Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! How many "Merry Christmas" trademark registrations are active with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you ask?  There are 22, to be exact, including 18 registrations.  Most applications or registrations appear to cover clothing or Christmas tree ornaments and decorations.

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NBA Revives Chicago Stags Brand With Recent Trademark Application

Staying with the NBA for a second day in a row, although this recent filing isn't for a new DUNKTASTIC term.  Rather, this filing is related to a vintage NBA team.  On December 16th, NBA Properties, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for CHICAGO STAGS.
According to my quick research, the Chicago Stags were an NBA team based in Chicago for a short period between June 1946 and September 1950.  With this recent trademark application, the NBA appears to be reviving this old brand. 
But don't get excited about the Bulls changing their name, or another NBA team popping up in Chicago.  The recent CHICAGO STAGS trademark application covers only a variety of clothing items in Class 25, including basketball shoes, t-shirts, jerseys, bathing suits, and hats (but nothing related to entertainment services in the form of live basketball games).

NBA Properties has filed similar CHICAGO STAGS trademark applications for clothing in the past, namely in the 1990's, including an application for the logo seen above filed in 1993.  None of those previous applications, which were all filed on an intent to use basis (like the one here), ever registered.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

NBA Files Trademark Applications for DUNKTASTIC

It's THE MOST DUNKTASTIC TIME OF THE YEAR, according to the NBA.  The league recently released a YouTube video of its new commercial for Christmas Day with some of its top athletes singing about this DUNKTASTIC time of year. Around the same time, the league also filed trademark applications for the new, albeit made-up, term it appears to have coined (such made-up words, in fact, are often strong trademarks - see TMEP 1209.01(a)).
On December 15th, NBA Properties, Inc. filed federal trademark applications for DUNKTASTIC and IT'S THE MOST DUNKTASTIC TIME OF THE YEAR.  The applications cover various entertainment services related to basketball games in Class 41 and a wide range of clothing items in Class 25. 

The NBA filed these applications on an intent to use basis, so the league will need to submit sufficient evidence of use before these applications will fully register.  See TMEP 904 and 1301.04.  Upon registration, the NBA will be entitled to claim an exclusive, nationwide right to use these terms in conjunction with the goods and services listed in the applications.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trademark Applications Covering Viral "U Name It" Challenge Audio Filed

If you even glanced at social media over the Thanksgiving holiday, you're familiar with the #UNameItChallenge (or you should be).  A clip of the gospel singer Dr. Shirley Caesar singing about "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes," etc. went viral across the internet and was remixed over and over (including by Snoop Dogg, who apparently did so with Shirley Caesar's blessing). 

And now, as of December 9th, those recordings (the audio only) are the subject of three federal trademark applications filed by a Georgia entity called U Name It, LLC.  The services covered by those applications are a variety of entertainment services by a female artist in Class 41.

The audio covered by these applications includes clips of Shirley singing "I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes," "Look - I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams [sic?], hogs dogs [sic], chicken turnkey [sic?] rabbit - you name it," and "You Name It."  Links to the actual audio covered by these applications are below:
It's unclear whether U Name It, LLC is related to Dr. Shirley Caesar's official #UNameIt Challenge shop, which apparently she is using to raise money for charity.  It's also unclear whether the applications were filed as part of the gospel singer's strategy in her lawsuit against DJ Suede (the creator of the original remix), which was filed right around the same time as these trademarks and was apparently prompted by the gospel singer's objection to the use of alcohol in the remix video.

Although applications for sound marks are not that common, sounds can serve as trademarks (for example, HBO obtained a registration for its iconic opening and closing clips).  The Trademark Manual Of Examining Procedure 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." Section 1202.15.

If U Name It, LLC successfully obtains registrations for these sound marks it could, theoretically, prevent others from using similar audio in conjunction with entertainment services related to those listed in the applications.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Are These 26 Trademark Applications Recently Filed By Amazon Taglines For Its New Grocery Store Concept?

On December 5th, Amazon announced a new grocery store concept, first to be opened in Seattle, that will not require checkout lines.  On that same date, Amazon Technologies, Inc. also filed 26 federal trademark applications, each in Class 35 covering
Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions; retail services and online retail services connected with the management of a retail store and or supermarket; Retail store services in the field of fresh and prepared foods and dry goods; customer loyalty rewards program for shoppers; information, advisory and consultancy services relating to the aforesaid.
Amazon filed each application on an intent to use basis, meaning it is [probably] not using the marks yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

Are these applications for taglines related to Amazon's new grocery store concept?  You be the judge.  The applications are for the following:
But wait, that's only 25 trademarks. What about the 26th mark?  It's for the logo seen below, which also happens to be the name of Amazon's new grocery store.
The goods and services covered by that last application span five different classes, are too numerous to list, and cover almost everything under the sun. 

