Tag Archives | abandonment

Lapse of Trademark Registration is Not Abandonment of All Trademark Rights

CrashDummiesYou search the trademark database at the USPTO and find that your competitor’s trademark registration was canceled because the competitor did not file renewal documents and fees. You jump at the chance to grab their trademark by filing your own trademark application on their mark. Did you succeed in grabbing up rights in their trademark? Not necessarily.

Common law trademark rights can be obtained by use of the trademark in business/commerce alone without a federal registration. Therefore lapse of a trademark registration does not automatically result in a loss of all trademark rights.

This principle is demonstrated in the case of Crash Dummy Movie, LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 601 F.3d 1387 (Fed. Cir. 2010).

Crash Dummies Fight

Mattel owned a trademark registration on CRASH DUMMIES for toys. Mattel …

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Reviving Dead Brands of Others: Trademark Windfalls

DURAFLAMEKingsford-Clorox owned the trademark Duraflame for artificial firelogs. Kingsford-Clorox decided to get out of the firelog business and wanted to write off the goodwill associated with the Duraflame mark for accounting purposes. So it published a notice in the Wall Street Journal announcing the abandonment of the Duraflame trademark effective on the date of publication.

Two companies scrabbled to grab the Duraflame trademark, which resulted in the case of California Cedar Products Co. v. Pine Mountain Corp., 724 F.2d 827 (9th Cir.  1984). California Cedar won rights in the Duraflame mark because it was the first to use the Duraflame trademark after the mark was abandoned.

WindFall of Goodwill in Picking Up an Abandoned Trademark

When one company abandons a trademark, any other person or entity can grab the abandoned …

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Use it or lose it: Android Trademark Abandonment and Revival

ANDRIODIn 1998, Erich Specht formed Android Data Corporation (ADC) and began selling e-commerce software under the trademark Android Data. ADC later transferred its assets, including the trademark, to Andriod’s Dungeon Inc. (ADI), which was owned by Specht. In 2009, Specht and ADI filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Google based on Google’s use of the Android mark to refer to its mobile operating system. But Specht and ADI lost.

ADC lost because it stopped using the Android Data mark in 2002 when it lost all of its customers and essentially went out of business.

Trademark Rights Tied to Use

Trademark rights exist in conjunction with the use of the mark in the sale of goods or services in business/commerce. When the owner stops using the trademark through sales or …

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