Monday, August 31, 2015

Marilyn Monroe's Estate Files Trademark for Computer and Video Games

On August 24th, The Estate of Marilyn Monroe, LLC (which holds the rights in all things Marilyn Monroe), filed a federal trademark application for MARILYN MONROE as it relates to
Computer game software; video game programs; and computer software platforms for social networking; interactive video game programs; downloadable electronic game programs and computer software platforms for social networking that may be accessed via the internet, computers and wireless devices; computer software to enable uploading, posting, showing, displaying, tagging, blogging, sharing or otherwise providing electronic media or information in the fields of virtual communities, electronic gaming, entertainment, and general interest via the Internet or other communications networks with third parties; electronic casino table games; downloadable virtual goods, namely, consumer goods for use in online virtual worlds
According to the application, the Estate is not using actress's name in association with these goods yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

The Estate's website appears to indicate that a mobile application called "Monroe's Moments" is already available for download. Given the nature of this trademark application, however, it appears a more in-depth computer/video game with Marilyn Monroe's likeness is in the works.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tipsy Trademark For Alcoholic Pies Filed

On August 23rd, a Minnesota company called Rustic Pies of Stillwater, LLC filed a federal trademark application for SARA'S TIPSY PIES as it relates to pies and toppings that contain alcohol. Yes, this is real.
According to the applicant's website, Sara makes her pies from scratch using real hand-rolled crusts, the highest-quality, local ingredients possible, and her secret ingredient: LOCAL ALCOHOL. Genius.
The trademark application indicates Sara has been selling the alcohol infused pies since August 2012 and just started selling the toppings in July 2015. 

For those pie [and alcohol] fans out there, you will need to travel to Oak Park Heights, Minnesota to indulge in this delicacy. According to her website, the pies are available for pick-up only.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Alanis Morissette Files Trademark For New Logo, Could be Making a Comeback

On August 21st, Alanis Morissette filed a federal trademark application for ALANIS MORISSETTE and design shown below.
The goods and services listed on the trademark application are
Entertainment services, providing a website featuring multi-media content and information in the field of music and entertainment; providing a website featuring multi-media content and information in the fields of art, wellness, news and current events; musical sound recordings; audio and video recordings; books, publications, art prints, posters, stickers, paper and printed goods, clothing, shirts, headwear, promotional merchandise, communication and broadcasting services, television and radio, podcasts, online services
The move came only a couple days before the singer appeared on stage with Taylor Swift at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Alanis also filed this application exactly two months before the 20th anniversary of her Jagged Little Pill album. The application was filed on an intent-to-use basis, which means this trademark is not being used yet but that Alanis has a bona fide intention to use it soon.

There is one problem with this application, however. Alanis's attorney did not secure her written consent to register a trademark bearing her name pursuant to Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act (see also TMEP 1206). Her attorney will need to go back to Alanis and secure that written consent if this mark is to register. The Trademark Office will issue an office action refusing to register the mark if this consent is not obtained.

Regardless, does this new logo and Alanis's recent publicity signal a comeback for the singer? Nineties fans can only hope.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NANF*CKET Trademark Clever But Entirely Unregisterable

On August 20th, a man from Nantucket filed a federal trademark application for NANFUCKET as it relates to "Hats; Hooded sweatshirts; Shorts; Sweatpants; Sweatshirts; Swimwear; T-shirts; Underwear[.]"
Unfortunately for this guy, the Trademark Office will not register a trademark containing the word "fuck" because it considers the word obscene and egregiously scandalous (I previously blogged about this bar to registration here) and under Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, the Trademark Office is prohibited from registering any mark containing "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.

Other clever trademarks that died in the Trademark Office for containing the term include: PUCKFITTSBURGH, CHUCKLEFCK, F CK TERRORISTS, and GO FUCK YOUR #SELFIE. Ha!

Not only will this application be refused under Section 2(a) for being scandalous, but the applicant appears to be only using his term as decorative, ornamental use and not as a trademark given the specimen submitted above. As previously blogged about here, a slogan plastered across the front of clothing rarely functions as a trademark and causes issues in the registration process.

