Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Category Archives: Trademarks

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Patriots Trademarks and the Big Game

Posted in Trademarks
Once again, my team is in the Big Game. I can’t help but think back to 2008 when the undefeated Patriots lost to the Giants. Perhaps the fact that they filed trademark applications for “19-0” and “PERFECT SEASON” days before the Big Game jinxed them. Ironically, despite defeat, the Patriots continued to prosecute their trademark… Continue Reading

THE PROCESS of Joel Embiid’s Trademarks

Posted in Trademarks
It seems my step-twins and Joel Embiid have something in common: they all love Shirley Temples. Embiid prefers his made with ginger ale and grenadine and allegedly drank as much as a pitcher a day while recovering from an injury. Embiid’s love of Shirley Temples is so strong that he decided to build a brand… Continue Reading

What Do You Want for Christmas?

Posted in Trademarks
Getting tapped to post on Trademarkology the week before Christmas is quite an honor.  It’s almost as good as being asked by Santa, “What do you want for Christmas?” Speaking of Santa, I was surprised to see just how popular SANTA is in the world of trademarks.  Did you know there are more than 2,000… Continue Reading

NHL Team Trademark Gets Iced

Posted in Trademarks
The National Hockey League is adding a new expansion team in Las Vegas that will play its home games in the impressive new T-Mobile Arena located on the strip.  The new team is scheduled to start playing in the 2017-2018 NHL season.  So, this new team will need a new team name and—you guessed it—trademarks!… Continue Reading

Use It (in Commerce) or Lose It!

Posted in Trademarks
Before a U.S. application filed on an in-use or intent-to-use basis may proceed to registration, the applicant must show that the mark has been used in commerce.  Being right about whether the mark has been used in commerce is important. In fact, the validity of the resulting registration may depend on it. Using a mark… Continue Reading

Writing Off Your Rights

Posted in Brands, Copyright, Trademarks
  I have twins.  Yes, we have two of most everything.  No, it doesn’t make it easier.  The twins don’t always remember who owns what or whether the object was traded.  I hear a lot of, “That’s mine!”  Somehow, that familiar childhood fight doesn’t seem to change as we grow up, and many of my… Continue Reading

This is the Spinal Tap Lawsuit

Posted in Trademarks
“This is Spinal Tap,” with its eminent quotability, is a cultural touchstone. I had heard of it, but not seen the movie until last year, when my husband sat down to watch it with me as part of his Sisyphean task of filling in the gaps in my pop culture knowledge. In comedy, timing is… Continue Reading

Does One Life Matter?

Posted in Trademarks
No.  At least not according to a recent decision rendered earlier this month by three judge panel at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The Applicant, Tres Vidas Organic, Inc., sought to register the following mark for tequila and tequila infused with vitamins:   The English translation of “TRES VIDAS” is three lives. Unfortunately for… Continue Reading

Audits: They’re Not Just for the IRS Any More

Posted in Patents, Trademarks
Recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”) issued its 5,000,000th registration. (Congratulations to the owner of COASTAL TACO BAR + CHILL!). It took until 1974 for the PTO to issue the 1,000,000th registration, but only about five years lapsed between the 4,000,000th and 5,000,000th registrations. Not only is the number of trademark… Continue Reading

What is the difference between a business name and a trademark?

Posted in Trademarks
For that matter, what about fictitious names, dbas and trade names? Recently, I’ve talked to a number of small business owners who have interesting and profitable businesses.  These businesses range from mechanics, to pastry stores, to musical bands.  Recently, I’ve begun asking for more detail as to what these businesses actually were.  This discussion always… Continue Reading

Brexit, Brouhaha, and… Beer?

Posted in Trademarks
        You are probably sick of hearing the word BREXIT by now.  If you don’t yet know what it is, Brexit refers to Britain’s recent vote to exit the European Union.  Since numerous international agreements must now be reversed, there is a lot of uncertainty about how the United Kingdom will unravel… Continue Reading

Pat Summitt: A Brand That Lives On

Posted in Brands, Trademarks
  I had nearly completed a blog post that I intended to publish today—a post actually about trademarks, branding, and intellectual property—but, when the news of Pat Summitt’s death broke early this morning, I decided to put it aside and take some time to honor her memory.   Like many athletic girls who grew up… Continue Reading


Posted in Trademarks
As I reflected on Memorial Day, many images came to mind of family and friends who courageously gave their own lives to help protect ours.  They all shared a tremendous sense of pride for their military unit – an extension of their own identity giving rise to a lifetime bond with fellow soldiers.  Military trademarks… Continue Reading

Monday Night Football

Posted in Brands, Trademarks
Last Monday, Pro-Football, Inc. petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case (Pro- Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on it, but only if the Supreme Court grants certiorari in Lee v. Tam. Asking the Supreme Court to take a case before the Circuit Court of Appeals renders… Continue Reading

America’s Prince

Posted in Brands, Copyright, Trademarks
The legal legacy of The Artist Formerly Known as   is impressive; we’ll miss his fabled stories and exploits.  Years ago, we posted about the background dispute behind Prince’s fight with his label that resulted in his name change from Prince Rogers Nelson. But these quirky stories aren’t what I find to be so impressive.  Instead it… Continue Reading

Unfair Competition is Such a Headache

Posted in Trademarks
This week, in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG and Bayer Healthcare LLC, Appeal No. 15-2335 (March 23, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the Lanham Act permits plaintiffs to bring false advertising, false association, and trademark cancellation claims in the U.S., even if those plaintiffs do not… Continue Reading

When Brands Go Bad

Posted in Brands, Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Have you ever looked at a product and thought, “what an awful name”?   If you did, I bet you did not buy that product.  A good name for your business or product is essential to success.  The recipe for finding this golden nugget involves equal parts creativity and research.  On the creative side, you have… Continue Reading

Florida judge “refuses to put a bazooka in the hands of a squirrel” in uber fight

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Judge’s words, not mine.  UBER and UBER PROMOTIONS are facing off in Gainesville, a city rated “5th meanest city” by the National Coalition for the Homeless, twice.     This is a sad and preventable story of a small company that didn’t bother to file a trademark registration.  The small company asked a judge to… Continue Reading