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…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

March 17, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.”

The Court's Decision in the FLANAX US Trademark Dispute Gives Bayer a Headache

February 25, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

On February 6, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reversed the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s ruling in Bayer Consumer Care AG v. Belmora LLC, 110 USPQ2d 1623 (TTAB 2014) holding that Article 6bis of the Paris Convention does not grant trademark rights that are protectable under Section 14(3) (misrepresentation of source), Section 43(a)(1)(A) (infringement of an unregistered mark) and Section 43(a)(1)(B) (false advertising) of the United States Trademark Statute (the Lanham Act).

Bayer Given a Headache by Trial Court Decision in FLANAX US Trademark Dispute

February 25, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

On February 6, 2015, a US District Court issued a ruling which underscores the territorial nature of trademark rights and the need to seek formal protection for your marks where possible in all countries of interest.
Unlike most countries, US trademark law generally requires that a mark be in use before it can be protected. The US recognizes common law rights in unregistered marks if they have been adopted in good faith and are in actual use on a product or to provide a service to the public.

Trademarks and Branding: Need Some Ideas for that New Product Name?

January 27, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

The New York Times Magazine had a very interesting article in its January 18, 2014 issue entitled "Call It What It Is." The article, written by Neal Gabler, looks into the methods and ideologies used to create new product brand names.

Don’t Even Think About Advertising a SUPER BOWL Party!

January 26, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country focused on this football game.
In the first substantive trademark decision it has issued in a decade, the US Supreme Court, in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, case number 13-1211 (January 21, 2015), affirmed the Ninth Circuit by holding that whether two marks may be tacked for purposes of determining priority is a question for the jury.
On January 6, 2015, Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced Senate bill 23 entitled the “Copyright and Marriage Equality Act.” The bill would amend Section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code by striking the current definitions of “widow” and “widower” and replacing them with the following:
The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government.

The US Trademark Office Rings in the New Year with Some Reduced Fees!

January 7, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

It is not only the price of oil and gas that is dropping! The US Trademark Office has reduced the filing fees for new trademark applications and for registration renewal applications. The previous filing fee for each class in a new trademark application was $325.
The Bankruptcy Code generally permits intellectual property licensees to continue using licensed property despite a licensor’s bankruptcy filing. However, because the “intellectual property” definition in the Bankruptcy Code does not include “trademarks,” courts have varied on whether trademark licensees receive similar protection.
Fabric design is a creative art form that has existed for thousands of years. Although the methods for creating such designs have evolved, the purpose and function of such designs has not changed as significantly.

Tune in to the Global IP Marketplace

October 8, 2014 | Advisory

Mintz Levin is constantly monitoring the global IP marketplace, and we like to keep our clients and friends aware of impactful developments. Below is a summary of last week’s patent-focused Global IP Matters blog posts. 
The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term "Redskins" when reporting on the National League football team, and the fact that a variety of public figures, including President Obama, have expressed an opinion that the name should be changed, team owner Dan Snyder continues to steadfastly defend the name as expressing only "honor and respect" and state that he has no intention of ever changing it.

Tesla Successfully Resolves Chinese Trademark Dispute

August 7, 2014 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Further to our recent Tesla Motors post, Bloomberg and BNA report that Tesla has resolved its trademark dispute with Zhan Baosheng, the individual who registered the TESLA marks in China. Chinese authorities will cancel the existing TESLA Chinese trademark registrations and all web site names registered by Mr. Zahn in China will be transferred to Tesla.
A simmering dispute about ownership of a copyright in photographs has now garnered international attention. As more fully reported in an article in the British newspaper The Telegraph, British photographer David Slater has stated that he intends to bring a copyright infringement suit in the U.S. against Wikimedia, the nonprofit entity behind Wikipedia, focused on photographs taken by a crested black macaque monkey in Indonesia in 2011.

Court to Sen. Hershey: Tear Down Those Signs

July 30, 2014 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

An update to our prior post on the trials and tribulations of Maryland State Sen. Steve Hershey in his trademark battle with The Hershey Company can be found in an article I wrote for LAW360. As always, we will post any updates to this case as they develop.
Further to our recent post about the worldwide trademark trials and tribulations of Anheuser-Busch and its BUDWEISER trademark, we now  report that the up-and-coming electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. has been sued in China for trademark infringement by a Chinese businessman who registered the rights to the TESLA mark in China before the US carmaker entered the Chinese market.
Anheuser-Busch, the venerable American beer brewer, and Budejovicky Budvar NP, a Czech beer brewer, have been fighting since the 19th century over rights around the world to the BUDWEISER trademark. A Czech town called Ceske Budejovice is the original source of this dispute.
The overwhelming public reaction to the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s June 18 decision canceling six REDSKINS trademark registrations on grounds that the mark disparaged Native Americans has been impressive.
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