News & Resources

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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Understanding Likelihood of Confusion in Trademarks: “Who Would Be Confused?”

The phrase “likelihood of confusion” is commonly used by examining attorneys at the USPTO to refuse a trademark application. It is also a phrase I often use when advising clients who are in the process of selecting a trademark for their new business or product line.   Here is a common example of what I encounter. Client starts a new business. They don’t register any of the trademarks for their business.   Another company (we will call […]

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The Overlap Between Copyrights and Trademarks

Is your trademark a work of art? Original and independently created? Your trademarks may be eligible for copyright registration in addition to trademark registration. Why would you obtain both copyright and trademark registrations? Broader protection. A work of art is copyright-protected from the moment it becomes a tangible form – if it is original, independently created by the author, and possesses sufficient creative authorship.  Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 […]

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Dolly Parton Faces Opposition from Dolly Madison in Trademark Classification

One would think that Dolly Parton can have whatever trademark registration she likes. The singer’s multi-decades career almost guarantees recognition by a majority of the US population — if not the world.  However, a current dispute between the singer and Dolly Madison, an American Bakery brand owned by Hostess Brands, illuminates trademark classification and opposition… and why Parton might have to back down on this one. Dolly’s Signature Mark Early last year, Dolly Parton filed […]

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