Supreme Court to Review the Ban on Registering Disparaging Trademarks

Under Section 2 the Lanham Act of 1946, the United States Patent and Trademark Office can deny trademark registration to any mark that “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage. . .persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” 15 USCS § 1052 (1946). While one is free to use any disparaging, scandalous or immoral mark as a signifier,.. Read More

The Potential Implications of the Instagram Regram

Instagram has become one of the most widely used social networking applications today. Its interface is based entirely off of user-generated content by allowing its users to share photos, videos, and network with other members either publicly or privately on the application. As of June 2016, the mobile photo-sharing network has reached 500 million monthly active users, meaning that a whopping 20% of all Internet users use Instagram. Users post both their own.. Read More

A Comparative Study on Product-Packaging Trademark Law: Current Judicial Attitudes in Taiwan and the United States

Introduction: The Kose Case in Taiwan On November 6, 2014, the Intellectual Property Court of Taiwan, which was erected on August 1, 2008 after Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization on January 1, 2002, reversed an important case concerning the trademark of Medicated Kose Sekkisei [Lotion]. The ruling in Kose Corporation v. Intellectual Property Office, 智慧財產法院 [Taiwan] [Intellectual Property Court] Nov. 6, 2014, No. 83 serves as a good representation of current judicial attitudes of.. Read More

Trademarking “The Blue”

A football fan sits down on the couch late on a Saturday night and turns on ESPN to watch the day’s college football highlights. The program is what one would expect—a collection of perfect throws, unbelievable catches, and bone-crushing tackles taking place on a large expanse of green grass or turf. Then, as the program shifts to a new set of highlights, the field suddenly turns blue. A less experienced viewer may think.. Read More

Comedian John Oliver Rides ‘Drumpf’ Wave to the USPTO

Donald Trump isn’t the only one filing trademarks in the hopes of capturing this election cycle’s headlines. Comedian and “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver recently amassed a great deal of news coverage and social media shares with his satirically scathing twenty-one-minute segment on Trump’s presidential bid. Oliver concluded the segment by reviving Trump’s apparent ancestral name, Drumpf, and mobilizing his young, Internet-savvy following to spread the ‘truth’ on Trump. Oliver pulled out.. Read More

Make America Great Again™ (but only for Trump)

Primaries are not the only thing Donald Trump has been winning as of late, and we have the United States Patent and Trademark Office to thank for that. On November 11, 2015, a U.S. Trademark examiner completed the final phase of Trump’s three year quest to trademark the phrase “Make America Great Again.” Despite being a prominent slogan in the Reagan campaign from over thirty years ago, Mr. Trump now has the exclusive.. Read More

High Court Refuses to Give Kit-Kat a Break

Nestle’s long battle to have the shape of their Kit-Kat bars receive trademark protection in the European Union has once again hit an obstacle. Previously, the advocate general of the European court of justice provided an opinion opposed to giving the four finger shape of the bar trademark protection because it did not comply with EU law. Recently, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales agreed with the advocate general and.. Read More

Preventing Copying or Preventing Competition? : An Analysis of Kind LLC v. Clif Bar & Company

  It is the classic story. The young and exciting new competitor enters the market, attempting to shake things up and change the game, and when their efforts prove successful, those already existing in the industry rush to copy what they believe is attributable to the newcomers success. It is called competition. This is what drives the market, preventing stagnation and keeping industries moving forward. Yet, in a recent case Kind LLC, the.. Read More

A Mark for All Languages: The Doctrine of Foreign Equivalents in Trademark Law

What do Ugg boots, Chupa Chups lollipops, and the Tang Soo Karate School in Dickson City, Pennsylvania have in common? Probably not much, except that each has faced a lawsuit involving the registration of its foreign-language trademarks. The review of non-English words in trademark applications holds increasingly significant importance in today’s global economy. Unfortunately, however, courts have struggled to apply consistently the controversial doctrine of foreign equivalents. A Brief Background The basis for.. Read More

Courts Should Swipe Left on the Online Dating Patent

Trends have shown that Americans are turning to the internet to pursue new dating prospects, with online dating rates at an all-time high.  However, a recently settled lawsuit against an online dating app has caused controversy in the world of intellectual property, and despite the settlement, the case could have potentially far-reaching effects for online dating in general.  Spark Networks, a parent company that owns a variety of Jewish-targeted matchmaking platforms including the.. Read More