So are the 25 marks above, filed on the same day Amazon announces its new grocery store and files a trademark application for the name of same, taglines for the new grocery store?  Again, you be the judge...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lyft Files Trademark Application for Self-Driving Vehicles

Back in October, I blogged about an UBERFREIGHT trademark application filed by Uber Technologies, Inc. that covered self-driving vehicles. Now it appears Uber's rival, the ride-sharing service Lyft, is getting into the same field, if a recent trademark application is any indication.
On December 1st, Lyft, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for LYFT covering a software, vehicles, and transportation services related to self-driving vehicles. For example, the application covers "computer software for coordinating transportation, freight and delivery services by autonomous vehicles" in Class 9, "self-driving vehicles" and "semi-automated vehicles" in Class 12, and "transportation and delivery services" in Class 39. The broad nature of the goods and services listed in this application appear to cover self-driving vehicles for transport of passengers as well as freight.

Like the UBERFREIGHT application back in October, Lyft filed this application on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is [probably] not using this mark in conjunction with the listed goods and services in commerce yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

According to my quick search, Lyft, Inc. currently owns 36 live trademark applications or registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including a mark for LYFTCARE covering medical transportation services filed last month.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Quarterly Index (8/11/16 - 11/10/16)

How to Lose Your Trademark Filing Fees:
Entertainment Trademark Filings:
Sports Trademark Filings:
Food and Drink Trademark Filings:
Other Unique Filings:

Friday, December 2, 2016

Would You Drink Anheuser-Busch's GRAPE-A-RITA?

Fans of Anheuser-Busch's margarita drinks may be getting a new flavor soon, according to a recent trademark application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The flavor? It appears to be grape.

On November 28th, Anheuser-Busch, LLC filed a federal trademark application for GRAPE-A-RITA in Class 32 for "flavored beers." The brewing company filed this application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not using this mark in conjunction with flavored beers yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

The GRAPE-A-RITA application isn't the only recent application filed by Anheuser-Busch for its margarita line. On November 29th, the company obtained a registration for CHERRY-AHH-RITA for "flavored beers" (which means the company should be selling this flavor currently).

Additionally, back in August and September 2016, the brewing company filed trademark applications for BUD LIGHT LIME COCO-NUT-RITA SPLASH, BUD LIGHT LIME PINE-APPLE-RITA SPLASH, BUD LIGHT LIME PEACH-A-RITA, and BUD LIGHT LIME ORANGE-A-RITA. All those applications were filed on an intent-to-use basis as well.

Anheuser-Busch already owns registrations for BUD LIGHT LIME STRAW-BER-RITA SPLASH and BUD LIGHT LIME-A-RITA SPLASH. Finally, I blogged about BUD LIGHT APPLE back in September 2015. That mark has since registered, meaning you're likely to find it for sale somewhere in the United States.

According to my quick search, the GRAPE-A-RITA application brings the total number of live trademark applications or registrations owned by Anheuser-Busch in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to a whopping 573.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Tantalizing Trademarks.  Fun fact - 32 trademark applications or registrations incorporating "Thanksgiving" are active with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covering a variety of goods and services.
Some of those goods and services include wine, coffee, and slot machines.  Oh, and of course the famous MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE is registered as a trademark and owned by Macy's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Coffee for Crossfitters - Crossfit Expands Trademark Portfolio With Coffee Filing

Are you a Crossfitter that loves coffee?  If so, you're in luck.  On November 18th, CrossFit, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for CROSSFIT in Class 30 for "coffee."
And even better news for your Crossfitting coffee drinkers - according to the trademark application Crossfit coffee is currently being sold and has been sold since at least October 1, 2016.

According to my quick search, CrossFit, Inc. owns 39 live trademark registrations or applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (including this coffee application).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A KATE SPADE Hotel, Restaurant?

Did you every wish your favorite fashion designer would open a hotel, restaurant, or spa? For fans of Kate Spade, their dreams may be coming true. On November 17th, Kate Spade, LLC filed a federal trademark application for KATE SPADE in Class 43 for "hotel, café, restaurant and spa services."
The fashion company filed this trademark application on a 44(d) basis, meaning it already filed a similar trademark application in a foreign country within the past six months and is basing its priority date on that application (in this case, a trademark application in Australia). For this application to register in the U.S., the Australian application must first mature into a registration in that country (or Kate Spade must start using this mark in the U.S. in conjunction with the listed services).

