Showing 7 posts in Trademark.
In early August, the nearly half a billion users of Twitter looked at their phones and found something perplexing—the instantly-recognizable blue icon with the white silhouette of a bird had vanished, and in its place a black square with a white “X” had appeared. CEO Elon Musk had decided to rebrand Twitter as “X”—but did he think through all the trademark ramifications of this choice before implementing it? More >
Over the past few weeks we have been watching CBS’s celebration of college basketball and, during commercial breaks, hearing those familiar musical notes that signal The Masters golf tournament has arrived. So, what better time than now to celebrate Passover, Easter, world class golf, and, naturally, a good trademark dispute.
Lil Nas X, Trademark infringement, Satan, Shoes. These may seem like four completely unrelated items chosen entirely for their randomness, and yet all four comprise pop culture’s biggest legal story of 2021 so far. Don’t worry – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll bring you up to speed, but the short version is that a rapper, a shoe company, and the devil are involved in turning a run-of-the-mill trademark infringement case into headline-making news. The real message is that a company’s brand and trademark are defined by its willingness to aggressively defend them, and the devil isn’t always just in the details. More >
Trademark Registrants, Take Note: COVID-19 Presents Some Challenges for Maintaining Trademark Registrations
As we all know, the varying degrees of lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have, for over a year now, interrupted nearly every aspect of personal and professional life. For businesses, mandatory closings and temporary shutdowns can mean a waning customer base and dwindling revenue, but it can also mean something even worse: losing federal rights to a trademark. More >
The purpose of a trademark is to provide your business with a unique identifier on which to build your brand. Trademarks then help you to stand out in the marketplace. It’s only fitting, therefore, that one of the key elements of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act, is the likelihood that consumers would be confused by a mark that is similar in some way to the potentially-infringed trademark. More >
A well-known truism of trademark law is that if the owner of a trademark is not making adequate ongoing use of that trademark, the owner of the mark is at risk of jeopardizing the continued right to enforce the trademark to prevent others from using the same or a similar mark in a related line of business.
Apparently the McDonald’s restaurant chain just this week felt the pain of this rule, possibly losing the right to enforce the BIG MAC trademark anywhere throughout the European Union. More >
Supreme Court Holds under First Amendment that Offensive, Disparaging Words Can Be Granted Trademark Protection
Lately there has been a growing tension between certain trademark applicants and a provision of the 1946 Lanham Act, which governs protection of trademarks. This clause gives the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ( the “PTO”) the power to deny registration of any “immoral. . . scandalous” trademark, or one that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” 15 U. S. C. §1052(a). For some time now, this issue has been in the spotlight with a lengthy legal dispute over whether the PTO must cancel the “Washington Redskins” trademarks registered to the National Football League team of that name, because the term “redskins” is disparaging of Native Americans. In the latest ruling, the PTO canceled the Redskins trademark registrations, and that ruling is currently on appeal. A recent decision by the Supreme Court, however, may change everything. More >