When most people hear the word “generic,” it brings to mind a consumer product without a brand name. But its meaning is much more significant in the trademark world, where a term deemed generic isn’t eligible for trademark protection. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently clarified the test for so-called genericness.
Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the Year End 2018 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.
The US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit published its opinion today, finding that a federally registered trademark for the mark Sturgis, owned by Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (SMRI), is invalid. This is a major victory for Rushmore Photo & Gifts, the Niemann family of Rapid City, SD, and Wal-mart Stores, Inc., the defendants in this seven-year dispute over the Sturgis mark, The Court found that SMRI’s unregistered, common law trademarks “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally” and “Sturgis Rally & Races” are also invalid.
Court splits over trade dress, trademark claims In 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a trademark holder seeking a preliminary injunction after filing suit against an alleged infringer must establish the likelihood of irreparable harm, rather than relying on a presumption of harm. Not until this year, though, has the court elaborated on the kind of proof required. Its recent ruling sheds light on what does — and doesn’t — demonstrate irreparable harm.
Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the October/November 2018 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.
Here’s the essential guide to protecting your brand! Finding the right name for your business or product line is more than a creative pursuit. It has the potential to elevate your reputation and profits. Don’t you want to achieve both?
How is your company handling foreign trademark searches? Is the Madrid Protocol still useful? Is your company building house brands or a branded house? These are some of the latest issues in trademark law discussed by in-house IP counsel at our IP Forum last week (co-hosted with our friends at Dennemeyer). Here are a few tips they had for companies doing business globally.
The hurdle for proving trade dress infringement is high. This is partly because, as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained, a plaintiff must produce evidence of nonfunctionality — a unique challenge since a plaintiff must prove evidence of an absence and product design often serves purposes beyond mere identification of the product’s source. In the case in question, though, the court determined that the plaintiff had succeeded.
Have you received an official-looking letter or invoice from the Patent & Trademark Agency located in New York City? How about one from the Trademark Compliance Office in Arlington, VA? These are two of the several companies that offer what they call “trademark-related services.” These companies use terms that resemble an official agency name including one or more of the terms “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” Many of these solicitations will even contain accurate information about your trademark registration and cite correct information, such as the requirement that a registration must be renewed every 10 years. One common theme with all of these solicitations is they are seeking fees for services that have no legal significance to your trademark registration.
Just last year, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door to the registration of trademarks that could be considered offensive when it ruled that the disparagement clause in the federal trademark law was unconstitutional. Now the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has taken a similar stance, striking down the bar against the registration of trademarks that are “immoral or scandalous.”
Choosing the wrong name can be expensive. Gain essential knowledge on trademarks and the naming process. Introducing The Guide for Pursuing Legally Defensible & High-Value Trademarks – a collaborate effort with the branding experts Olive & Company.