Intellectual Property Blog

Scandalous Trademarks Update

On April 15, 2019, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Iancu v. Brunetti.   Erik Brunetti’s legal team successfully argued to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that the USPTO should approve registration of the mark “Fuct” for clothing items, in part because the scandalous clause of the Lanham Act preventing him from doing so was unconstitutional.  Section 2 (a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. […]

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Chester Bedell American Inn of Court: An Evening with Simon Tam

On April 11, 2019, the members of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court experienced a thought-provoking and entertaining presentation by musician Simon Tam. Tam was the persistent force that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744, 1769 (2017). In this landmark case, the court determined that the Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and therefore […]

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Drastic Changes to Canadian Trademark Law Take Effect in June 2019

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen Trademarks in Canada are looking at a major overhaul effective June 17, 2019 as Canadian legislation adopting the Singapore Treaty, Nice Agreement, and Madrid Protocol are implemented. How the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) examines and approves trademark applications will be remarkably different. A short highlight reel includes: Registrable marks will now include scents, holograms, color combinations, and animated images alongside traditional word marks, design marks, […]

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The Pros and Cons of Trademark Licensing

With a trademark licensing agreement, a registered trademark owner (the licensor) receives a negotiated royalty in exchange for allowing another party (the licensee) to use the licensor’s trademark. The licensor receives revenue for the use of their mark without the expenses and risks of product manufacturing, marketing, and sales. The licensee, in turn, has an opportunity to use the trademark without the expenses and risks of research and development. When employed properly, a trademark license […]

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Can You Register a Scent as a Trademark?

You have a product with a very specific smell. It makes your product absolutely unique. In fact, the scent is so unique that you want people to associate it with your product and nothing else. Can you register the scent as a trademark? It is possible to register a scent as a trademark. Play-Doh has done it. Even a sewing thread has done it. But no products that were created to deliver a specific smell […]

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Tips for Business Owners: Develop a Trademark Enforcement Plan

You have invested time, money, and resources into the development and registration of arguably one of your company’s most valuable assets – its trademarks. The next step is developing a trademark enforcement plan to actively protect the trademarks. Although the idea may seem daunting, the core of a trademark enforcement plan boils down to three simple steps: monitor the markets in which your trademarks are used (e.g., restaurant services, clothing, toys, computers), consult an intellectual […]

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