Stone Brewing Sues MillerCoors for Trademark Infringement

Stone Brewing Co., the ninth largest independent craft brewery in the United States, has taken aim at MillerCoors LLC and Molson Coors Brewing Company, filing suit in the United States District Court, Southern District of California for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, unfair competition and declaratory relief. On Monday afternoon, Greg Koch, …

From “tequila” to “TEQUILA®” – Registering a Generic Term

The trademark lawyers sternly warn us: “Don’t let your trademark become generic!” They tell us horror stories: ASPIRIN was once a trademark, but became generic from improper use. Same thing for ESCALATOR and INTERNET. Some trademark owners implement aggressive marketing campaigns to prevent this terrible fate: “It’s KLEENEX® brand facial tissue,” or “VELCRO® brand hook-and-loop …

Craft Beer Trademarks: Innovative, Inspiring and…Infringing?

If you’re thirsty and of legal drinking age, you are likely within a stone’s throw of being able to enjoy the cadre of remedial tonics offered at a craft brewery. There are now over six thousand breweries in the United States, a new record, with over 80 percent of American adults living within 10 miles …

Monetize Your Meme: “Grumpy Cat” Wins Copyright and Trademark Verdict

For those unfamiliar, Grumpy Cat is a “viral meme” of a “stern-looking house cat named Tardar Sauce.”1 A former Time Warner cable technician first posted the photo of his sister’s “Grumpy Cat” on Reddit in September 2012.2 At least four copyright registrations and a trademark registration related to Grumpy Cat have been registered in the …

Can You Trademark the Color Yellow for Cheerios?

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” — Vincent Van Gogh (June 1888). It is extremely difficult to secure trademark rights to a single color. Success stories are few and far between. Recently, General Mills, maker of Cheerios, sought trademark protection for the color yellow “as the predominant uniform background color on product …

Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC

Oil States

639 F.App’x 639 (Fed. Cir. 2016), cert. granted (June 12, 2017) (No. 16-712) Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC to examine the constitutionality of inter partes review proceedings by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”).  Specifically, …

DJ LOGIC Trademark Infringement Case Shows Social Media Matters

Trademark Infringement Social Media

In a trademark infringement action involving the mark DJ LOGIC for music produced using turntables and vocals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit explored evidence of social media promotion submitted by the plaintiff to support the commercial strength of his mark.  Kibler v. Hall, 121 USPQ2d 1069 (6th Cir. 2016). The use …

California Enacts Legislation to Protect Park Names

California recently enacted a bill prohibiting concessionaires from claiming trademark rights in a mark that “incorporates or implies an association with a state park venue, or its historical, cultural, or recreational resources.” The full text of the California Heritage Protection Act, AB 2249, can be found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2249.  The bill, which goes into effect January …