So will Kate Spade be offering hotel, restaurant, or spa services in the future? Pay attention to this trademark application to find out.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Will This RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS Trademark Application Receive a Likelihood of Confusion Refusal?

I'll admit, when I first saw it I was confused.  I wondered why a sole proprietor filed a RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS trademark application and alleged a first use date of only 2009.  Then I saw it - Red NOT Chili Peppers.  The federal trademark application, filed on November 14th, was filed by a guy in California for the mark RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS in Class 41 for a variety of entertainment services related to a musical band.

Guess who already owns a registration in Class 41 for entertainment services related to a musical group?  A California partnership called the Red Hot Chili Peppers consisting of Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, John Frusciante, and Michael Balzary.  You may have heard of them.  That registration alleges a first use date of 1983.

When an application is likely to cause confusion with a previously filed application or registration, the Trademark Office will refuse registration to the most recent application under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.  That section prohibits the registration of a mark that, as used on or in connection with the goods or services specified on the application, so resembles a registered mark as to be likely to cause confusion.  TMEP 1207.01.  The two critical factors (but not the only factors) in making such a determination are the similarity of the marks and the relatedness of the goods or services.

But what about the parody defense?  Does that permit the registration of RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS?  Not exactly.  The Trademark Office makes it clear that "the fact that a mark is intended to be a parody of another trademark is not, by itself, sufficient to overcome a likelihood of confusion refusal..." TMEP 1207.01(b)(x).  The "right of the public to use words...in a humorous and parodic manner does not extend to use of such words as trademarks if such use conflicts with the prior use and/or registration of the substantially same mark by another."  Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc. v. Miller, 211 U.S.P.Q. 816, 820 (TTAB 1981).  For example, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found a likely of confusion between LESSBUCKS COFFEE and STARBUCKS COFFEE when used with identical goods and services, despite the parodic nature of LESSBUCKS COFFEE.  Starbucks U.S. Brands, LLC v. Ruben, 78 U.S.P.Q.2d 1741 (TTAB 2006).

Will the Examining Attorney who reviews the RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS trademark application experience the same confusion I did and issue a 2(d) refusal?  We will find out in approximately three months when this application is assigned to an attorney at the Trademark Office.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

TWINKIE Ice Cream? TWINKIE Cappuccino? Both May Be Coming Soon, According to Recent Trademark Applications

If you've dreamed of your favorite childhood treat in ice cream form, your dream may be coming true in the near future.  On November 11th, Hostess Brands, LLC filed a federal trademark application for its Twinkie The Kid character seen to the right in Class 30 for "ice cream; frozen confections."

Hostess filed the application on an "intent to use" basis, suggesting it is probably not using this mark in conjunction with ice cream and frozen confections yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.  In other words, this filing basis is supposed to suggest that Hostess is contemplating offering some sort of ice cream or frozen confection product relatively soon.

Hostess already owns two federal trademark registrations for the same Twinkie The Kid character in Class 30 for "bakery goods, cakes, bread, buns and rolls" and "cake."

Do you love coffee too?  On November 9th, a couple days before the Twinkie The Kid ice cream application, Hostess filed another federal trademark application for TWINKIES in Class 30 for "prepared cappuccino and coffee-based beverages and cappuccino and coffee-based mixes."  Hostess also based this application on an "intent to use" basis.  Twinkie flavored coffee, anyone?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

FIREBALL Cigars? Apparently It's a Thing

On November 6th, Sazerac Brands, LLC (the manufacturer of Fireball whiskey) filed another federal trademark application for FIREBALL. But unlike the four other trademark applications or registrations for FIREBALL Sazerac owns, this application wasn't for whiskey. Instead, Sazerac filed it in Class 34 for "cigars."
I, for one, was unaware Sazerac sold FIREBALL cigars. But according to the trademark application they have been doing so at least as early as December 2014. Do these cigars taste like Fireball? Or are they normal cigar branded with the Fireball marks?

I suppose this shouldn't be much of a surprise though, considering the manufacturer of Jack Daniel's whiskey owns 121 live federal trademark applications or registrations for marks containing JACK DANIEL'S that cover a wide variety of goods and services (including spices, musical instrument amplifiers, and outdoor furniture).

