Fashion Faux Pas – Copiers Beware! Supreme Court Strengthens Copyright Protection

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.  At issue was whether the surface decorations on cheerleading uniforms are copyright eligible, even though the shape of the uniforms are useful articles, and not copyright eligible. This legal issue has particular significance to […]

Fashion Industry May be Left Defenseless Against Infringers

Fashion designers could be left defenseless against copycats if the US Supreme Court rules that certain features are not protected under the Copyright Act.  The Supreme Court will soon hear oral argument in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC.  At issue is what, according to Petitioner Star Athletica, LLC, is “the most vexing, unresolved […]

Deceptive marks always start off with two strikes against them.

Applicant applied for the mark BLAZING SILKS for a variety of clothing products.  Applicant also made clear that its products were not made from silk.   FIRST STRIKE:  Had Applicant’s products been made from silk, the USPTO would have deemed the word “silk” to be merely descriptive and would have required Applicant disclaim “silk” apart […]

A stylized trademark registration for a specific term can provide the same level of protection as a standard word trademark

Applicant applied to register SOLO (in standard characters) for clothing specifically used for activities related to snowmobiles, motorcycles and ATVs.  The TTAB refused to register the SOLO trademark in light of the existence of the following registration for the stylized mark SOLO for clothing not confined to any specific type of use or channel of […]

Don’t Attempt to Trademark Geographic Locations Where Your Products Are Not Made

Applicant tried to register VENEZIA-MILANO for women’s and men’s clothing products. The TTAB denied registration while discussing three interesting trademark fundamentals. FIRST: Any time an Applicant files for a trademark containing non-English words, the foreign terms are translated into English. In this case, the Italian words VENEZIA-MILANO were converted into the English equivalen