Blogs > Trademark, Copyright, and Unfair Competition Law Blog

Trademark Registration

Jan 17, 2020

Recent Trademark Decision Shows Getting a Trademark Registration for Geometric Shapes Is a Tough Bet

In In re IGT, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed the Examiner’s refusal to register geometric shapes used in the applicant’s gaming machines.

While the decision does not offer anything new or surprising from a trademark perspective, it is a good example of the challenges in obtaining trademark registrations for geometric shapes, especially if the shapes are used merely as borders for information or as background. » Read More

Jan 17, 2019

Choosing Your Restaurant Brand: Tips From a Food, Beverage, and Restaurant Attorney

I’ve been practicing long enough to know that it’s not easy for my clients to find brands they like, much less ones that are free for them to use without worrying they will get a claim that they’ve violated another party’s rights.  » Read More

Nov 15, 2018

“A Taste of Trademarks” New York Seminar a Success

Danielle DeFilippis and Jeanne Hamburg were delighted to welcome attendees from the food and restaurant industries, as well as service providers to those industries, to a seminar on Thursday, November 15, in the firm’s New York office.  The presentation covered a wide array of legal issues, from the trademark clearance and registration process, to trade dress production for product design and restaurant décor, to important contracts involving trademarks, to enforcing trademark rights on social media.  » Read More

Oct 31, 2018

The Exponential Rise of Trademark Applications for Cannabis-Based Beauty and Wellness Products

In a blog post earlier this year, I wrote about the legal haze in seeking U.S. trademark registrations for trademark owners of cannabis-related goods and services.  While seeking federal trademark registration is undoubtedly challenging, the hurdles are not a complete bar to registration.  » Read More

Oct 22, 2018

Norris McLaughlin Hosts “A Taste of Trademarks” Seminar in New York City for Food, Beverage, and Restaurant Industries

Last week, my partners, Danielle DeFilippis and Deanna Koestel, and I had the pleasure of attending The New Jersey Food & Beverage Summit hosted by NJBIZ.  Our firm sponsored the event.  We enjoyed a series of informative panel discussions, as reported in our last post, as well as the exhibits put on by a wide range of food manufacturers, vendors, and students of food science.  » Read More

Sep 20, 2018

Failed Trademark Makeovers: Adding Design Elements Won’t Help Clear a Word Mark

Clients often ask me if they can avoid a U.S. Trademark Office refusal to register their brand names (“marks”) by using design or logo elements if it turns out that the words they’ve come up with aren’t available to use as marks.  » Read More

Aug 06, 2018

How Cannabis Trademark Owners Can Face Trademark Registration Challenges

In order for trademark owners to build brand recognition and value, trademark registration and enforcement are vital.  Trademark owners of cannabis goods and services, however, will find themselves running into many challenges when it comes to federal trademark registration.  This is due to the United States Trademark Office’s current position to deny registrations for trademarks covering goods and services that involve marijuana.  » Read More

Jun 04, 2018

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Finds There is “Something More” Sufficient to Show That Restaurant Services are Related to Alcoholic Beverages

In In re Honeyhole Sandwiches Inc., Serial No. 87138294,  the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) agreed with the Examiner in refusing the registration of HONEYHOLE SANDWICHES because it was confusingly similar to HONEY HOLE under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.  » Read More

May 11, 2018

FUCT This: What Trademarks You Can and Can’t Register

Yesterday, I presented “FUCT This: What Trademarks You Can and Can’t Register,” discussing recent court decisions on the registrability of disparaging, scandalous, and immoral trademarks.  I discussed:

  • The benefits of trademark registration
  • Bars to registration under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act – Then and Now
  • Discussion of the Trademark Office’s refusal to register THE SLANTS under the disparagement provision
  • The Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v.
» Read More

May 04, 2018

Eat, Drink, and be Merry, but Don’t Confuse Your Beer’s Brand with a Vodka’s

Holding that a beer cannot be branded with a name identical or confusingly similar to the name of a vodka (unless they come from the same producer), in In re Marshall Brewing Company, LLC, the U.S. Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that VOLKS PILS for beers and lagers was confusingly similar to VOLK, the subject of a registration for vodkas.  » Read More