According to my quick search, Sazerac Brands owns 596 live federal trademark applications or registrations, five of those related to FIREBALL.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Are These Trademark Applications for BravoTV's New Logo?

The tweaks are minor (maybe to tack onto prior use? - ed.), but recent applications filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hint at possible changes to BravoTV's logo.  On November 2nd, Bravo Media, LLC filed two federal trademark applications for the logo seen below.
One application covered a variety of services related to television broadcasting in Class 38 while the other covered a variety of services related to television programming and production of motion pictures and television shows in Class 41.  Bravo filed both applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting the network is not using the logo in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.
Might these applications be for a replacement of Bravo's current logo, see above, which registered as a federal trademark in 2006?  Note that the new trademark applications are for a logo with a more square conversation box, smaller, more rounded font, and the tip of the conversation box is now at the far left.

According to my quick research and as of the date of this post, the applications filed with the USPTO on November 2nd are the only applications or registrations related to Bravo's logo since Bravo filed the current logo's application in 2005.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Spartan Expands Trademark Portfolio with 5 New Applications for Race Names

Spartan Race, Inc. sought to expand its federal trademark portfolio on October 28th by adding five new applications to the mix. On that date, the obstacle race company filed five federal trademark applications for what appears to be the names of various races organized by the company. The applications are for:
Each application was filed on a 1(a) basis (meaning Spartan is already using these marks in commerce) with first use dates between February and September 2011, depending on the race.

Each application covers the same services in Class 41 - "entertainment in the nature of obstacle courses, obstacle races, endurance events, endurance races, athletic events, sporting events and competitions; arranging, organizing and conducting obstacle courses, obstacle races, endurance events, endurance races, athletic events, sporting events and competitions."

According to my quick search, Spartan Race, Inc. owns 56 live applications or registrations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Netflix Files 8 Trademark Applications for Existing and Upcoming Shows

October 24th was a busy day for Netflix Studios, LLC at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On that date, the company filed eight trademark applications for existing and upcoming shows on the streaming platform.

The existing shows (those filed on an actual use basis) include:
The shows presumably upcoming (those filed on an intent-to-use basis) include:
Netflix filed each application in Class 41 for an ongoing television series and providing online non-downloadable video clips related to a television series.  HOT GIRLS WANTED and CAPTIVE are identified as docu-series.  The remaining shows are identified as comedies or comedic dramas.
Netflix also filed an application for the black and white version of its new logo as seen above.  According to my quick search, Netflix owns 41 live trademark applications or registrations at the USPTO.  Nine of those applications are for STRANGER THINGS, covering a variety of goods and services.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NINTENDO SWITCH Trademark Application Filed

On October 20th, the day Nintendo posted a three-minute trailer of its new hybrid gaming console on YouTube, it filed a federal trademark application for the console's name - NINTENDO SWITCH.
The new application by Nintendo of America, Inc. covers not just the gaming console but a wide variety of goods and services across five different classes.  Some of those goods and services include "downloadable video game programs" (Class 9), ballpoint pens and pencils (Class 16), "pre-made wraps and skins for hand-held units for playing video games" and toy action figures (Class 28), "wireless electronic transmission of audio, data, graphics, images, music, news, text, video, and voice, pertaining to video games" (Class 38), and "organizing, arrangement, managing and producing video game events for entertainment purposes" (Class 41).

Nintendo filed the entire application on an intent-to-use basis, which indicates it is not yet using this mark in interstate commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (this makes sense given Nintendo is not yet offering this console for sale).
On the same day, Nintendo filed another trademark application for the logo seen above covering the exact same goods and services.  Nintendo also filed a trademark application for JOY-CON covering various computer and video game programs in Class 9 and various computer game machines and video game consoles in Class 28.  These were also filed on an intent-to-use basis.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Royal Caribbean Files Trademark Application for Possible New Cruise Ship

Is a new cruise ship in the works for Royal Caribbean? Maybe, according to a recent federal trademark application. On October 17th, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., a Liberian corporation (ed. - Liberia?) filed a federal trademark application for ICON OF THE SEAS on an intent to use basis.
The services covered by the application are:
  • Cruise ship services; arranging and conducting cruises for others; transport of passengers (Class 39);
  • Entertainment services, namely, casino services, organizing and conducting stage shows, nightclub shows, contests, dances and parties, all provided aboard a cruise ship (Class 41);
  • Providing temporary accommodations aboard a cruise ship; restaurant and bar services provided aboard a cruise ship (Class 43)
Does this application hint that a new cruise ship is in the works? It's possible. The intent to use nature of the application means the cruise line has a bona fide intention to use this mark in commerce on the services listed above in the near future, but is not doing so currently (at least that's what the intent to use basis is supposed to mean).

