• No Trademark Law at All

    by  • September 28, 2008

    I think one of the reasons I like trademarks so much is their split personality. On one hand, they are the most ephemeral of intangible property, only a symbol representing a collective ethos. On the other hand, they can be the subject of the most ordinary transactions, buying and selling, securing a loan. A...

    Read more →

    I Vote for “Belief”

    by  • September 25, 2008

    It’s off topic, but I am from Massachusetts, it is the Red Sox, and it’s almost the playoffs.  The TTABlog reports that a mark was refused registration on the basis that, inter alia, it disparaged the Red Sox.  If disparagement must be of “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols,” which is the...

    Read more →

    Licensing, Naked or Clothed

    by  • September 24, 2008

    In the Moose Tracks ice cream post, I mentioned that it didn’t look like a naked license situation because Denali was doing everything necessary to defeat a claim of naked licensing. Nevertheless, there was some suggestion in the survey that consumers didn’t associate the “Moose Tracks” flavor with any particular source, i.e., that they...

    Read more →

    Barking up the Wrong Tree

    by  • September 20, 2008

    I wrote an article proposing an analytical framework for resolution of disputes where two parties claim to own the same trademark, using settled law on the manufacturer-distributor relationship as a starting point.  The situation comes up fairly often and in this case the tip off is early – “This dispute stems from the shifting business relationship”...

    Read more →

    And the Survey Says —

    by  • September 16, 2008

    I had a great response to my survey; my thanks to everyone who participated and to those who drove traffic to the survey, particularly Marty at The Trademark Blog and John at The TTABlog. Here’s a link to the original post and here’s a pdf version of the blank survey questions, in case you...

    Read more →

    There’s Only One Mustang Ranch

    by  • September 11, 2008

    The Seattle Trademark Lawyer reports on a 9th Circuit decision affirming ownership of the mark MUSTANG RANCH. It’s a long saga, where the government seized the ranch and all its property then stumbled around for years trying to figure out what to do with it. David and Ingrid Burgess then adopted the mark and...

    Read more →

    Who Owns Player Names and Statistics?

    by  • September 10, 2008

    The NFL Players Association, through National Football League Players Inc., is a nonexclusive licensing entity for NFL players’ rights of publicity. CBS Interactive, which runs the web site CBSSports.com, did not believe that it needed a license to use player names and statistics for its fantasy football site, but, according to CBS Interactive, the...

    Read more →

    Thanks to All

    by  • September 9, 2008

    Thanks to everyone who responded on the ice cream survey. I had 207 responses, 200 US and 7 foreign. I’ll be posting the results in the next day or two. © 2008 Pamela Chestek

    Read more →

    “I’ll be a Monkey’s Uncle” Genericism Survey

    by  • September 1, 2008

    I read a case recently that made me wonder whether my personal reaction about the genericism of a phrase was right or wrong, so I decided I’d see what others think. I prepared a Teflon-type survey on SurveyMonkey for you to take; send your friends to take it too. It should take you no...

    Read more →

    Bratz Post-Verdict Spinning

    by  • August 30, 2008

    You may have seen that there’s some dispute in the Mattel v. MGA case over the amount of the verdict. Mattel claims it’s $100 million and MGA claims it’s either $20 million or $40 million, saying some of the awards in the verdict form are duplicative. I put the verdict form here, so you...

    Read more →