• Posts Tagged ‘abandonment’

    “Incontestability” and Cancellation

    by  • February 13, 2017 • trademark • 2 Comments

    I previously reported on a case that managed to find a non-statutory basis for cancelling an “incontestable” trademark registration, specifically that the application for the registration was void ab initio. The plaintiff and trademark owner was NetJets, with a registered trademark for a software program INTELLIJET. The defendant was a company named Intellijet Group....

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    Fifteen Years Later

    by  • April 20, 2016 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Almost 15 years ago I published an article about the then-common practice of creating a wholly-owned subsidiary to be an “IP holding company.” It was a tax strategy, where royalty payments, an expense to the parent, would be made to a subsidiary in a jurisdiction that didn’t tax the income on royalties. I don’t...

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    Secondary Source Marks and Abandonment

    by  • March 6, 2016 • trademark • 1 Comment

    UPDATE: The parties settled, divvying up the brands. I haven’t written about “zombie” or “heritage” marks in a long time. I last wrote in 2011, about a suit involving department store brands that Macy’s acquired and rebranded, abandoning the original names of Marshall Field’s, I. Magnin, Burdine’s, Kaufmann’s, Lazarus, Meir & Frank, Rich’s and...

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    Working Around Incontestability

    by  • October 22, 2015 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Once a trademark is incontestable, its validity cannot be challenged except on certain limited bases. Is “void ab initio” one of them? “Void ab initio” isn’t listed in the statute as a basis for challenge, but the defendant in NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group, LLC found a workaround. The plaintiff registered its trademark, INTELLIJET,...

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    The Promiscuous Licensor

    by  • September 29, 2014 • trademark • 1 Comment

    I recently took the federal courts to task for what I submit is a disconnect between the statutory definition of “abandonment” and the “naked license” defense. My argument is that trademark owners are simply being punished for behavior that is seen as too lax, without any regard for whether that laxness has actually effected...

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    Zombie Brand Rising From the Dead?

    by  • May 25, 2014 • trade dress, trademark • 0 Comments

    I just watched the most recent episode of Mad Men, “The Strategy.” The “strategy” is for an advertising campaign for the Burger Chef chain of fast food restaurants. Here’s the closing shot of the episode, with Pete, Peggy and Don sitting in a Burger Chef: Anyone eaten at a Burger Chef lately—anyone? According to Wikipedia, there...

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    Google is, Irrelevantly, Confirmed as the Senior User of the ANDROID Mark

    by  • April 7, 2014 • trademark • 0 Comments

    Before Google acquired Android, Inc., and later released the Android operating system, Erich Specht had registered the mark ANDROID DATA. Specht claimed Google infringed his trademark; Google was successful in the trial court with a claim that Specht had abandoned the trademark, as I previously blogged. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit...

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    How Not to Manage a Brand

    by  • February 17, 2014 • trademark • 0 Comments

    I’m very interested in C.F.M. Distributing Co. v. Costantine, a case about a failed franchise and a son’s effort to revive it. The effort failed because there were so many former uncontrolled licensees that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board held (as affirmed by the Federal Circuit) that the applicant was not the owner...

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    If There’s No Evidence, How Do You Decide?

    by  • November 18, 2013 • trademark • 1 Comment

    I often write about cases where there are two claimants to the same trademark. We’re still struggling with the fundamental doctrine that should apply in the situation, and because we’re struggling it means that the litigants may not capture or offer evidence that the fact finder needs in order to decide. Which is what...

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