The services listed are also the exact same services listed on the ANTHEM OF THE SEAS trademark registration. That mark registered on June 21, 2015 and the Anthem of the Seas is currently active in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ivanka Trump Files Eighth Trademark Application of 2016 Just 21 Days Before Election

While her father is busy on the campaign trail, Ivanka Trump has been filing federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The trademark applications filed by the daughter of Donald Trump are not related to the election, however, but rather to a variety of goods.
For example, on October 12th Ivanka Trump Marks, LLC (an entity that appears to hold Ivanka's trademarks) filed a federal trademark application for the logo seen above in Class 3 for perfume, lotions, soaps, body wash, shampoos, and a variety of other skin and beauty products. The application was filed on an intent to use basis, like all of the entity's trademark applications filed in 2016.


Other trademark applications (in standard characters and designs) filed by Ivanka Trump Marks, LLC, like one for the logo seen above, cover jewelry, pillows, infant beddings, and crib mobiles. The entity also filed a trademark application for WOMEN WHO WORK covering e-books (Class 9) and traditional books (Class 16) in the field of fashion, lifestyle, motivation, inspiration, and self-improvement in January of this year.

Based on my quick search, Ivanka Trump Marks, LLC currently owns 49 live trademark applications or registrations at the USPTO.

As a side note, Melania Trump filed a federal trademark application for MELANIA, in standard characters, as it relates to various jewelry (in Class 14)  in August 2016.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Uber Files UBERFREIGHT Trademark Application for Automated Driving of Vehicles, Freight Brokerage Services

Just over a week after reports surfaced regarding it and its recently acquired self-driving truck startup Otto were getting serious about taking on the self-driving truck industry, Uber took another step in that direction by recently filing a federal trademark application for UBERFREIGHT (in standard characters).

Uber Technologies, Inc. filed the federal trademark application on October 6th in Class 9 for "software; hardware; control units for automated and semi-automated driving of vehicles; vehicles" and in Class 39 for "[f]reight brokerage services; global forwarding services; insurance services; freight logistics management; fuel advance services; freight transportation; freight factoring services; leasing of vehicles and trailers."

The UBERFREIGHT trademark application also covers business administration and business management services in Class 35, telecommunications services in Class 38, and website and SaaS services in Class 42. Uber filed the application on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is [probably] not using this mark in conjunction with these services in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Battleship the Game Show? Recent Trademark Applications by Hasbro Suggest Board Game TV Shows May Be in the Works

Guess Who?, Scattergories, Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders, Twister, Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Battleship, Don't Break the Ice, Lite Brite, and Nerf. All are classic board games (except maybe Nerf) that most of us remember well. All are also the subject of 12 federal trademark applications filed by Hasbro, Inc. on October 3rd in Class 041 for "Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing television game show" (one application for each mark).
That's right. These trademark applications suggest that Hasbro may be turning games like Guess Who?, Twister, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, and others into some sort of game show.

Hasbro filed each application on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is [probably] not using these marks in commerce in conjunction with game shows yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. While this does not guarantee a Scrabble game show, for example, it does suggest some sort of plans are in the works for the same.

Hasbro has filed applications covering television shows for some of these board games in the past, but none proceeded to registration and were abandoned. And while the entertainment company holds trademark registrations covering television shows like TRANSFORMERS, RESCUE BOTS, and even MONOPOLY, the applications filed on October 3rd are the only active applications covering television shows for the classic board games listed above.

According to my quick search, Hasbro, Inc. owns 842 live trademark applications or registrations with the Trademark Office.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

NBA Files Multiple Trademark Applications for NBA LEAGUE PASS in Chinese

Recent federal trademark applications filed by the NBA for Chinese versions of "NBA League Pass" appear to be related to the NBA's deal with a Chinese mass media company, announced in early 2015, to provide NBA League Pass games and other content in the Chinese market.
On September 30th, NBA Properties, Inc. filed 12 different trademark applications for the mark seen above and a couple variants. According to the applications, the characters are Chinese and say "lián méng tong" or "league pass." The NBA filed applications for the mark seen above (and another mark with slight variations in the Chinese letters), for NBA LIÁN MÉNG TONG (in English letters), for LIÁN MÉNG TONG in English letters, and for LIÁN MÉNG TONG in Chinese characters.

