Does the Standard Word Mark CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC Create a Likelihood of Confusion with a Registered Mark Incorporating the Words “REPUBLIK of KALIFORNIA”?

That was the question the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) sought to answer in the application proceedings of In re Don Calder. In this case, the trademark applicant sought to register the mark CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC (with CALIFORNIA disclaimed) for various clothing goods, including shoes, pants, jeans, shorts, hats, jackets, and belts in International …

Tips in Choosing Your Trademark: Watch Out for Acronyms!

Are you free to register the trademark SWAP SEALED WITH A PRAYER when someone else has an existing registration for the mark SWAP, and both are directed to clothing goods? That is a question the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) sought to answer in the matter of In re Beda Alan Tirol. In particular, …

Supreme Court decision not to review Louis Vuitton’s requested appeal against upstart parody tote bag maker “My Other Bag” allows the bag maker to use Louis Vuitton’s designs

For years, designer handbag maker Louis Vuitton has been entrenched in trademark litigation against the Los Angeles based one-woman tote bag maker “My Other Bag.”  My Other Bag sells relatively inexpensive canvas tote bags depicting caricatures of expensive designer handbags on one side with the text “My Other Bag” on the other.  One such bag …

Tips in Choosing Your Trademark; the Trademark Case of a “Crazy Dog” Wearing Sunglasses

What happens when you want to register a word mark, and someone else has an existing trademark for a stylized mark containing similar words? Are you in the clear because they have a large logo in their mark that you do not use? That is the case examined by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board …

Lady Gaga: famous performer; not so famous trademark

In the trademark sense, is Lady Gaga famous for clothing? That is a question the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) sought to answer in the trademark opposition of Ate My Heart, Inc. v. Ga Ga Jeans Limited. Stefani Germanotta, popularly known as Lady Gaga, is a world-renowned singer, songwriter, actress, and public persona.  …

Fashion Copyright Infringement: Unicolors v. Urban Outfitters

“Copying is rampant in the fashion industry!” the headlines read. And, so what? Is copying allowed, and if not, what are the consequences of infringement of protected works? Copyrights protect works of authorship. Familiar examples of copyrightable works are novels, songs and paintings, but particularly relevant to the fashion industry is the copyrightability of fabric …

How to run away with a trademark someone else has been using for 120 years.

Running Away

That is a question answered in the precedential trademark opposition proceeding of Boston Athletic Association v. Velocity, LLC. The Boston Athletic Association or (“BAA” for short) is the organizer and operator of the well-known Boston Marathon race, held every year on the third Monday in April since 1897.  The BAA has organized the event every …

A nickname for a celebrity can be as good as his/her real name, regardless of whether the celebrity uses the trademark themselves

Celebrity Name

Nieves & Nieves LLC sought to register the word mark ROYAL KATE for a number of fashion products, including cosmetics, jewelry, handbags, bedding, and clothing.  The application included a statement that the mark “does not identify a particular living individual.” In the precedential opinion in In re Nieves & Nieves LLC, the Trademark Trial and …