Any trademark attorney could have quickly identified these issues for the applicant, but unfortunately he did not appear to work with an attorney. This filing will almost certainly result in the loss of the applicant's $225 nonrefundable filing fee.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's Trademark Tip - Your Specimen Should Show Your Trademark In Commerce

On August 18th an individual submitted the specimen below in conjunction with a trademark application for "cookies."
This specimen, however, is a "computer graphic that merely illustrates what the mark looks like..." and thus is not sufficient. A better specimen is a picture of this logo on the actual packaging for the cookies.

Too often I see trademark applications filed with a specimen that does not actually show the mark as it is used in commerce.

To provide some background, there are two instances where the trademark will show up on an application (assuming it is based on previous use): as the "drawing" in the "Mark Information" section and attached as a "specimen" in the "Filing Basis" section.

The drawing "shows the mark sought to be registered" and "is used to reproduce the mark in the Trademark Official Gazette and on the registration certificate." TMEP 807. For a word mark, the Trademark Office will generate the trademark in all capital, standard text letters as the drawing. The drawing for a logo mark should be a clear logo showing only the mark to be registered.

A specimen, on the other hand, "show[s] the manner in which the mark is seen by the public." TMEP 904. In general, a specimen for goods should show use of the mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods listed in the application. For goods, an appropriate trademark specimen "should be a label, tag, or container for the goods, or a display associated with the goods." TMEP 904.03. 

An inappropriate specimen is "a 'picture' of the mark, such as an artist’s drawing, a printer’s proof, a computer graphic that merely illustrates what the mark looks like, or an image of the goods that has been digitally created or altered to include the mark" because these items do not show actual use of the mark in commerce. TMEP 904.04(a).

Not submitting an appropriate specimen will result in the Trademark Office issuing an office action asking the applicant to submit a substitute specimen. However, the substitute must be a "verified substitute specimen," meaning it was being used on the goods at least as early as the first use date listed. If the applicant does not have a suitable specimen that fits this criteria, the application can be amended to an intent-to-use application (something anything else risks committing fraud on the Trademark Office).

The bottom line - make sure the specimen submitted with your trademark application depicts how your customers will actually see your trademark in commerce.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Lines of Callaway Golf Products May Be Coming Soon

On August 18th, Callaway Golf Company filed three federal trademarks applications for CALLAWAY S16, CALLAWAY F16, and CALLAWAY A16.
Callaway Golf listed the associated goods on each application as golf clubs and golf bags. The applications were filed on an intent-to-use basis, which means Callaway is not yet using these trademarks on the associated goods in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 

It looks like new lines of Callaway golf clubs and bags may be hitting the market in the near future.

Friday, August 21, 2015

HUNKAPPELLA Trademark Snagged For A Cappella Services

On August 15, Hunkappella, LLC filed a federal trademark application for HUNKAPPELLA as it relates to
Entertainment services in the nature of live audio performances by a cappella singers; Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances; Entertainment services in the nature of presenting live musical performances.
Not surprisingly, this trademark was filed by a Los Angeles based business that books groups of shirtless men to sing a cappella songs.
From a trademark perspective, HUNKAPPELLA is a great choice. The combination of terms probably makes this a "suggestive" trademark, which can be registered without proof of secondary meaning (unlike descriptive terms, which require secondary meaning). The Trademark Office describes suggestive trademarks as those that "when applied to the goods or services at issue, require imagination, thought, or perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of those goods or services." TMEP 1209.01(a).

A tip to those trying to determine a name for your new business - make up a word or use something suggestive like the Hunkappealla folks. Made up trademarks, or trademarks that have nothing to do with one's goods or services, are unlikely to be in use already (giving you priority and reducing your risk of infringement) and are easier to register with the Trademark Office.

As for those Los Angeles residents looking for some new party entertainment, you now apparently have another option in HUNKAPPELLA.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today's Tip For Saving Your Trademark Filing Fee - Avoid Decorative Use on Clothing

A very common mistake made by pro se applicants (and some attorneys too) relates to trademark filings for clothing. There is a misunderstanding that if one comes up with a unique or catchy phrase and puts it on a t-shirt or hat, it can be protected with a trademark registration. This is not usually the case.

