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?

Thanks to DuetsBlog for providing an update on the EAT MOR CHIKIN v. EAT MORE KALE dispute that was the subject of our prior post.  As we reported in December, the Trademark Office issued an office action on the pending trademark application for EAT MORE KALE for t-shirts, etc. and determined that “no similar registered or pending marks … would bar registration under Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. §1052(d). TMEP §704.02 [likelihood of confusion grounds].”  Shortly after issuance of this office action, as reported, an “Administrative Response” appeared in the prosecution file entitled “Letter of Protest Memorandum.”  The memorandum noted that the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy had granted a Letter of Protest filed by an undisclosed party and specifically directed the examiner to consider U.S. Reg. Nos. 2,062,809, 2,197,973, 2,538,050 — registrations for EAT MOR CHIKIN owned by Chik-fil-A.  The examiner must now make an “independent determination whether to issue a requirement or refusal based on the objections raised in the Letter of Protest.”  So, the Letter of Protest has the potential to bring the likelihood of confusion issue to a head before Chik-fil-A had to decide whether to initiate a formal opposition proceeding, which is helpful given the press attention that this particular dispute has received.

So what is a Letter of Protest (LOP) and how does it work?  Continue Reading Letters of Protest: A Tool To Avoid The “Trademark Bully” Label

Since the birth last month of their first child, Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are no doubt experiencing the typical joys of first-time parenthood.  Those first looks, smiles and coos.  But they are struggling with at least one parenting issue that most of us don’t have to worry about:  trademark protection for their baby’s name.  Beyoncé’s company, BGK Trademark Holdings, LLC, recently filed an intent-to-use trademark application for the mark BLUE IVY CARTER for use on a wide range of goods and services, including fragrances, key chains, baby strollers, jewelry, mugs, hair accessories, balls, product merchandising services and entertainment services, to name a few.  But Beyoncé was not the first applicant for the BLUE IVY CARTER trademark.  Two other entities beat her to the Trademark Office.  Continue Reading BLUE IVY CARTER: What to Get a Child Who Has Everything? A Trademark Registration.