Intellectual Property Law Blog

Archive for the ‘Trademarks’ Category

SCOTUS Rules Trademark Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

June 22nd, 2017

By Bridget Labutta, Esq.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the U.S. Trademark Office’s refusal to register “The Slants” as a trademark for an Oregon-based rock band was unconstitutional. This is a case the trademark attorneys at Panitch Schwarze have been watching closely, as this landmark decision could reshape U.S. trademark law significantly. Issued…

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Trademarks Update: Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Disparagement Provision

October 20th, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to answer a question that has plagued federal trademark law for decades: Does the government have the right to refuse to register trademarks which it has deemed “disparaging?” And, given that the First Amendment prohibits our government from restricting speech, does it make sense to have the U.S. Trademark…

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What Does the Brexit Vote Mean for IP Protection?

July 7th, 2016

By Martin G. Belisario and Bridget H. Labutta As is well known by now, the citizens of Great Britain have chosen to leave the European Union (EU), a move popularly dubbed the “Brexit.” Despite the economic upheaval and media firestorm surrounding the vote, the realm of intellectual property law is unlikely to see any immediate…

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Honoring Great American Inventor Lonnie G. Johnson

April 26th, 2016

By Ronald L. Panitch, Esq. From the trademark protecting “Star Wars” merchandise to the patent protecting the repositionable adhesive on the Post-It® note, the legal protection of intellectual property drives innovation and fuels our economy. Today, as we pause to mark World Intellectual Property Day, one man stands as a living example of the creativity…

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3 Top IP Moments of 2015

January 7th, 2016

It’s that time of year when seemingly every blog and online publication posts year-end “listicles,” and, for better or worse, we are no exception. It’s more difficult for us, though, because as engineers and intellectual property attorneys, we prefer objective analysis. “Biggest,” “best,” and other superlatives are invariably laden with subjective judgment. In a year…

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CAFC: Gov’t Can’t Censor ‘Disparaging’ Trademarks

December 29th, 2015

When we discussed the provision of U.S. trademark law that prohibits the use of “disparaging” words in a registered trademark, we noted that “change may be on the horizon.” On Dec. 22, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that at least the prohibition against registration of “disparaging marks” (Section 2(a) of…

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What is the Status of Patents for Software Inventions, Post-Alice?

October 15th, 2015

By Clark A. Jablon, Esq. It has been more than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice v. CLS Bank which ruled that the two-step Mayo analysis should be applied to all patents in determining patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. While this analysis provides a few bright line rules…

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U.S. Trademark Law and Google and BMW’s Shared ‘Alphabet’

August 26th, 2015

By Bridget H. Labutta, Esq. Once you’ve trademarked the name of your business, no other entity can use that name in commerce. Everybody knows that. Right? Wrong, actually. One of the more common misconceptions we encounter in our trademark law practice is the belief that no two businesses can employ the same word as the…

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Protecting Your Intellectual Property on the Web

August 6th, 2015

By Bridget H. Labutta, Esq. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas made headlines earlier this year for a reason completely unrelated to his politics. Shortly after Cruz announced his candidacy for the next presidential election, the news media discovered that the presumptive Internet address for the new candidate’s campaign had been “hijacked” and now displayed a…

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What Makes a Trademark Disparaging?

July 2nd, 2015

By Bridget H. Labutta, Esq. U.S. trademark law extends benefits and protections to the owners of registered trademarks, but not every name or brand identity is eligible for registration, as evidenced by controversies involving organizations such as the Washington Redskins. One of the reasons an application for a trademark may be denied registration is if…

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