Trending Trademarks

Michael Palmisciano

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The Brexit and Trademark Rights

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on June 24, 2016 at 5:19 PM

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union (the Brexit). In the short term, the Brexit vote will not impact trademark rights in Europe. The Brexit will not affect national UK trademark registrations, and EUTM registrations will be valid in the UK for the foreseeable future. Moving forward, however, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU’s unitary trademark system, under which a single EUTM registration gives a registrant enforceable rights in each EU member country. UK legislators will need to decide whether existing EUTM registrations will remain valid in the UK or whether to establish a mechanism to convert EUTMs to national registrations. The Brexit could also impact the EUTM registration system and leave vulnerable to cancellation those registrations that are used primarily in the UK. Further, questions may arise from trademark license agreements that convey EUTM rights or are limited in scope to the EU. We will follow these developments and keep you informed.

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Topics: trademarks, EU, Brexit

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on March 8, 2016 at 2:22 PM

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling.

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Topics: the Lanham Act, Copyright, Right of Publicity

Is the Door to Registering “Scandalous” and “Smutty” Trademarks About to Open?

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on April 29, 2015 at 6:02 AM

In a long-awaited move, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is set to consider whether the Lanham Act’s Section 2(a) bar to registration of disparaging marks violates the First Amendment.

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Topics: Trademark, Decisions, Registrations

In Mile-High Trademark Infringement Fight, Hershey Bests Colorado Marijuana Edibles Company

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on October 29, 2014 at 6:33 AM

Just in time for Halloween, the Hershey Company has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against a marijuana edibles company that sold candy closely resembling several of Hershey’s iconic brands.

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Topics: trade dress, Litigation, Food & Beverage, Dilution

Better Late Than Never – 20+ Years After the Popularization of the Worldwide Web, a Court Finally Recognizes Trade Dress Rights in Website Design

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on October 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

A website’s distinctive appearance, layout, and design qualities—its “look and feel”—are often the most important and effective tools with which a company can make a first impression on consumers and market its brand. Now, according to one federal court, companies can use trademark law to protect their unique website designs from imitators.

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Topics: trade dress, Internet, Litigation

Las Vegas Sands Goes “All In” Against Online Trademark Infringement

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on July 15, 2014 at 6:53 AM

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (“Sands”), the international casino and hotel giant, is one of the most famous gaming brands in the world. To protect its famous mark from infringing uses, Sands recently left the casino and took to the internet.

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Topics: Internet, Litigation, Multimedia

Preclusive Effect of TTAB Likelihood of Confusion Rulings Up for Debate Before Supreme Court

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on July 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM

In trademark infringement suits, how much weight, if any, should federal courts give to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) decisions on the likelihood of confusion between marks? Today, it depends—the circuits are split. That may soon change, however, as the U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to take the issue under review.

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Topics: Infringement, Litigation, TTAB Proceedings

USPTO Cancels Washington Redskins’ Trademarks, Says Name Is Disparaging to Native Americans

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on June 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the "TTAB") today ruled that the petitioners in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc. established by a preponderance of the evidence that the term "redskins" is disparaging to Native Americans and cancelled six registered trademarks owned by the Washington Redskins football team.

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Topics: Sports, Registrations, TTAB Proceedings

Reversing Ninth Circuit, Supreme Court Allows POM Wonderful to Sue Coca-Cola Under Lanham Act

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on June 13, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Who has the right to sue to prevent misleading and deceptive labeling of food and beverage products—private trademark owners, or the federal government? Trick question! According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the answer is both.

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Topics: Infringement, Litigation, Food & Beverage

TTAB Repels "Asshole" Trademark Registration

Posted by Michael Palmisciano on June 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Is the word "asshole" so scandalous and vulgar such that it is unworthy of trademark registration? According to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the "TTAB"), the answer is definitively "yes."

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Topics: Registrations, TTAB Proceedings

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Trending Trademarks provides comments and analysis on trademark issues affecting the fashion, high-tech, multimedia and consumer products industries.

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