A trademark, by definition, is a source identifier. That means when a customer sees a trademark, they automatically know from where that product or service comes. When you see the Nike swoosh on a shirt, you immediately know where that shirt comes from and the level of its quality. The same goes when you see the Starbucks logo on a bag of coffee. Thus, a trademark is more than just a catchy word or phrase - it identifies the source of a particular product or service.

When you see the phrase on the shirt below, does "High Maintenance Redneck" strike you as the company behind the shirt? Or does it strike you as a catchy, decorative phrase that is supposed to refer the wearer?
The phrase above, like most phrases plastered across the front of t-shirts, is a decorative feature and does not function as a trademark. Section 1202.03 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) provides more insight - "[s]ubject matter that is merely a decorative feature does not identify and distinguish the applicant’s goods and, thus, does not function as a trademark. A decorative feature may include words, designs, slogans, or trade dress."

In determining whether a phrase or design on clothing functions as a trademark or is merely decorative, the Trademark Office will consider "the size, location, and dominance of the proposed mark, as applied to the goods." TMEP 1202.03(a). Specific to slogans or phrases on shirts, the Trademark Office has stated "[s]logans or phrases used on items such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, jewelry, and ceramic plates have been refused registration as ornamentation that purchasers will perceive as conveying a message rather than indicating the source of the goods." TMEP 1202.03(f)(i).

Thus, the applicant's HIGH MAINTENANCE REDNECK application filed on August 14th will receive an office action refusing to register the trademark because, as it is pictured in the applicant's specimen above, it is being used in a decorative manner and not as a trademark. 

How do you protect a phrase or slogan on clothing? The best practice is place it on your clothing where you would typically see a trademark for a clothing company. The tag of the shirt is a great place to start. Small, discrete logos on the breast pocket or sleeve usually work as well. Whatever you do, don't rely on a slogan plastered across the front like the applicant above.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Donald Trump Files TRUMP Trademark to Protect Campaign Materials

The 2016 presidential campaign trail is heating up and Donald Trump has been front and center. On August 13th, he filed a federal trademark application for TRUMP across seven different classes covering a variety of campaign materials (the $1,925.00 filing fee is nothing to him!).
Among the items Trump sought to protect with this trademark filing are bumper stickers and decals, placards, pamphlets, advertising signs, various clothing items, and campaign buttons. He also sought to protect the use of TRUMP as it relates to fundraising for campaign services, political campaign services, and online social networking services in the field of politics and political campaigns.

How do we know the real Donald Trump is behind this trademark filing? Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act prohibits the registration of a trademark containing the name, portrait, or signature of a living individual without that individual's written consent (see also TMEP 813). Thus, Trump's written consent must be filed with the application above (we've seen this before with Kris Jenner). For those interested in seeing Trump's signature, you can view it here.

For those of you Trump fans planning to market your own TRUMP-related campaign materials, think again. If this application registers in approximately 9-12 months (just in time for the election), Trump will secure the exclusive, nationwide right to use TRUMP on the materials listed in the registration.

Trump also filed two different federal trademark applications for his slogan MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN on August 13th related to similar campaign materials.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Shows Coming From The Cooking Channel?

On August 11th, the Cooking Channel, LLC filed seven federal trademark applications for what appears to be a potential line of new shows. All the applications list services related to a continuing program about food and cooking.
The trademark applications (and possible shows) filed by the Cooking Channel are:
The Cooking Channel filed all of these applications on an intent-to-use basis, which means they are not using the trademarks in commerce yet but plan to do so soon. Expect to see one or more of these shows on the air within the next year.