Each application was filed in Class 041 for a variety of entertainment services related to basketball (such as television and radio programs, basketball events, clinics, and camps, fan club services, and video games) and in Class 038 for a variety of broadcasting services (including cable television, radio, and subscription television broadcasting). The NBA also filed each application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting (but not necessarily meaning) that the NBA is not yet using these marks in conjunction with these services in commerce yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

According to my quick search, these are the first Chinese character trademark applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by NBA Properties, Inc.  The NBA's intellectual property component is currently listed as the owner of 316 live trademark applications or registrations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The EMOJI Trademark Trend Continues With Application for EMOJI BURGER

It's 2016, so it's only natural that many of the trademark applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office these days contain some form of the term EMOJI. In fact, I've blogged about many EMOJI-related trademark applications in the past (like PETMOJI, TRUMPMOJI, EMOJIBALMS, EMOJI BANDAGES, and EMOJI CARDS).

The latest application in this trend appears to be a restaurant near New York City that filed a federal trademark application for EMOJI BURGER on September 26th (this appears to be the name of the restaurant itself).  The restaurant filed the application in Class 043 for "restaurant services" and has been using the mark at least as early as December 18, 2015 (according to the application).

According to my quick search, there are 179 live trademark applications or registrations containing the term EMOJI at the Trademark Office.  Additionally, there appears to be 409 live trademark applications or registrations for marks containing the component -MOJI (like TRUMPMOJI), although some of those applications/registrations overlap with those appearing in the EMOJI search previously mentioned.

Regardless, the EMOJI field of trademarks is getting crowded, which highlights the importance of conducting a trademark search prior to using and filing an application for any mark.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sony Pictures Files Trademark Application for LOS POLLOS HERMANOS

Fans of AMC's Breaking Bad know the infamous Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant well. And although the show ended three years ago, Sony Pictures Television, Inc. (the U.S. distributor of the show according to IMDB.com) just took an important step in controlling the use of the fictional restaurant's name on various goods in the form of a federal trademark application.
On September 22nd, Sony Pictures filed a federal trademark application for LOS POLLOS HERMANOS in three different classes:
  • Class 018 for "wallets, phone cases, tote bags, backpacks, duffel bags, briefcases, luggage and umbrellas;"
  • Class 021 for various home items, including mugs, plates, bowls, bottle openers, lunch boxes, and paper cups and paper plates;
  • Class 025 for various clothing items.
Sony Pictures filed this application on an intent-to-use basis. If the application registers, Sony will obtain the exclusive, nationwide right to use the name LOS POLLOS HERMANOS on those goods listed in the application (although it's possible Sony claims broader common law rights in the phrase already).

According to my quick search, this application is the first and only application filed by Sony Pictures for the LOS POLLOS HERMANOS mark.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Amstel Files Trademark Application for AMSTEL XLIGHT

Amstel may be coming out with an even lighter version of its already light beer if a recent trademark application is any indication. On September 19th, the brewery (officially Amstel Brouwerij B.V. besloten vennootschap, according to the trademark application) filed a federal trademark application for AMSTEL XLIGHT (aka "extra light"?) in Class 032 for "beers."
Amstel filed the application on an intent-to-use basis, indicating the company is not yet using the mark in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. Before this mark can fully register, Amstel will need to start actually using the mark (i.e. selling the beer in interstate commerce) and provide sufficient proof of same to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

While an intent-to-use trademark application does not guarantee a mark will eventually be used, it is a good sign that some sort of plans are in the works to use the mark. It is not uncommon for beer makers to file multiple trademark applications for various beer names under consideration.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chobani Files Frozen Yogurt-Related Trademark Application

Chobani frozen yogurt, anyone? The popular yogurt brand may be moving in that direction if a recent trademark application is any indication.

On September 14th, Chobani, LLC filed a federal trademark application for CHOBANI in Class 030 for "[f]rozen confections; frozen yogurt; frozen yogurt confections." The application was filed on an intent-to-use basis.

While filing a trademark application on an intent-to-use basis does not necessarily guarantee that a mark will be used in conjunction with the listed goods or services, it does indicate that Chobani has a bona fide intention to use this mark in conjunction with frozen yogurt in the near future. This application brings Chobani, LLC's total trademark portfolio to 29 live applications or registrations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

According to my quick search, Chobani is not currently selling a frozen yogurt product in stores, but may be selling frozen yogurt out of a small shop in SoHo, NYC. Regardless, keep an eye out for Chobani frozen yogurt products in a store near you soon.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wal-Mart Files 15 Trademark Applications for Member's Mark Logo

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. had a busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 12th, filing 15 trademark applications for the logo seen below.

