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We have all seen or heard about them without, perhaps, knowing what they were or for what they stand: the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING seal of approval, UL certified, ENERGY STAR rated, GROWN IN IDAHO potatoes, HARRIS TWEED, and many, many more.
We have all seen or heard about them without, perhaps, knowing what they were or for what they stand: the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING seal of approval, UL certified, ENERGY STAR rated, GROWN IN IDAHO potatoes,  HARRIS TWEED, and many, many more.

Pom Wonderful and Coke in a Juicy Battle at the U.S. Supreme Court

April 23, 2014 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

On Monday April 21, Pom Wonderful LLC, the maker of a line of POM WONDERFUL® pomegranate juice products, www.pomwonderful.com, and The Coca-Cola Company, which sells MINUTE MAID® juice products, www.minutemaid.com, battled it out before the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether a private party can bring a claim under  Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act challenging a product label that is regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The City of Houston, Texas has filed a Petition For Writ Of Certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to interpret Section 2(b) of the Lanham Act to determine whether it prohibits a government entity from federally registering its own flag or coat of arms or other insignia as a mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Can an Emoticon be Protected as a Trademark?

January 6, 2014 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Gap Inc. and Diane Von Furstenberg’s company DVF Studio have asked the federal court in the Southern District of New York to rule on whether the heart emoticon <3 can be protected as a trademark.
The iconic “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero” photo of firemen raising an American flag on September 11, 2001, which appeared on the cover of The Record newspaper and other newspapers on September 12, is at the heart of a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in New York.
A federal jury in New York has found Agence France-Presse and Getty Images Inc. willful in their infringement of Daniel Morel’s copyrights in eight photographs of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and ordered them to pay damages of $1.2 million.
For many years now, the US Trademark Office has accepted trademark applications based upon a “bona fide intent to use” the applied-for mark on all the goods and/or to provide all of the services listed in the application at the time of filing.

TTAB Refuses to Register “The Slants,” Finding it to be “Disparaging”

October 25, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Racial and ethnic disparagement is a hot topic at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board these days. While a decision is still pending in the latest cancellation action involving the long disputed WASHINGTON REDSKINS professional football team marks, the Board in In re Simon Shiao Tam, recently affirmed a federal trademark examiner’s refusal to register THE SLANTS as a mark for an Oregon rock band composed of Asian Americans on grounds that it was a derogatory slang phrase for people of Asian descent.

Oops! Assignment of Intent-to-Use Trademark Applications: Easy But Not Simple

August 22, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

The language in the Trademark Act is very clear on the issue of assignment of intent-to-use applications.

The (Best) Method to the Madness Behind Choosing a Company Name or Mark

July 22, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

he Wall Street Journal ran a print article on July 18, 2013 titled “What’s Behind Those Quirky Startup Names?” in which the author Lindsey Gellman discussed the derivation behind unique startup names such as Mibblio, Kaggle, Shodogg, and Zaarly.
When I think of the Hells Angels, what immediately comes to mind are  a notorious gang of men in leather on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the 1960’s counterculture, and news reports of illicit activity. When I think of Toys “R” Us, what immediately comes to mind are Barbie® dolls, Candyland® board games, Fisher-Price® baby toys, and Lego® blocks.

RG3 and Common Law Trademark Rights: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

July 8, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Following in the footsteps of many sports and entertainment celebrities, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III, through his company Thr3escompany LLC, filed a number of US trademark and service mark applications for various marks including his full name as well as his nickname RGIII, sometimes used as RG3.

Trademark Protection in the European Community Expanded to 28 Countries

June 28, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

It took eight years of negotiations, but Croatia will  finally join the  European Community effective  July 1, 2013. This is good news for those who  own or seek trademark and design protection through the European Community system since protection will now be expanded to cover  28 Member States.

Copyright Infringement Damages Upheld in File Sharing Case

June 28, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

The Tenebaum copyright infringement file sharing case, about which we first reported in an earlier blog, reached another milestone this week when the First Circuit upheld the jury’s $675, 000 damages award.

Contributory Infringement and Copyrights:

June 24, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Right on the heels of our blog on trademarks and contributory infringement, comes a case in which the court refused to dismiss a claim against Amazon for sales by third parties of allegedly infringing photographs on its site.
Counterfeit goods seem to be everywhere, and efforts to police their ubiquitous existence often seem futile. However, a recent decision involving counterfeit Coach products should inspire those who host vendors of counterfeit products to rethink their business strategy.

More About Trademark Surnames: The Borghese Dispute

June 17, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Right on the heels of our surname blog comes a New York Times article on a long-running trademark litigation over rights to the Borghese surname. The Borgheses hail from an Italian noble family and their using the family history for marketing purposes is what prompted a lawsuit which goes to trial this summer in New York.

Louboutin Sees Red Again: Protecting Color as a Trademark

June 12, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

Christian Louboutin filed suit last week in Federal District Court in New York against Charles Jourdan Fashion Footwear and unnamed companies and John and Jane Does for trademark counterfeiting and infringement and other related claims based upon the Defendants’ sales of women’s shoes bearing red soles.

Why Can’t I Use My Own Name? : Trademarks and Surnames

June 6, 2013 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

There are many “myths” that float about in the general public about what can and cannot function as a trademark. For example, people often tell me that they “know” that “common words” can never be protected as trademarks.
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