News & Resources

What Does It Mean to Have a “Merely Descriptive” Trademark?

Many people request that I prepare applications for trademarks that are considered ‘merely descriptive’. When I tell them that the mark is ‘merely descriptive’ and will be difficult to register, they are dismayed and disappointed. To be eligible for a trademark registration through the United States Patent and Trademark Office and receive the associated legal protections, a trademark should be strong and not just describe the goods or services being sold. This makes sense, since […]

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Why Companies Should Encourage Respect for Intellectual Property Assets

In May, I had the good fortune to attend the International Trademark Association’s Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. Over 11,000 trademark lawyers and brand professionals from all around the world attended. Throughout the conference, there was one common theme: the need to educate individuals on the value of trademarks and other intellectual property (IP) assets in the success of businesses. Learning to identify, monitor, and protect key IP assets will build value in a company. […]

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Trademark Scams: What to Expect After Filing Your Application

I recently went through the process of filing trademark applications for my law firm’s trademarks. Now I am receiving all kinds of scam mail from companies claiming to publish international catalogues of trademarks and offering global trademark protection. I realized that my clients receive these scam mailings every time a new trademark application is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. So below is a list of scam mail I received, along with […]

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Simon Tam’s Journey to the U.S. Supreme Court

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Defense Research Institute (DRI) Intellectual Property Litigation seminar in Denver, Colorado. Simon Tam was one of the featured speakers and he spoke about his journey to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Tam v Matal. (See blog article Disparaging Words and ‘The Slants’ on March 8, 2018) Simon Tam and his legal teams were the persistent force that led to the U.S. Supreme Court issuing […]

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USPTO’s New Program to Combat Trademark Application Fraud

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) launched a pilot program allowing users to protest trademark applications filed with improper specimens that are digitally created, altered, or fabricated. This program was implemented to combat the growing problem with illegitimate filings, particularly those from China. Many of these fraudulent applicants are not actually using their marks in the United States. Instead they doctor specimens to reserve the rights to the mark, often by adding text […]

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Trademark Searches: A Cost Saving Measure Often Ignored – Part 2

When companies set out to establish a new brand for their company, they often skip one important step: the trademark search. This may save a little money in the short-term… only to cause much larger expenses and problems in the long-term. In my previous blog post, I discussed why trademark searches are so important. Here I’ll talk about how to budget for your search. Budget Considerations and Types of Searches When creating a new brand, […]

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