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Tag: trademarks

Fighting For the Teardrop: Hershey Threatens Trademark Infringement

Hershey Co. has threatened a trademark infringement lawsuit against a California keto-cookie brand known as The Cookie Department. The alleged infringement stems from a shape that most of us know (and some of us love), the iconic teardrop shape of a chocolate chip. As part of its trademark infringement claim, Hershey asks that The Cookie Department: Halt using the chocolate chip shape in its packaging and online map symbols Hand over profits received through this […]

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One Trademark Scammer Caught! Many More To Go

Trademark scammers abound in the marketplace. Their aim: to defraud legitimate trademark owners who have taken the time to register their trademarks with the USPTO.  I have warned clients and potential clients for years about these scams. Recently, one scammer was actually caught and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina. What the Scam Was and What Happened After the Scammer Was Caught Viktors Suhorukovs defrauded approximately 2,900 […]

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Bona Fide Intent in the Future for Joy Tea and CBD

More states throughout the country are legalizing cannabidiol (“CBD”), a chemical component of the cannabis plant used for medicinal and recreational purposes. You can find it in balms, supplements, drinks, and food. A question regarding trademark has come up in the wake of these changing laws. Can producers and sellers of CBD products assert a bona fide intent to use a trademark in commerce? The snarl is that their goods are likely prohibited under federal […]

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Tips On Consistency For Trademark Owners

Consistency in the use of a trademark is extremely important to building a strong brand in commerce. It helps consumers immediately identify your business, products, and services. It creates the impression of a professional, well-organized, trustworthy company. In short, it is absolutely something you want to do. But how exactly do you do it? Consistency Starts with the Creation and Registration of the Trademark Itself  When you develop a trademark – either on your own […]

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A Valuable Task: Trademark Clearance Searches

One of the first questions I ask a new trademark client is “Did you conduct a trademark clearance search?” Sometimes the client will say they searched on Google and found no one using the mark on the internet. Other clients will tell me they went onto the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark database and searched for the word mark they want to use.   Unfortunately, these types of searches alone are not enough. […]

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What Exactly Does “Failure to Function as a Trademark” Mean?

“Failure to function as a trademark” is one of the reasons the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may refuse to register an applicant’s proposed trademark. What does it mean? How can this happen?   Quite simply, not all words, designs, or symbols used by business owners in commerce to sell goods or services function as trademarks — regardless of the trademark applicant’s intent. A word, design, or symbol does not function as a trademark […]

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