Monday, August 17, 2015

HBO Files Trademarks for Look and Sound of its Iconic Opening and Closing Clips

On August 10th, Home Box Office, Inc. filed federal trademark applications to protect the look and sound of its opening and closing clips. Any fan of [insert your favorite HBO show] can recite the iconic static sounds and chords of HBO's opening and closing credits (for those who don't watch HBO, listen here). The trademarks HBO filed are for HBO ENTERTAINMENT (the opening clip) and THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE (the closing clip).
HBO filed two trademarks for both HBO ENTERTAINMENT and THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE. Both applications are related to HBO's entertainment services in the nature of ongoing television programs, but HBO filed two applications each to protect the sound element and the motion element of the clips. For example, HBO described the mark on one motion element application as follows:
[t]he mark consists of a motion mark depicting a television screen of static "snow" out of which emerges the HBO ENTERTAINMENT logo appearing, and then the static snow fades out and the HBO ENTERTAINMENT logo morphs to sharp lettering appearing against the background before the wording fades out.
and on one sound element application as
[t]he mark consists of a composite motion and sound mark depicting a television screen of static "snow" out of which emerges the HBO ENTERTAINMENT logo, and then the static snow fades out and the HBO ENTERTAINMENT logo morphs to sharp lettering appearing against the background before the wording fades out. Simultaneously with the fading in and out portion of the visual component, the sound element is the sound of static "turning on" and then fading out as it resolves to an ascending choir-like bass chord. 
It is a subtle difference, but it gives HBO the most protection over the look and sound of its opening and closing slips.

HBO's filings highlight the fact that trademarks do not take the form of a words and slogans only. Both sounds and motions can serve as trademarks if they identify the source of the good or service. The Trademark Manual Of Examining Procedure (TMEP) section 1202.15 provides "[s]ound marks function as source indicators when they 'assume a definitive shape or arrangement' and 'create in the hearer’s mind an association of the sound' with a good or service." Additionally, under TMEP 904.03(l) an applicant may support an application for a motion mark by filing up to five freeze frames showing the commercial impression conveyed by the mark.

In other words, don't assume something is not functioning as a trademark simply because it is not a textual.

Friday, August 14, 2015

THE GODFATHER Christmas Ornament Trademark Filed

For all those fans of The Godfather who also dreamed of becoming a Christmas ornament tycoon, you are now out of luck (although you probably couldn't have sold "The Godfather" ornaments before this application without receiving a cease and desist).

On August 7th, Paramount Pictures Corporation filed a federal trademark application for THE GODFATHER as it relates to "Christmas tree ornaments[.]"
Paramount Pictures first started using THE GODFATHER on Christmas tree ornaments on July 15, 2015 and submitted the above screenshot as proof.

With Christmas quickly approaching, here is a classic gift idea for the Godfather fan in your life. But seriously - will people actually pay $17.95 to hang a Godfather ornament on their tree?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Today's Tip for Saving Your Trademark Filing Fee - Don't File a Trademark That Sounds Like Another

Say "Wheaties." Now say "Weedies." Without knowing the spelling, could you tell the difference? Probably not.
One of the most common reasons the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refuses to register a trademark is because an applicant files a mark that is likely to cause confusion with a mark that has already been registered for similar goods or services.

There are many factors that the USPTO uses to determine if there is a "likelihood of confusion" between an existing mark and a mark sought to be registered (see TMEP 1207 et seq.), but, in general, a likelihood of confusion exists when one uses the same or similar mark that another is already using and uses it on goods or services related to those sold by the senior user.

This standard means that the two trademarks do not need to be exactly the same or used on the same goods or services to trigger a likelihood of confusion refusal by the USPTO.

For example, the similarity between how two trademarks are pronounced, even if they are spelled completely different, can still cause a likelihood of confusion refusal. Unfortunately for the applicant that filed WEEDIES for "[b]reakfast cereals" on August 7th, this means his application is doomed and his filing fee lost.

Since these two marks are phonetically equivalent, and the applicant for WEEDIES filed in the exact same class and for the exact same goods contained in General Mills' Wheaties registration (which has been using the term on breakfast cereals since 1924, by the way), this application will be receiving an office action refusing to register WEEDIES when it is assigned to an examining attorney at the USPTO in approximately three months. The applicant's $225 filing fee is almost certainly lost.

How do you reduce the risk of a likelihood of confusion refusal from the USPTO? Work with a trademark attorney who can conduct a proper search and identify any possible conflicting marks before you file your application. Otherwise, your nonrefundable filing fee is in jeopardy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

United States Olympic Committee Files Trademark to Protect...Cowbells?

