News & Resources

A Cautionary Tale of Trademark Clearance: Taco John’s and Taco Chon’s

If you are an aspiring small business owner – or in the process of becoming one – you might already have a dream name in mind. Perhaps it carries some sentimental connection to family, friends, or a long-treasured idea of yours. That is all fine and good, but, as you have probably learned, intellectual property lawyers must play the role of the wet blanket – who looks out for your best interests.  Even if your […]

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Budget and Craft Beer Go Head to Head Over Trademark Confusion

As the days warm, you may find yourself cracking open a cold beer on the porch. If a friend asked you, “Is that a ‘Stone or a Stone?” would you know how to answer? That question is at the heart of a trademark infringement and trademark dilution lawsuit between two brewing companies, Molson Coors (the owner of Keystone Light) and Stone Brewing Co. Founded in 1996, Stone Brewing Co. is a craft beer company, creating […]

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Cult Gaia “Ark” Bag: What Makes a Mark Generic or Distinctive?

The fashion world is incredibly focused on iterations, drawing on historical style choices and reusing them over time. Because of this, it is an interesting question to consider what products can be registered as a distinct trademark – and what cannot. If a product design achieves popularity in the present, is that enough to claim the design distinctive and warrant the registration of the design as a  trademark? The trademark application for a Cult Gaia […]

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Rogue Little Caesars Face Trademark Infringement

Franchise business operations are heavily governed by rules. These rules make it possible to both protect and share the intellectual property of the central business’s marks. When the rules are violated, the mutual commercial relationship breaks down. In Seattle, WA, several rogue Little Caesar franchises continue to serve and deliver pizza and chicken wings – after their franchise agreement was terminated in July of 2021.  Little Caesar Enterprises and LC Trademarks, Inc. have sued for […]

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Inside the Trademark Modernization Act

Is the number of available trademarks finite? No, but you should be asking a different question: is the number of effective trademarks finite? Absolutely.  In the past few years, trademark registrations have soared, with a noticeable uptick from applicants in China. But in-use trademarks have not risen in parallel – so the system has become cluttered with “deadwood.”  This depletes the number of viable marks available for active business owners. Trademark depletion is not just […]

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The Real Slim Shady® Trademark

Whether you are a fan or not, chances are good that you probably imagine the face of Marshall Mathers (AKA Eminem) when you hear the name “Slim Shady”®, thanks to his popular music success. Even if you have never heard his music, controversy over his incendiary lyrics has risen to the level of national political news. Given these factors, if you stumbled across a website called “Slim Shady Politics,” would you think you were reading […]

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