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Law Blog

Renewing Your Trademark-Excusable Non-Use

Renewing Your Trademark-Excusable Non-Use Even after you have successfully registered a mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office, you are not done in ensuring your mark stays registered and protected. Your application must be renewed 5-6 years after your first registration in order to maintain that registration. You must also renew the year before […]

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The ‘Deceptively Misdescriptiveness’ Rejection

The ‘Deceptively Misdescriptiveness’ Rejection There are many reasons your trademark application may be denied. One of the more unique reasons is something called “deceptively misdescriptiveness.” Your first question is probably “what does that even mean?” A mark is considered deceptively misdescriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, or feature of the goods and […]

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The “Primarily Merely a Surname” Rejection

THE “PRIMARILY MERELY A SURNAME” REJECTION You’ve submitted a trademark application and after many months, you finally receive news from the USPTO—but it’s an Office Action. There are several reasons you may receive a rejection from the USPTO for a trademark application, the most popular one being a Section 2d—“likelihood of confusion” rejection. However, there […]

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Court Rules TV-Streaming Service Provider May Seek Compulsory Copyright Licenses; Fox to Appeal

In what may be considered a surprise decision, a federal judge ruled that online television streaming service, FilmOn X, may be treated as a cable company by allowing it the same compulsory copyright licenses that broadcast companies receive. FilmOn offers content from cable companies like Fox, NBC, and the like. FilmOn captures broadcast television signals […]

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Ninth Circuit Sends Amazon back to Court to Face Trademark Infringement Claim

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that internet-based retail giant Amazon.com could be misleading consumers by displaying a watchmaker’s competing products when users search for its watches (read the full opinion here). Multi Time Machine Inc. (“MTM”), a luxury, military style watchmaker, brought a trademark infringement claim asserting Amazon violated its trademarks by […]

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Justin Bieber and Usher Ordered back to Court for Copyright Infringement

Pop stars Justin Bieber and Usher Raymond will be heading back to court after the Fourth Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a reasonable jury may find they infringed copyrights in their 2010 hit song, “Somebody to Love.” (Read the full opinion here) The unanimous Court ruled the plaintiffs, R&B singer Devin […]

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TTAB Decisions to have Preclusive Effect on Later Litigation

In yet another intellectual property-focused case, the Supreme Court has ruled that a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) may have a binding, preclusive effect on later litigation in a federal district court. The opinion came with a narrowed focus, allowing preclusion for issues adjudicated by the TTAB that are “materially the […]

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Warner Brothers Keeps a “Clean Slate” in Trademark Infringement Case

In a case stemming from the 2012 box office hit, The Dark Knight Rises, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit granted Warner Brothers’ motion to dismiss allegations of trademark infringement made against it for a fictional software program appearing in its film. (Read the decision here) Fortres Grand Corporation owns and sells Clean […]

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Never a Dull Moment in the Business of IP – Summer Roundup and Look Ahead

With Labor Day quickly approaching, and Back-to-Work and Back-to-School mentality haunting many of our minds, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s transpired in the IP world so far this year. From the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) revoking the Redskins’ registered trademark, to Aereo taking a hit in the U.S. Supreme Court […]

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Protecting “Pig Sooie” & Distinctive Sounds Through Trademark

Earlier this summer, the University of Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks, secured trademark protection for its “Calling the Hogs” chant. Football and basketball fans may recognize the familiar “woo pig sooie!” cheer, which was granted trademark protection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Registration Number 4558864: “The Mark consists of a sound. The […]

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Anthony Cartee, Esq.

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