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16 February 2010

Brand owner input to Special 301 review due today

Brand owners planning on submitting comments to the United States Trade Representative regarding the Special 301 review process must do so today if they wish to testify at a public hearing.

16 February 2010

Motion for summary judgment denied on issue of fraud intent

In DaimlerChrysler Corp v Am Motors Corp, the TTAB has followed the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in In re Bose Corp and denied DaimlerChrysler Corp’s motion for summary judgment on the question of whether American Motors Corporation had attained registration of its trademark by way of fraud on the USPTO.

12 February 2010

United States pins hopes on ACTA to drive reform

An official working with the United States Trade Representative has told WTR that the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should address US trading partners' "areas for improvement".

10 February 2010

Federal Circuit clarifies rules on specimens

In In re Sones, the US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit has held that the USPTO had used an incorrect legal standard for evaluating the acceptability of an internet specimen of use. The decision clarifies that a picture is not a mandatory requirement for a website-based specimen of use.

03 February 2010

Apple and Fujitsu staying quiet over IPAD trademark dispute

Despite widespread speculation, Apple and Fujitsu are remaining silent over the potential dispute concerning the IPAD trademark. However, it has emerged that Apple owns no major web domain containing the name of its new product.

02 February 2010

Trademark bullies to come under scrutiny

The USPTO will examine the extent to which US businesses are harmed by trademark owners’ overly aggressive litigation tactics, if a US senator's proposed study gets the green light.

02 February 2010

Kappos announces USPTO $2.3 billion budget request

David Kappos, the director of the USPTO, has revealed President Obama's $2.322 billion fiscal year 2011 budget request for his agency.

01 February 2010

BINION is primarily merely a surname, says TTAB

In In re Binion, in a precedential decision, the TTAB has affirmed refusals to register the marks BINION and BINION'S for “casino and gaming services” and “hotel and bar services”. The TTAB found that the marks were confusingly similar to the earlier registered mark BINION'S ROADHOUSE for "restaurant services", and that they were primarily merely surnames.

25 January 2010

New fee structures serve IP firms well during recession

US trademark filing data has revealed that boutique firms and those willing to adapt their fee structures are faring well despite the global economic downturn.

18 January 2010

USTR invites brand owners to Special 301 hearings

The US government is, for the first time, seeking input from brand owners at public hearings as part of the annual Special 301 review process.

12 January 2010

CHARBUCKS Case remanded once again

In Starbucks Corporation v Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed a decision of the district court in which the latter had held that the trademark CHARBUCKS did not dilute the STARBUCKS mark. Among other things, the Second Circuit found that the absence of “substantial similarity” between the marks did not prevent Starbucks from prevailing on its claim of dilution by blurring.

11 December 2009

Federal Circuit finds another '.com' mark to be generic

In In re 1800Mattress.com IP LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the TTAB’s refusal to register the mark MATTRESS.COM for “online retail store services in the field of mattresses, beds and bedding” on the grounds that it was generic. Among other things, the court rejected the applicant's argument that the '.com' portion of the mark evoked the quality of comfort in mattresses and was thus a mnemonic.

09 December 2009

FDA proceeding takes precedence over Lanham Act in drug labelling case

In Schering-Plough Healthcare Products Inc v Schwarz Pharma Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that the district court was correct in dismissing a Lanham Act claim for false advertising without prejudice pending the decision of the Food and Drug Administration on whether a generic drug should be pulled from the market or relabelled due to misbranding.

04 December 2009

TTAB's COLD WAR MUSEUM cancellation decision reversed

In The Cold War Museum Inc v Cold War Air Museum Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed the TTAB’s decision to cancel the registration for the mark THE COLD WAR MUSEUM for “museum services”, holding that the evidence made of record during the prosecution of an underlying registration is automatically part of the record in subsequent cancellation proceedings.

03 December 2009

Plaintiff has its cake, but may not eat it too

In One True Vine LLC v The Wine Group LLC, the US District Court for the Northern District of California has granted One True Vine LLC's motion to amend its federal registration for LAYER CAKE to delete certain goods, which it admitted it had never used in connection with the mark. Nevertheless, the court held that the defendant's counterclaim to cancel the registration on the grounds of fraud was not moot.