News & Resources

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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Trademark Searches: A Cost Saving Measure Often Ignored – Part 1

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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