Why 15 applications for the same thing? Each application was filed in a separate class of goods. Because the Trademark Office allows an applicant to file for the same mark in multiple classes, multiple applications for the same mark are not uncommon.
The goods covered by these applications are extremely broad and it appears this is a filing for the Sam Club's Member's Mark logo. Wal-Mart owns registrations for the old "M" logo seen below but, as often happens when a logo changes, the old registrations may not be sufficient to protect the new mark given the differences.
Some of the goods covered by these applications include lace and embroidery (in Class 026), meat, fish, poultry, and game (Class 029), tea and coffee (Class 030), furniture (Class 020), and pharmaceuticals (Class 005).

Given the intent-to-use nature of these applications, Wal-Mart will need to actually start using this logo in commerce in conjunction with these products for the mark to actually register in that class. Wal-Mart filed similar "M" applications in even more classes on September 9th.

According to my quick search, these new applications bring Wal-Mart's total trademark portfolio at the Trademark Office to 826 live applications or registrations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Zipcar Files Trademark Applications for ZIPBIKE

The popular car sharing service Zipcar may be moving into bike sharing if recent trademark applications are any indication.

On September 8th, Boston-based Zipcar, Inc. filed two federal trademark applications in Class 039 for "Bicycle sharing services; vehicle sharing services, namely, providing temporary use of bicycles." One application was for the word ZIPBIKE while the other was for the logo seen to the right. The company filed both applications on an intent-to-use basis, which indicates Zipcar has a bona fide intention to use these marks in conjunction with the services listed in the applications in the near future.

These are the first bike-related trademark applications filed by Zipcar, Inc. The company does have a federal trademark registration for the logo seen above covering its motor vehicle sharing services, along with several other applications or registrations related to its car sharing service.

Monday, September 12, 2016

NBA Files 14 Trademark Applications Related to 2017 All-Star Game

September 7th was a busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for NBA Properties, Inc. On that date, just one day before the NBA announced the new All-Star game logo, NBA Properties filed 14 trademark applications for various 2017 All-Star Game related logos (seven logos total - each logo was filed in two classes).



The NBA filed each application on an intent-to-use basis, which means the league is probably not using the marks in commerce yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense given the game is not until next year).

The goods and services covered by these 14 applications are broad. Some of those goods and services include entertainment and educational services in the nature of ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball and rendering live basketball games, coaches clinics and camps, video stream recordings, online games, and online publications (all in Class 041) and a variety of clothing in Class 025.


According to NBA.com, New Orleans was selected as the site of the 2017 NBA All-Star game a couple weeks ago. The game will be played on Sunday, February 19 at the Smoothie King Center (home of the New Orleans Pelicans).

Thursday, September 8, 2016

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

I've blogged about it many times before. Descriptive words and phrases are weak trademarks and cannot be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, on the Principal Register at least, without acquiring distinctiveness (which isn't that easy). 15 U.S.C. 1052(e)(1); 15 U.S.C. 1052(f).

Descriptive terms do not typically serve as source indicators (aka trademarks) but rather describe the underlying goods or services (which, in theory, everybody should be allowed to do without risking infringement).
Consider the federal trademark application for COOLING MATTRESS PAD filed by a company in Pennsylvania on September 3rd. The company filed this application in Class 024 for "[b]ed sheets, fitted bed sheet covers, bed flat sheets, and pillow cases used in the bedding, health care, home-health care and nursing home industries made of biodegradable film created from renewable bio-polymer resources."

Is COOLING MATTRESS PAD merely descriptive of the underlying goods? Possibly. A mark is considered merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services. TMEP 1209.01(b).

Therefore, if the bed sheets, bed sheet covers, and/or pillow cases sold under the COOLING MATTRESS PAD mark have cooling features, this application will likely receive a refusal under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act for being merely descriptive of the underlying goods. Whether these goods actually have a cooling feature is unclear from the description, so the Examining Attorney who reviews this application will likely request additional information. TMEP 814.
In any event, the applicant will need to correct the specimen it submitted with the application. A specimen shows the manner in which the mark is seen by the public. TMEP 904. For goods, a good specimen typically shows the mark on the goods labels, tags, or commercial packaging. See TMEP 904.03.

