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The Importance of Trademark Searching

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

Congratulations!  You’ve decided on a new name for your new company or brand.  How exciting!  Before you apply for federal trademark protection, it’s important to conduct some type of trademark searching.  But what kind?  Trademark Searching Many clients tell me they have already conducted a search of the USPTO records; however, this only provides part of the story.  When we …

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U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Trademark Disparagement Clause as Unconstitutional

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

On June 19, 2017, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court (Judge Gorsuch did not participate in the hearing or decision) held that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) could no longer refuse federal registration of “disparaging trademarks” holding that the “disparagement clause” of the Federal Trademark Act (also known as the Lanham Act) violates the Free Speech Clause of the First …

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Singing the Surname Blues

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

Last month, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB” or “Board”) issued a precedential decision, affirming the Trademark Office’s refusal of registration for BELUSHI’S for “travel  reservations” and related services and “hotel…restaurant and catering services” and related services” on grounds that the mark is “primarily merely a surname.” Although the Board admitted in this case the surname is rare, it …

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Wasted Away Again in Marijuanaville?

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

What do marijuana and margarita have in common?  Well, according to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, both are terms that the public associates with representing a similar “state of mind” whether induced by a cocktail or the grassy substance.  Marijuanaville? Recently, the Board found that the marks MARIJUANAVILLE applied for various clothing items in Class 25 to be confusingly …

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False Advertising – No Competition Required

In Advertising by Stacey Kalamaras

SCOTUS: Non-Competitors Have Standing Under Lanham Act Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a plaintiff need not be a direct competitor in order to have standing to bring a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act. The Court relied upon a statutory interpretation to reach its decision. It provided two main reasons for its decision: so …

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Catalogs as Specimens

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

Catalogs as Specimens Earlier this month, the TTAB refused registration for the mark TSUBAKI: THE CHOICE FOR CHAIN pursuant to Sections 1 and 45 of the Trademark Act on the ground that applicant U.S. Tsubaki, Inc. failed to submit a specimen showing proper trademark use. Applicant submitted six (6) specimens with its application – all of them catalogs or advertising …

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CANDY Crushes the Competition

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

CANDY is a Sweet Trademark In the past few weeks, the internet has been on fire with commentary from so-called experts and laypeople alike aghast at how King.com was able to get its trademark application for CANDY through the U.S. Trademark Office. Trademark Application That trademark application is currently pending at the Trademark Office, which means, the registration has not …

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License to Be Ill

In Copyrights by Stacey Kalamaras

GoldieBlox named Finalist in Super Bowl Contest Last week, enterprising startup toy company GoldieBlox, was named a finalist in Intuit’s Small Business competition which awards one small business with a professionally made, 30-second commercial which will air during this year’s Super Bowl, scheduled to take place at the New Jersey Meadowlands. The average cost of a 30-second spot during one …

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New Trademark Office ID Manual

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

New Trademark Office ID Manual Effective January 1, 2014, the U.S. Trademark Office has updated its Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual to reflect changes made to the Nice Classification, Tenth Edition, version 2014. These changes will affect all trademark applications filed in the U.S. For more information, please see U.S. Trademark Office or Contact us for further information.

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Advice for Pro Se Trademark Applicants

In Trademarks by Stacey Kalamaras

Pro Se Trademark Applicants – Proceed With Caution Recently, we reviewed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that once again reinforced that far too many trademark applicants are filing and litigating their trademark cases pro se (without the advantage of having an experienced Trademark Attorney help them through the process). This particular case involved a dispute over the famous …