On August 6th, the United States Olympic Committee's Office of the General Counsel filed a federal trademark application for TEAM USA as it relates to "percussion instruments, namely, cowbells[.]" The Committee claims to have used the TEAM USA trademark on cowbells since December 31, 2009.
These cowbells, pictured above, must hold special importance to the U.S. Olympic Committee. If the Committee is successful in obtaining this registration, it will effectively prohibit any other individual or entity from selling a "Team USA" cowbell. Thus, this registration will be a useful enforcement tool at future Olympic events. When you purchase your next Team USA cowbell, make sure it is officially licensed!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Twentieth Century Fox Files Multiple Trademark Applications for Golden "E"

On August 5th, Twentieth Century Fox filed 16 federal trademark applications for the golden letter "E" below. The logo is described as a "stylized letter E in gold with an image of the vinyl player" in the applications.
Each application contains different goods or services that Twentieth Century Fox plans to market under this logo (based on the applications, they are not doing so currently). These goods and services range anywhere from online retail store services featuring fashion accessories to tobacco and cigars, alcoholic beverages, clothing, Christmas ornaments, toys, household items, toiletries, candies, energy drinks, and much more.

The above accessories and goods seem to be related to an application filed by Twentieth Century Fox on the same day for 
Pre-recorded DVDs featuring drama; pre-recorded CDs featuring drama and musical performances; downloadable audio and video recordings featuring drama; downloadable television shows and video recordings featuring drama[.]
It's not clear what Twentieth Century Fox is planning for this stylized "E" but the expansive degree of trademark protection sought for this logo suggests those plans may be big. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 10, 2015

EMOJI CARDS - Charades and Emojis Meet in Recent Trademark Filing

In a sign of the times, a federal trademark application for EMOJI CARDS was filed by Spicy Doodles Gaming, Inc. in Long Beach, California on August 3rd.
The goods listed on the application are
Collectable trading cards; Educational publications, namely, educational learning cards, flash cards, activity cards, workbooks, textbooks, activity books, story books, puzzle books, printed puzzles, teacher guides, manuals, posters and educational booklets in the field of symbols; Picture cards; Trading cards; Card games; Educational card games; Game cards; Playing cards; Playing cards and card games; Trading card games; Trivia game played with cards and game components[.]
According to the game's Kickstarter page, the point of the game is to "[u]se cards of your favorite emoji to get your team to guess pop culture clues." What a time to be alive.

Will the game be successful? According to the Kickstarter page, the game raised over $20,809 from 251 people in less than a month. Apparently even Mark Cuban tweeted about it.

If you were thinking about making your own "Emoji Cards" game related to any of the goods listed above, your time may have passed.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Konami Gaming Files Trademarks for Line of Slot Machines

On August 1st, Konami Gaming, a Las Vegas based provider of casino gaming machines, filed 20 different federal trademark applications related to slot machines (equating to a $4,500 investment in filing fees). All the applications, except CELTIC TREASURES, were filed as intent-to-use applications. This means Konami Gaming is not yet using these names in commerce but has a bona fide intention to use them in the near future.
If Konami Gaming is successful in obtaining registrations for these marks, no other person or entity will be able to use similar names on goods related to slot machines without risking infringement.The names Konami Gaming filed are:
  1. Celtic Treasures;
  2. Freya's Magic;
  3. Premium Pays;
  4. Ultra Reels 972 Ways;
  5. DynamicDash;
  6. Rhino King;
  7. Fabulous Goddess;
  8. Wild 3X Wild;
  9. Safari Stacks;
  10. Wings of the Phoenix;
  11. Wheel of the Imperial Eggs;
  12. Samurai Strike;
  13. Martial Arts Lady;
  14. Golden Power Ingots;
  15. Warrior Reloaded;
  16. Festival of Riches;
  17. Overflowing Stacks;
  18. Great Wilds Spinnin';
  19. Glittering Stacks; and
  20. China Shores Jackpot.
These machines may be making an appearance in your local casino soon. Good luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

REALLY BAD RUM CAKE Really Good Trademark?

On July 31st, a Massachusetts corporation called Doc Brown Enterprises, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for REALLY BAD RUM CAKE as it relates to, quite simply, "cakes." The applicant isn't using the mark yet, but has an intention to do so in the near future.
This is either a great trademark or a not so great trademark, depending on the quality of the applicant's cakes. Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act prohibits registration on the Principal Register of new trademarks that are "merely descriptive." Section 1209.01(b) of the TMEP states that a mark is considered merely descriptive "if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services."

