“Guns Up” is a slogan and hand signal used by Texas Tech University, originally as a way to counter the “Hook ’em Horns” symbol shown by the Texas Longhorns. It has grown in prominence to the point that the signal is often used as a victory sign at Texas Tech athletic events.
Myth: Filing one trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a mark and receiving a registration will protect that mark for use with all goods and services.
In some trademark cases, the plaintiff sues the defendant for trademark infringement based on what is considered to be a reverse-confusion theory. This means that the plaintiff believes that consumers will mistakenly believe that the defendant is the source, affiliate or sponsor of the plaintiff’s product or service.
We do not always post about our victories in obtaining trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but it is fun to highlight some of the more interesting success stories. Below are a couple of our more recent registrations, one for a professional basketball player and another for a sports betting handicapper.
And down the stretch they come! It is a popular saying in horse racing, which was popularized by sportscaster and longtime ABC, CBS, ESPN and NBC voice Dave Johnson. It is also a phrase that is now the subject of a trademark infringement lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
I thought that one of the better Super Bowl XLIII advertisements was delivered by Expensify, because it simply demonstrated the value of its service in an effective manner. It appears that a competitor is trying to benefit from Expensify’s Super Bowl exposure, which has led to the filing of a lawsuit by Expensify for trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
While a federal trademark registration is required to initiate a trademark infringement action in federal court, that is not the only enforcement mechanism for fighting a mark that you believe to be threatening your own. In fact, there is another method of frustrating an applicant who is in the midst of trying to register its mark. It is called a Notice of Opposition.
A total of 458,566 trademarks were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2018. That figure comes from a search of the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) conducted on January 8, 2019.
Everyone wants it, but nobody seems to know the best method to accomplishing it. In 2019, the aforesaid statement absolutely refers to Instagram verification.
Being verified on Instagram is not only a status symbol. It helps with obtaining likes and followers, assists in the case that you have a dispute with Instagram and allows you to better prevent imitators from pretending that they are you for their own gain.
We are often asked what is the best way to increase the likelihood of success in obtaining the coveted checkmark on Instagram. The answer is easy. It is to own a trademark registration in your user name.
Instagram says that your account must be authentic and notable in order to achieve verification status. The best way to ensure authenticity and notability is through a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Having a registered trademark is also helpful if you want to take down an imposter’s Instagram page or have it transferred to you for your own use. Instagram says such on its website.
While it is not an absolute requirement that you have a registered trademark to be successful, our experience indicates that it goes a long way in accomplishing your goals. Instagram says, “Typically, a trademark owner’s rights without a registration (often known as common law rights) may be weaker than rights that are subject to a registration.”
Applying for a trademark registration and receiving a trademark registration is a small price to pay to get access to benefits on Instagram and other social media networks. Contact us if you have any questions concerning same.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will hear a case that involves the refusal of a trademark application for the word “FUCT” in conjunction with its use on apparel. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office previously refused registration based on the mark being deemed to be scandalous.
The highest court in the U.S. will have the task of determining whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should be able to refuse registration for marks that contain immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter in the face of the freedom of speech guarantees offered by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act currently allows such a refusal.
Interestingly, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act has been successfully challenged in the past. In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously determined that refusing registration of a disparaging trademark was a violation of the First Amendment (i.e.: Washington Redkins). Prior to that, disparaging marks were also refused under the Lanham Act.
In fact, it was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the disparaging trademark case that was used by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to determine that a scandalous mark like “FUCT” should not be refused. That is what is up for appeal and which the highest court will eventually hear.
If the government loses in its appeal, then it is likely that many new profane and sexually explicit trademark applications will be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the future. Applicants will still be required to prove use in interstate commerce in order to actually receive registrations in connection with such applications.