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More Than Your MaⓇk™

Trademark, Copyright, and Unfair Competition Law Blog

Things you need to know about trademark law and brand protection.


Sep 09, 2019

Food and Liquor Brands: What You Need to Know About Trademarks

In a recent federal court ruling, a judge articulated once again why famous brands enjoy greater rights than those that lack renown.

The case pits two giants in wholly unrelated fields— clothing versus alcoholic beverages.

The lesson? Food, beverage, and liquor sellers should exercise caution and select brand names that are not the same or are not similar to those of existing “famous” brands, even in completely unrelated fields. » Read More

May 07, 2019

MORE THAN YOUR MAⓇK™ Guest Pete Picetti Answers Questions About Cyberinsurance Coverage

Today we have the pleasure of being joined by our guest, Pete Picetti of Heffernan Insurance Brokers.  Pete specializes in serving food and beverage clientele, and recently served with me on a panel on Risk Management at the Summer Fancy Food Association’s Business Summit in Chicago.   » Read More

May 06, 2019

USPTO Issues First Guidance on Examination of Cannabis Trademark Applications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued helpful guidance on the examination of cannabis trademark applications.  This guidance is the USPTO’s first pronouncement of how it will evaluate the legal use in commerce requirement for trademark applications covering cannabis goods and services.   » Read More

Apr 18, 2019

How to Grow Your Food Business: Tips and Best Practices in Great Supply at SFA Business Summit

Last week, I was fortunate to attend the Specialty Food Association’s Business Summit, a two-day conference in Chicago featuring essential tips and best practices for how to grow a specialty food company.  Over 150 food companies attended.  Our firm was honored to be one of the sponsors for the event, as you can see from the photo of our table at the opening night reception below. » Read More

Mar 27, 2019

Food, Beverage, and Restaurant Brand Round-Up: Four Lessons to be Learned

Part Two

This post is a continuation of a prior one, with key lessons for owners of established and emerging food, beverage, and restaurant brands – all culled from recent cases. Click here for Part One.

Lesson Three:   Consider even “Unrelated” Products when Choosing Your Brand and Enforcing Your Rights

Food and beverage companies may be precluded from obtaining registration due to third parties’ brand use for seemingly unrelated goods, and vice versa. » Read More

Mar 20, 2019

Food, Beverage, and Restaurant Brand Round-Up: Four Lessons to be Learned

Part One

So many food and beverage brand decisions have been making their way through the Trademark Office and the courts recently, I thought it would be a good idea to blog about some of them, and more importantly, about four key branding lessons they teach to emerging and established food and beverage companies, as well as restaurants. » Read More

Mar 12, 2019

Norris McLaughlin’s Cannabis Law and Food Beverage Groups Present at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show

I am proud to congratulate my colleagues Jeanne Hamburg, Stephanie Spangler, Andrew Linden, and Lana Ros on an informative and interesting panel discussion “Exploring the Legal Haze of Cannabis for Restaurants” at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show at the Javits Center this past week.  » Read More

Feb 19, 2019

Beware the Trademark Scammers

Sometimes, it seems not a day goes by without a client calling about a trademark-related scam. To help you avoid becoming another victim, I am writing about two of the more common fraudulent schemes.

The first involves the transmission (via snail mail or email) to the owner of a trademark registration of a notice that looks official, and may even be labeled “Patent and Trademark Office.”  The notice requests payment to “renew” a trademark registration, warning that if it is not received by a specific date, the trademark registration will expire. » Read More

Feb 12, 2019

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Says “Yes, You Canna!” Register CANNABIS CANNIBALS for Entertainment Services

In In re Jeffrey Butscher, Serial No. 87572095, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) reversed the Examiner’s refusal to permit the trademark registration of the mark CANNABIS CANNIBALS for “entertainment services, namely, an ongoing series featuring animated cannabis smoking cannibals provided through network or cable TV and the internet.”  According to the Applicant’s IMDb page, “Cannabis Cannibals stories the irreverent and comedic life of two weed smoking cannibals, who move to America in pursuit of becoming Reality TV Stars, while at the same time battling their unique eating disorder.”

The Examiner asserted that the CANNABIS CANNIBALS mark merely describes the subject matter of the entertainment series, (i.e., cannabis smoking cannibals).  » Read More

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