Tag Archives | trademarks

Trademark Disclaimers and Hopeless Trademark Appeals

LouisianaThis appears to be another case where the applicant pursued a hopeless claim. Why did this happen? The problem is that the applicant initially chose a weak trademark and then tried to prop it up by pursing a course that it could not win.

Louisiana Fish Fry Products (LFFP) filed a trademark application on LOUISIANA FISH FRY PRODUCTS BRING THE TASTE OF LOUISIANA HOME! as shown at the beginning of this post.

The Trademark Examining Attorney and the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) both found that LFFP was required to disclaim “Fish Fry Products” as it was descriptive and generic of LFFP’s products. LFFP appealed this requirement to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court and lost in In Re: Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Ltd., No. 2013-1619, (Fed Cir. 2015).…

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Know When to Stop Wasting Money on Trademark Litigation

MoneyWasteYou need to know when to stop wasting money on trademark litigation. Here is a case where the plaintiff should have stopped on day two of the lawsuit, but didn’t.

Dr. Tartell and Dr. Mandel jointly practiced medicine until 2011, when they split their practice and went separate ways. The break up was contentious.

After the break up, Dr. Mandrel (1) registered six domain names using some variation of Dr. Tartell’s name, redirecting some to Dr. Mandrel new website, and (2) purchased Google AdWords keyword for Dr. Tartell name, which caused Dr. Mandell’s website to appear as an advertisement whenever someone searched with those terms on Google.

Tartell filed suit against Dr. Mandell including claims for cybersquatting, false designation of origin, and unfair competition (all trademark law related claims).

The day …

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Names Predictive of Future Product Success?

“…the names of companies are often very predictive of future failure or success.” — Peter Theil.

“[a] great name can’t fix a bad product. A great product can fix a bad name.” — Paola Norambuena.

Choosing a name for your company, product, or service can be difficult and time consuming. But does the name you choose matter?

In other words, assuming that the name you choose does not conflict with another’s trademark rights and the name is a strong trademark, does the name impact the success of your company, product, or service?

Peter Theil, venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal, thinks names matter. Peter discusses his view on naming in an exchange with Tyler Cowen:

TYLER COWEN: You mentioned Facebook a few minutes ago. In the back, we were

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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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My Use is Fair: Responding to Trademark Cease and Desist

FairUseFarzad and Lias Tabris were auto brokers. They operated websites at buy-a-lexus.com and buyorleaselexus.com connecting buyers with dealers selling Lexus vehicles.

Toyota, which owns the Lexus brand, sued the Tabris’ for trademark infringement, but lost.

Toyota lost because the Trabris’ use was a “fair use” in the case of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. v. Tabari, 610 F. 3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2010)

When Trabris’ used the Lexus trademark they were referring to actual Lexus vehicles. If they didn’t use the term “Lexus,” how could they let customers know the type of vehicles that they broker?

Nominative Fair Use Defense

A defendant may succeed with a nominative fair use defense if: (1) the product is not readily identifiable without using the trademark, (2) the defendant used no more of the …

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Sophisticated Purchasers and Expensive Services: Responding to Trademark Cease and Desist

ChannelsOfTradeIn my last post, I discussed the case of EDS versus EDS. In that case, one company that used the EDS mark opposed another company’s registration of the mark EDS. Identical trademarks. Sales to the same customers. But no conflict.

One reason for the result was that goods/services provided by the respective companies were sold in different channels of trade to different purchasers.

Another reason–the focus of this post–is that the customers that purchased the goods/services of each company were sophisticated purchasers.

First, a quick recap of parties and their products/services. Electronic Design & Sales, Inc. (“Electronic Design”) filed an application to register the mark E.D.S. for power supplies or battery chargers.Electronic Data System Corp. (“Electronic Data”) opposed Electronic Design’s trademark application for E.D.S in Electronic Design & Sales,

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Different Channels of Trade: Responding to Trademark Cease and Desist

ChannelsOfTradeEDS versus EDS. One company that used the EDS mark opposed another company’s registration of the mark EDS. Identical trademarks. Sales to the same customers. But no conflict. How?

One reason the marks were not found in conflict was that the goods/services provided by the respective companies were sold in different channels of trade to different purchasers.

Here’s the story.

Electronic Design & Sales, Inc. (“Electronic Design”) filed an application to register the mark E.D.S. for power supplies or battery chargers.

Electronic Data System Corp. (“Electronic Data”) opposed Electronic Design’s trademark application for E.D.S in Electronic Design & Sales, Inc. v. Electronic Data Systems Corp., 954 F.2d 713 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Electronic Data used the mark EDS for the sale of computer programming and installation services. But, both companies sold …

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Trademark is Geographically Descriptive: Responding to Trademark Cease and Desist

PrimarilyGeographicallyDescriptiveTrademark_YosemiteBeerSpirits of New Merced (“Spirits”) applied to register the trademark YOSEMITE BEER for the sale of beer. But the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused to register the mark.

The USPTO refused to register the mark because it was primarily geographically descriptive in In re Spirits of New Merced, LLC, 85 USPQ2d 1614 (TTAB 2007).

A trademark is considered primarily geographically descriptive when (1) the mark’s primary significance is a generally known geographic location; (2) the goods or services originate in the place identified in the mark, and (3) that the relevant public would be likely to make a goods/place association, that is, would be likely to believe that the goods originate in the place named in the mark. TMEP 1210.

Spirits made and sold beer in …

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How to Write a Description of Goods or Services for a Trademark Application

TrademarkDescriptionOfGoods_ServicesIt can be difficult to write an accurate and complete description (identification) of goods/services in a federal trademark application. When describing the goods and services you are or want to sell/provide, you want use somewhat broad language, but not too broad.

You cannot broaden the identification after the application is filed. In some cases, if the description is not accurate and the needed changes would broaden the identification, the application may be lost without a refund. However, if the description is too narrow, you could give up valuable trademark protection that you could otherwise obtain.

So how do you draft a description that is just right? I’ll explain that below, but first, why does the application require a description of goods/services?

Why Do I need a Description Of Goods/Services?

Except for …

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Trademark Application Part: The Mark (Drawing)

TrademarkApplication_Mark_and_DrawingFiling a federal trademark application online looks easy. Just fill in the blanks in the online form, right? But it is not necessarily easy. Some errors are uncorrectable and can doom a trademark application. This is the first post in a multi-part series discussing the parts of a U.S. federal trademark application. In this post I’ll discuss the mark (the drawing) portion of the trademark application. Before filing a trademark application you should considered doing a trademark search.

The mark/drawing section of the application is were you specify the mark that you want to register. You will have to choose between a standard character trademark or a special form trademark. If you intend to register a standard character trademark, then you need to know the …

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