Intellectual Property Blog

WWE Gives Up RYBACK Trademark to Wrestler Who “Owns” Persona

If your employer registers a trademark for your stage name, how does that impact you and your future endeavors? And if you leave that employer, should they let that trademark go with you? In an unexpected example of this scenario, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) recently relinquished its trademark registration for the word mark RYBACK to former WWE wrestler Ryback Reeves, who coined the name Ryback  – and who now intends to keep using it […]

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Smucker’s Claims Trademark Infringement of the Crustless Sandwich – But Gallant Tiger Bites Back

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while, you have learned that businesses can register a trademark for a distinctive shape of product or packaging. And they can defend that registration by claiming trademark infringement if it seems likely that consumers will confuse one brand for another brand. But are similar shape and type of product enough to verify that consumers will be confused?  Smucker’s is riding a current lawsuit against […]

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Trademark Lawsuit: New vs. Founding Band Members of Autograph

The histories of bands are often fraught with volatile dynamics between members. Sometimes these dynamics rise to the surface in public lawsuits, especially when it comes to band ownership, royalties, and live show profits. This makes sense – a popular band can serve as a very valuable IP asset, bringing in thousands of dollars or more per year as fans buy into shows, recordings, and band merchandise.  The situation can become even more complicated when […]

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Case about a Jack Daniel’s Parody Toy May Set New National Standards

“The Old No. 2, on your Tennessee Carpet.” “43% Poo By Vol.” “100% Smelly.” Those are just a few of the quotes employed by Phoenix-based business VIP for their “Bad Spaniels” dog toy. They are meant to evoke and parody Jack Daniel’s famous “Old No. 7” label of whiskey by using similar language to describe a dog that behaves badly. If you saw that language on a dog toy, would you think that it came […]

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How Not to Lose Your Trademark to Non-Use Abandonment

Do you know what matters more than the registration of your business’s trademark? Its usage. One major way that a business can lose a viable trademark is non-use for a period of three or more years — it’s called trademark non-use abandonment. The USPTO tries to keep the registry fresh and not have any unused trademark on the registry. They periodically will send out Office Actions to trademark owners to see if registered marks are being […]

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6ix9ine Loses Trademark for His Name, Learns Importance of Responding to Lawsuits

Back in July 2022, rapper Warren Hamilton filed a Notice of Opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) against Daniel Hernandez, who goes by the stage name 6ix9ine. In the Opposition, Hamilton said that he had been using a similar stage name – SIX9 – since 2007, and wanted Hernandez to stop. Presumably, a traditional legal battle would follow, with both sides presenting arguments and fighting to keep the name. Except that is […]

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