Archive for the ‘Trademark’ Category

USPTO rejects “REDSKINS” trademark app for a snackfood as offensive. What does that mean for the team?

February 6, 2014 Leave a comment

“The same federal agency that will determine whether Washington’s professional football team gets to keep its trademark registration recently struck down a request for a company to sell pork rinds with the name “Redskins.” The USPTO’s reasoning for issuing a refusal? Because it’s derogatory and offensive..

The question is what does this ruling mean for the Redskins football team’s registered mark?

Read the full article at


Bob Marley estate & chicken fingers co. set to battle over ONE LOVE trademark

January 7, 2014 Leave a comment

January 8, 2013


On December 6, 2013, Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. (“Hope Road”), which controls reggae legend Bob Marley’s estate, filed a federal trademark infringement action against the restaurant company Raising Cane’s USA, LLC (“Raising Cane’s”).  Hope Road alleges ownership of the trademark ONE LOVE in connection with a number of goods and services.  It further claims that Raising Cane’s unauthorized use of the same mark in connection with restaurant services is a violation of Hope Road’s rights.

There seems to be little doubt that Hope Road began using the ONE LOVE mark before Raising Cane’s, perhaps even in connection with restaurant services.  However, the legal difference between common-law trademark rights and rights provided by trademark registrations may prove central to this dispute.”

Read the full article at Celebrity Trademark Watch

Facebook, Zuckerberg to Face a Jury over rights to “Timeline” trademark issue

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment




Facebook Inc. (FB) (FB), owner of the world’s largest social-networking service, lost bid to end a trademark infringement lawsuit over its use of “timeline” and related terms.

Timelines Inc. started a Web site in 2009 that lets users create chronologies tracing historical events such as wars, sporting events and advances in science. It sued Facebook for infringement and unfair competition in September 2011, a week after the social-network announced it was adding a “timeline” feature to its user pages.

Facebook counter-sued, claiming Timelines’ registered marks weren’t sufficiently distinctive to warrant protection and asking for judgments of non-infringement and a cancellation of the registrations.

Read the full article about Facebook Timeline Trademark battle at

“Kaepernicking” is San Fran 49er QB’s signature move. But is it a trademark?

January 29, 2013 Leave a comment

On January 14, 2013, attorneys for San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed 5 intent-to-use applications to trademark various iterations of the star QB’s name as well as an in-use application for the word mark “KAEPERNICKING”, his bicep-kissing act that has taken on a life of its own during the team’s post-season journey to Superbowl XLVII:

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
2 85822727 KAP TSDR LIVE
3 85822721 KAP7 TSDR LIVE

[public record information from:]

Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely shirts. FIRST USE: 20121231. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20121231
Standard Characters Claimed
Serial Number 85822700
Filing Date January 14, 2013
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Kaepernick, Colin INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES P.O. Box 1725 Madison WISCONSIN 537011725
Attorney of Record Bruce H. Bernstein
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Just What Is a Trademark, You Ask?

A trademark protects a word, phrase, symbol, or device – the mark – used in commerce to identify and distinguish one product from another. Interestingly, even color (Tiffany blue box), scent (Plumeria) and sound (NBC chimes or MGM lion’s roar) can function as a trademark.

Each state has its own state laws to protect commerce within the state. And the Lanham Act provides protection across the country. Unregistered marks are also protected under state and federal case law. [More about trademarks and other types of intellectual property] reports the story as follows:

Colin Kaepernick has become a brand worth protecting.

At least he thinks so.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has filed for the trademark “Kaepernicking,” his bicep-kissing act that has swept the West Coast during the team’s postseason run.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website shows the registration was filed on Jan. 14, and Kaepernick intends to use it on clothing, specifically T-shirts.

Read the full article “Colin Kaepernick Files To Trademark “Kaepernicking” at

[ESPN video: Colin Kaepernick Files To Trademark “Kaepernicking”]

Prof down! My injury, your gain. The most popular posts about intellectual property, revisited.

August 5, 2012 Leave a comment

If you know me personally you probably know I’ve been going through quite an ordeal lately. Three weeks or so ago a wonderful game of tennis turned injury-laden for this aging (gracefully?) former collegiate and professional athlete.

I suffered a partial tear of my plantar fascia and was sidelined for two weeks before I could even get up and around on my own and at least return to my own city and home.

Physical therapy is just around the corner now that the acute pain and most swelling has subsided. Also just around the corner? A new sport!

Just posting a quick “check in” to assure you both my scholarship about intellectual property issues and my end of summer posts about current hot topics are “in progress”. So, my injury is your gain. I was sidelined long enough to enjoy substantial periods of rest AND to find significant pockets of productivity time in between.

Hope you’re enjoying a wonderfully restful and productive summer too. Many thanks for remaining plugged into Check out some of my most popular posts from my archives:

Be well,

Prof. TE

Has Facebook secured the right to exclusive use of “Book” thru its TOU?

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment


Facebook login page

While FB may never secure a trademark on the word “book”, it appears to be attempting to secure its market position through its terms of use.

“Facebook has previously filed over 80 trademark applications on variations of its name and other terms such as “POKE”, “WALL” and “LIKE”. Facebook now seems to be attempting to claim some level of ownership/protection over the word “book” as well.

In a recent revision to Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” which is the agreement all users must accept when accessing Facebook, language was inserted which states (emphasis added) “[y]ou will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.”

Read the full article about Facebook’s trademark claims to “book”

Professor Presents Work-in-Progress at IP Scholars Conference at DePaul

August 8, 2011 Comments off

Intellectual Property Professor Tonya M. Evans was selected to present her work-in-progress, Sampling Patent to Remix Copyright (aka Reverse Engineering Copyright), at 11th Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference. The conference is hosted this year at DePaul University College of Law  Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology (CIPLIT). The Conference is a joint effort of CIPLIT and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Boalt Hall School of Law; the Intellectual Property Law Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University; and the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, Stanford Law School.

Professor Evans’ paper explores further the general arguments and assumptions presented in her latest article Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My!: How Hip Hop Scratched More Than the Surface of Intellectual Property Law, 21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 843 (2011). In her current work, she asserts that copyright reform initiatives should “sample” (that is, borrow from) patent policies to “remix” (that is, inform and reform) copyright jurisprudence. More specifically, copyright law must be reformulated to achieve an optimal balance between a copyright holder’s exclusive rights and the legal “space” a second generation creator needs to build upon existing works to create new ones. This, she argues, is essential for collaborative and cumulative creative genres like performance and visual arts.

The IP Scholars Conference brings together intellectual property scholars from across the country and the world to present their works-in-progress in order to benefit from the critique of colleagues. The Conference includes both plenary and “break out” sessions on all IP-related topics, including but not limited to Copyright, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, Patent, Trade Secret and Cyberlaw.

A list of presentations and more information about IPSC and CIPLIT is available at:

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