Businesses often overlook a simple but critical step in establishing a new brand for a company, product, or service: a trademark search. The first step in a trademark strategy for the adoption and protection of a new word or design mark should be the search process. Often, clients do not budget for a trademark search or ask for a scaled-down search process to save money. In today’s business environment, the value of establishing a strong […]Continue Reading
Avoid Naked Licensing
When business owners develop a wonderful product, often other people want to sell the product or use the trademark to develop other products. For example, a business develops a popular tasty rum and sells it under a registered trademark, YUMMY. Friends of the creator want to make rum cakes and rum sauces using the YUMMY mark. The two parties may end up negotiating a licensing agreement regarding the products and trademark. If the license agreement […]Continue Reading
Can You Trademark Disparaging and Scandalous Words?
Two major court cases in 2017 asked the question: can the government prohibit the registration of trademarks that may be considered defamatory or offensive? In 1905, The Trademark Act forbid the registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks. Then, in 1946, section 2(a) of the Lanham Act went further, prohibiting the federal registration of marks that were immoral, scandalous, or disparaging. But while these limitations may be the law, were they constitutional? Many believed that this […]Continue Reading
Grumpy Cat Elated to Win $700k Lawsuit (But You Wouldn’t Know It)
You may know the internet celebrity Tardar Sauce by her more popular name, Grumpy Cat. She has been the subject of numerous memes. One of the most famous reads, “I had fun once. It was awful.” But you may not be aware that her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, formed the company Grumpy Cat Limited to capitalize on the cat’s permanently grumpy expression. Since then, Grumpy Cat has made numerous TV appearances, including Today, Good Morning America, […]Continue Reading
Can You Register Your Domain Name as a Trademark?
A domain name can become a trademark only if it is used as a trademark. Simply registering a word or words as a domain name does not itself establish trademark rights. Remember, a trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. The key is whether the trademark has been used to make such a visual impression that consumers would see it as a symbol of origin separate and apart from anything else. The […]Continue Reading
How Much Will It Cost to Register My Trademark? – Part Three
The most common question I hear from potential clients is, “How much will it cost to register my trademark?” Since there are many variables that come into play when registering a trademark, there is no set answer. In previous posts, I covered several issues that need to be considered, including current use, the type of trademark, where you will do business, and where you want to file your trademark application. In the final post of […]Continue Reading