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Category Archives: Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Houston, We Have a Problem: City Petitions the US Supreme Court to Register Its Official Seal as a Trademark

Posted in Color, Emoticon, Legislation, Product Configuration, Section 2(b), Trademark, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller The City of Houston, Texas has filed a Petition For Writ Of Certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to interpret Section 2(b) of the Lanham Act to determine whether it prohibits a government entity from federally registering its own flag or coat of arms… Continue Reading

How Much “Intent” is Enough to Support an “Intent to Use” Trademark Application?

Posted in 15 U.S.C. 1051(b), Intent-To-Use Applications, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller For many years now, the US Trademark Office has accepted trademark applications based upon a “bona fide intent to use” the applied-for mark on all the goods and/or to provide all of the services listed in the application at the time of filing.  Unlike in many other countries, a US… Continue Reading

TTAB Refuses to Register “The Slants,” Finding it to be “Disparaging”

Posted in Section 2(a), Trademark, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller Racial and ethnic disparagement is a hot topic at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board these days. While a decision is still pending in the latest cancellation action involving the long disputed WASHINGTON REDSKINS professional football team marks, the Board in In re Simon Shiao Tam, recently affirmed a federal… Continue Reading

Oops! Assignment of Intent-to-Use Trademark Applications: Easy But Not Simple

Posted in 15 U.S.C. 1051(b), Assignment, Intent-To-Use Applications, Trademark, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller  The language in the Trademark Act is very clear on the issue of assignment of intent-to-use applications.  In a recently issued precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has held, once again, that Section 10(a)(1) of the Act really means what it simply states, namely, that prior to filing… Continue Reading

RG3 and Common Law Trademark Rights: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Posted in Common Law Marks, Trademark, Trademark Infringement, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Searching, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller  Following in the footsteps of many sports and entertainment celebrities, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III, through his company Thr3escompany LLC, filed a number of US trademark and service mark applications for various marks including his full name as well as his nickname RGIII, sometimes used as RG3. The… Continue Reading

Pattern Designs on US Navy Uniforms and Fabric Are Non-Functional Protected Trademarks

Posted in Product Configuration, Section 2(e) - Functionality, Trademark, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller A recent TTAB case addresses the issue of functionality and protection of design.  In the case In re Navy Exchange Service Command, (“NEXCOM”), the TTAB issued a non-precedential decision on September 29, 2012 in which it reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register four irregular block-shaped, multi-colored pixilated pattern design… Continue Reading

Hershey Thinks Outside the Box (or the Candy Wrapper) in Seeking Trademark Protection for a Product Shape

Posted in Product Configuration, Trademark, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller On July 2, 2012, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB” or “Board”) granted Hershey’s request to register the design and shape of a chocolate bar as a trademark on the Principal Register. The design was described as “a configuration of a candy bar… Continue Reading

Section 1(b) Intent-To-Use Applications: Evidence of Bona Fide Intent Required

Posted in 15 U.S.C. 1051(b), Intent-To-Use Applications, Trademark Prosecution, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Written by Christine M. Baker If you’re familiar with the federal registration of trademarks and service marks in the United States, you know that U.S. trademark law allows an applicant to seek registration of a mark based on either actual use of a mark in interstate commerce  (15 U.S.C. Sec 1051(a)) or on a bona fide… Continue Reading