Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Beware of Key USPTO Deadlines after Trademark Registration

Trademark, USPTO
You applied for trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and, after many months and maybe an Office Action letter or two, you have finally received your fancy Certificate of Registration in the mail. Nothing more left to do but enjoy the spoils of your trademark rights under the Lanham Act, right? Not exactly. Even though you've been granted registration, there are still some critical dates and tasks which, given their length of time away, can be easy to overlook, possibly jeopardizing your registration as well as rights in your mark. For those with a newly granted Sec. 1(a) "use in commerce" registration on the Principal Register, the following chart explains the critical filing periods during which a mark owner must file certain documentation in order…
Read More
99 Problems But Trademarking Your Name Ain’t One

99 Problems But Trademarking Your Name Ain’t One

Popular Culture, Trademark, USPTO
As fans of musicians Beyonce and Jay-Z learned earlier this Summer, the entertainment power couple gave birth to twins named Rumi Carter and Sir Carter. However, not making nearly as many tabloid headlines was Beyonce's (or, rather, her trademark holding company) subsequent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to register both children’s names as actual trademarks. The applications claim use of both marks in commerce for 15 different classes of goods or services such as cosmetics, baby apparel, playing cards, and entertainment services. As of the time of this writing, both applications with the USPTO are currently pending examination. Every so often I’m asked by someone if they can trademark their own name. The smart alecky answer I usually give is that one can always make an…
Read More
“Alphabet” Soup: What Your Business Can Learn from Google’s Re-brand

“Alphabet” Soup: What Your Business Can Learn from Google’s Re-brand

Common Law Trademark, Trademark, Trademark Infringement, USPTO
Last year, search giant Google announced it was reorganizing and creating a holding company with the name “Alphabet”. Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page wrote, “We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity's most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search”. Although a nice sentiment, Google's name change could create legal headaches for the search titan, with hundreds of companies already using the innocuous-sounding 'Alphabet.' If you think about trademarks on a spectrum of strongest to weakest, there are five main types. At the strong end are coined or fanciful names; marks which, on their own, do not mean anything. The “Google” mark is actually an example of such a mark. Be honest,…
Read More
Las Vegas NHL Franchise Craps Out on Trademark (for now)

Las Vegas NHL Franchise Craps Out on Trademark (for now)

NHL, Sports, Trademark, USPTO
Ah, May...the most wonderful time of the year (other than, of course, football season) as the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full gear, with the Conference finals nearly complete as of the time of this writing.  Something that may not be widely known is that the NHL's newest franchise in Las Vegas--given the name "Golden Knights"--has until next month to respond to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's objection to its application to register the team's "VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS" word mark with the USPTO. Last November, the Las Vegas hockey franchise, which will begin playing with the NHL in the 2017-18 season, announced that it would be known as the Golden Knights (I, personally, would've gone for something more Western or gambling themed). On December 7, 2016,…
Read More