Originally posted 2012-01-17 12:18:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
America’s greatest natural Trademark Trial and Appeal Board resource, John Welch, has posted part one of his Top Ten TTAB Decisions of 2011. From his introduction:
Dilution by blurring made a particularly big splash in the TTAB pool during that last few months of the year. The Board relaxed its requirement that a plaintiff show that the marks at issue are identical or substantially similar in order to win a dilution claim, but it increased its focus on proof that any association between the marks will cause a diminution of the distinctiveness of the famous mark.
In a significant procedural ruling, the Board thankfully sank a defendant’s attempt to obtain sweeping e-discovery. And an application to register a top level domain name (TLD) as a service mark was torpedoed by a genericness refusal.
Meanwhile, the issue of fraud treaded water; in fact, not a single fraud claim has been upheld by the Board since the CAFC’s Bose decision in 2009. A nonprecedential fraud ruling was noteworthy because the Board excused an applicant’s filing of a fabricated specimen of use – an act that most would consider a prime example of fraud – because the applicant’s president, as a layperson, had an “honest misunderstanding” of what was proper.
Read the whole thing!