The applicant, however, only submitted the text seen above. The Examining Attorney should give the applicant an opportunity to submit a substitute specimen, which must have been being used in commerce at least as early as the filing date.

If the Examining Attorney does refuse registration of this application for being merely descriptive (or any other reason), and the applicant cannot overcome the refusal, the applicant's $225 nonrefundable filing fee will be lost.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

RoboCop Reboot? New Trademark Applications Related to Potential Streaming Show Filed

Recent trademark applications filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hint that RoboCop may be coming back in the form of a streaming internet series. On August 26th, Orion Pictures Corporation in Beverly Hills filed two new trademark applications for ROBOCOP (the company owns four other registrations for ROBOCOP covering other goods and services).

Orion filed the first application in Class 041 for "Entertainment services, namely, production and distribution of a series of motion pictures featuring drama, action, crime, science-fiction and suspense." The first use date listed for those services is December 8, 1986 (probably when promotion of the July 1987 release of the original movie commenced).

It is the second application for ROBOCOP, however, that is more interesting. Orion filed that application in Class 041 for "Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing series featuring scripted action/drama provided through the internet; entertainment services, namely, providing ongoing webisodes featuring scripted action/drama via a global computer network[.]"

An ongoing series provided through the internet and webisodes (aka streaming)? Like a Netflix series? Amazon Prime? As a RoboCop fan, that all sounds good to me.

Orion filed the second ROBOCOP application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting the film company is not using the mark in conjunction with an online streaming show yet but has a bond fide intention to do so in the near future. In other words, a streaming RoboCop series may be in the works. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Is Korn Bringing Back The Family Values Tour? Recent Trademark Applications Provide Hints

The metal band Korn created The Family Values Tour back in 1998 with the hopes of starting an annual rock and hip hop tour. In its heyday, the Tour included the likes of Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Method Man and Redman, DMX, and Evanescence. The Tour, however, has not seen any life since its one day festival in 2013. Until now.
On August 25th, an entity called Family Values Returns, LLC filed three federal trademark applications for THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR. The goods and services covered by these applications include:
  • Class 041 - Entertainment services, namely, organizing touring festivals featuring heavy metal bands;
  • Class 016 - posters, postcards and stickers;
  • Class 025 - t-shirts, jackets and hats; and
  • Class 009Musical sound recordings, namely prerecorded compact discs and audio tape cassettes featuring music; video recordings, namely prerecorded video tape cassettes and digital video discs featuring musical performances and entertainment.
Sounds a lot like a music tour to me. These applications were filed on an intent-to-use basis, meaning the mark is [probably] not being used in commerce yet, but the applicant has a bona fide intention to use it on the listed goods and services in the near future. TMEP 1101; 15 U.S.C. 1051(b).

The original THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR trademark registrations (now dead) were filed back in 1998 and 2003. Those registrations covered the exact same goods and services listed above and were owned by an entity called Family Values Tour, LLC.

While these new trademark applications do not guarantee THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR is coming back, the intent-to-use basis of the applications does suggest some sort of plans to bring the tour back are in the works.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oakland Raiders File Multiple Trademark Applications for LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Just days before Senator Harry Reid voiced support for a new football stadium that could bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, The Oakland Raiders limited partnership filed three federal trademark applications for LAS VEGAS RAIDERS covering a variety of goods and services. The team filed the applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on August 20th.
Some of the goods and services covered by these applications are:
  • "Education and entertainment services in the nature of professional football games and exhibitions; providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network or a commercial on-line computer service or by cable, satellite, television and radio; arranging and conducting athletic competitions, namely, professional football games and exhibitions" in Class 041
  • Clothing, footwear, and headwear in Class 025
  • "Downloadable software in the nature of mobile applications for displaying information relating to football exhibitions, football schedules, media guides, and audio and visual recordings relating to football exhibitions; downloadable electronic game software for use on mobile devices, computers, and video game consoles" in Class 009
  • Football helmets in Class 009; and
  • Trading cards in Class 016.
The NFL team filed each application on an intent-to-use basis, signifying the team is not yet using this mark in commerce (obviously), but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

Does this mean the Oakland Raiders are officially moving to Las Vegas? Not necessarily, but it's a step in that direction. As I've blogged about before, the San Diego Chargers filed federal trademark applications for LA CHARGERS before considering a move to Los Angeles earlier this year.

The August 20th applications are the first trademark applications for LAS VEGAS RAIDERS filed by the Oakland Raiders.