademark registration are, or should be, the only things that (besides the Lanham Act) define the rights granted by that registration. Other facts, “context,” intentions…

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Brain freeze

Originally posted 2007-10-28 10:32:38. Republished by Blog Post PromoterWe kid Canada here from time to time. Maybe it’s because that’s where all the cold weather comes from. But mostly because they seem to have governmental units that are going a little nuts about trademarks. We have that here, a little, but I don’t know — these Canadian stories are troubling! First we wrote about how the Canadian Supreme Court has asserted trademark rights in the shape of its (rather undistinctive!) courthouse. Now March Randazza reports this gem from the National Post: The City of Toronto launched an ad campaign “One... Read more

The Slants: Denouement

Victory has a hundred fathers https://t.co/G9Z7QOVH8l — Likelihood ®© Blog (@likely2confuse) June 19, 2017 Now let’s name some of them.  Because while I have many thoughts and learned many things since I got involved with the controversy over THE SLANTS six years ago, they can wait.  The giving of credit cannot, because it is almost tomorrow as I write this, and we all know about tomorrow’s news. Thank you, Simon Tam.  What did Simon do besides present us with an opportunity to provide him with free legal services?  He trusted us.  He pulled back from the level of intense online... Read more

Oddly Three Dimensional

Originally posted 2014-01-03 09:49:06. Republished by Blog Post PromoterMarkenbusiness (“Markenbusiness is the magazine for brand name owners, with daily news about names, trademarks, legal issues and brands” — that sounds good, doesn’t it?) reports: A dispute described in the British press as ‘one of the oddest trademark battles’ is currently being played out before the European Court of Justice. The action stems from the European distributors of the Mexican lager ‘Corona’ who want to register a three-dimensional image of a bottle containing beer with a twist of lime lodged in its neck as a trademark. OK, it’s odd, but it... Read more

Gene Simmons gives the fingers to the PTO

Yes, it’s another pop star seeking to assert digital trademark rights. This time it’s senior citizen Gene Simmons of Kiss: If you were wondering, The mark consists of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular.” As you’d think.  Goods / services: International Class 041:  Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist. As you’d think. What do I think? I think, why not?  A trademark backed by a U.S. trademark registration might be very hard to enforce.  And it might be very hard — if... Read more

I’m with Popehat

Originally posted 2012-12-10 22:41:49. Republished by Blog Post PromoterDo you like defamation cases? Cases involving blogging and social media? How about SLAPP motions in cases involving defamation and blogging and social media and Patterico?! And what if they’re cases involving Patterico and Popehat and LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®?  (The case is in California, but I was in charge of punctuation and adjectives!) Then click here already! Read more

The Lonely Maytag Trademark

Originally posted 2010-05-09 11:00:02. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe Associate Press reports: DES MOINES, Iowa Maytag may have to change the name of a new kitchen appliances. That’s after a small business owner in New Hampshire won a trademark infringement case against the Iowa appliance maker. A federal jury in Concord, New Hampshire, has found in favor of Attrezzi Fine Kitchen Accessories. Maytag’s Jenn-Air division rolled out its Attrezzi line of mixers and blenders in 2003. The kitchen store opened a year earlier, and owner Jennifer Slade sued. She wanted one and a half million dollars — half of Maytag’s... Read more

Deep, Man

Originally posted 2011-02-04 15:59:39. Republished by Blog Post PromoterApropos the Bates Line / Tulsa World dustup, Kevin Heller reminds us that deep linking can be a problem — if you promised in a contract that you wouldn’t link. And he reminds us, astutely, that a contract can include a website user agreement. The flip side: If that’s your angle, content owner, you’d be well advised to say so in your cease and desist letter, and not merely default to a copyright claim. Read more

Verb That Adjective Noun! “Google” Is Not (Yet) Generic.

It was bound to happen sooner or later—and in fact it happened back in 2012. Someone sued to have “Google” declared generic and the registration of the trademark(s) “GOOGLE” canceled at PTO. That someone was actually two someones—two cybersquatters: David Elliott and Chris Gillespie, who in the early months of 2012 registered 763 domain names that each included the word “google.” Among these were “googledisney.com” and “googlebarackobama.net.” Predictably and promptly, Google, Inc., which holds two trademark registrations for the term GOOGLE, complained to the National Arbitration Forum under the terms of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. The NAF... Read more

Going Wayback… and it’s out of here!

Originally posted 2012-02-09 13:59:20. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe TTABlog writes about a recent TTAB decision rejecting “Wayback Machine” data as evidence: The Board observed that the “Wayback Machine” suffers from a serious evidentiary flaw: even Petitioner noted that the “Wayback Machine” shows “each date on which a website has undergone a significant change.” “What may be insignificant to the archivers for the ‘Wayback Machine’ may have significance from the standpoint of evidentiary value in a trademark proceeding.” It’s not just that.  In a recent case, we considered the use of such material, and on due diligence were informed that... Read more