Tag archives: trade mark law

‘Apples, Beatles and four decades of litigation’ – Cautionary tales for start-ups settling on a new brand name

Apple: the world’s most successful company, with an estimated worth of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder that would-be tech entrepreneurs around the world are sitting around in black turtlenecks, jeans and New Balance sneakers, poring over Steve Jobs’ biography and trying to work out how they might emulate his success in their … Continue reading

Beware the ghost of handshakes past – Could your IP licence survive termination?

What happens when an IP licence agreement is terminated? The obvious answer would of course be that the licence terminates too.  However, as the latest instalment in an ongoing saga involving the well-known PINK LADY brand of apples reminds us, imprecisely drafted licence agreements may come back to haunt unsuspecting licensors. How do you like … Continue reading

Use them or lose them: US trademarks put to the proof

In the United States, a trademark owner must use their mark in commerce to maintain a federal trademark registration. This requirement is different from many other countries which do not require use of the mark to maintain registration.  Further, the trademark owner is required periodically to prove to the United States Patent and Trademark Office … Continue reading

Redskins seek to join Slants case at Supreme Court

While football teams and fans across the country are gearing up for this weekend’s NFL draft, the Washington Redskins will be preparing for another potential showdown—this one at the Supreme Court. The Redskins petitioned the high court on Monday to hear the case over the team’s controversial trademark registrations. Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, et. al., … Continue reading

PTO not required to register disparaging trademark until cert deadline passes

In December 2015, the Federal Circuit struck down the “disparagement” clause of §2(a) of the Lanham Act on First Amendment grounds. However, according to a recent ruling from the court, the USPTO is not required to register disparaging trademarks just yet. In re Tam, No. 16-121 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 30, 2016) (denying petition for writ of … Continue reading
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