On the other hand, arbitrary words and phrases are great trademarks. Section 1209.01(a) of the TMEP defines an arbitrary mark as a mark that "comprise[s] words that are in common linguistic use but, when used to identify particular goods or services, do not suggest or describe a significant ingredient, quality, or characteristic of the goods or services..."  

So, depending upon whether the applicant's cakes are really good or really bad, the filed mark either describes a quality or characteristic of the specified goods (making it merely descriptive) or does not describe a quality or characteristic of the goods (possibly making it arbitrary). At any rate, it is a perplexing (or genius?) marketing choice by the applicant.

So which is it? I guess we need to wait and taste the applicant's goods to find out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Travel Agency Files CECIL THE LION Trademark Application

Capitalizing on the recent buzz surrounding the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, Exclusive Adventures, Inc. (also appearing to do business as Adventures Croatia) filed a federal trademark application for CECIL THE LION on July 30th in four different classes for charms, t-shirts, plush toys, and charitable fundraising services for conserving wildlife.

The only class in which the applicant claims to be currently using the mark is the class containing charitable fundraising services for conserving wildlife, for which it submitted several screenshots from a website it set up soliciting donations (pictured below).

If Exclusive Adventures, Inc. is successful in obtaining its trademark, it will have the exclusive, nationwide right to use the term CECIL THE LION in conjunction with the sale of charms, t-shirts, plush toys, and charitable fundraising services for conserving wildlife.

This is not the only application for CECIL THE LION filed on July 30th. Another company called i-Star Entertainment filed an application for t-shirts and toys, among other items. This application did not list a basis (intent-to-use or currently using) but nonetheless met the requirements for obtaining a filing date under 37 CFR 2.21(a) and TMEP 202.

According to TMEP 1208.01(b), if two conflicting applications have the same filing date, the application executed the earliest will have priority. In this case, the i-Star Entertainment application gets priority. It was executed at 11:58am EST while Exclusive Adventures' application was executed 6:56pm EST. It will be interesting to see how these two applications turn out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today's Tip for Saving Your Trademark Filing Fee - Avoid Descriptive Phrases

A unique and catchy phrase can serve as a great trademark for your business. However, a common laudatory phase does not. A federal trademark registration gives one a nationwide monopoly over the mark, so the law is drafted to avoid giving any one person or business a monopoly over certain phrases or words that everybody in an industry should be allowed to use (generic terms, many descriptive terms, common phrases, etc.).

Section 1209.03(s) of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure states "[s]logans that are considered to be merely informational in nature, or to be common laudatory phrases or statements that would ordinarily be used in business or in the particular trade or industry, are not registrable [as a trademark]." For example, the Boston Beer Company attempted to register THE BEST BEER IN AMERICA but was denied under this rule and Sections 1, 2, and 45 of the Trademark Act.

That leads us to a trademark filing on July 28th for REAL GOOD COFFEE as it relates to "coffee cups, teas, and mugs" and "coffee." The applicant had only been using the phrase since October 21, 2014.
When this application is reviewed by an examining attorney at the Trademark Office in approximately three months, I would not be surprised to see an office action finding this mark merely descriptive because this slogan is a common laudatory phrase. Had the applicant been using this mark for several years and really distinguished itself in the market, it might get away with this filing, but that is not the case. If this application registered, think about the result - no other person or business selling coffee or mugs would be able to use the phrase "real good coffee" without risking liability.

Notably, the applicant did not appear to work with an attorney in filing this application. A qualified trademark attorney could have pointed out the potential difficulty in getting this mark registered and saved the applicant's $450 filing fee (it filed in two classes at $225 each). In this case, the applicant will have difficulty overcoming a merely descriptive refusal and that filing fee is in serious jeopardy.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bouquet of Beer? It Is As Amazing As It Sounds

Seeking to protect the name of its genius gift box idea, the Bouquet of Beer Corporation filed a trademark application on July 28th for the word mark BOUQUET OF BEER as it relates to "[g]ift boxes made of cardboard."
I wouldn't mind receiving this gift for my birthday. For those of you thinking of doing something similar, be careful. The Bouquet of Beer corporation did not limit the description of its goods to only gift boxes containing beer but rather submitted a broader definition of its goods. By doing so, the company secured protection from anything related to a gift box made of cardboard named something similar to "Bouquet of Beer." The company has been using this mark in commerce since June 2015.