Archives: TTAB

Written By: Susan Neuberger Weller

A three-judge panel of the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), for the second time and in a 2-1 decision, has held that the REDSKINS trademark used in connection with professional football and related services by the Washington Redskins National Football League team was disparaging to a substantial composite of Native Americans between 1967-1990, the time during which the registrations issued. It also held that the defense of laches did not apply to a disparagement claim where the disparagement pertains to a group of which the individual plaintiff or plaintiffs comprise one or more members. Accordingly, it ordered the registrations at issue canceled as violations of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act. The cancellation of the registrations has no effect on the team’s ability to continue to use the REDSKINS marks.

Continue Reading “REDSKINS” US Trademark Registrations are Canceled for Disparaging Native Americans

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller

Rapper Dr. Dre and the company he co-founded, Beats Electronics, LLC, are on the offensive at the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board challenging a multitude of third-party applications for marks which consist of or contain the word “Beat”. The company owns a number of trademark registrations for use of its various BEATS marks on headphones, speakers, headsets, and other related electronic products and has applications pending for future use on clothing and other items. As reported in the WSJ Law Blog last week, the targets of this campaign are mix of smaller, little-known companies as well as big players such as Sony.

Continue Reading Are Dr. Dre’s Claims of Likelihood of Confusion and Dilution Enough to “Beat” His Opponents?

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  In the case In re Navy Exchange Service Command, (“NEXCOM”), the TTAB issued a non-precedential decision on September 29, 2012 in which it reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register four irregular block-shaped, multi-colored pixilated pattern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 marks that the US Navy used on clothing and fabric. The grounds for the Examining Attorney’s refusals were that the pattern designs were functional.  The functionality finding rested not on the conclusion that the patterns served any camouflage function, but that the patterns masked stains and wear-and-tear, thereby making them essential to NEXCOM’s requirements for a neat and clean Navy uniform. Continue Reading Pattern Designs on US Navy Uniforms and Fabric Are Non-Functional Protected Trademarks