Monday, August 22, 2016

Linkedin Files Trademark Applications for LINKEDIN INFLUENCER

Most people who regularly use the professional social networking service LinkedIn have seen a LinkedIn Influencer. It's an invitation only program that recognizes what LinkedIn considers the world's "foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators." The company is now seeking to protect the term with a federal trademark registration.

On August 17th, the LinkedIn Corporation filed three federal trademark applications for LINKEDIN INFLUENCER. The company filed the applications in three different classes:
  • Class 045 for "[o]nline social networking services, allowing registered users to share information, photos, audio and video content and engage in communication and collaboration between and among themselves, to form groups and to engage in social networking;"
  • Class 041 for "[e]ducation and entertainment services, namely providing online journals and blogs and non-downloadable publications featuring text, graphics, audio and video clips featuring news, information, and commentary on technology, business, education, economics, global issues, environment, self-improvement, entertainment, politics, the humanities, leadership, public policy, philanthropy, and social and cultural issues; electronic publishing services for others; publishing services for others; electronic and online publishing services;" and
  • Class 035 for "[o]nline business networking services; advertising, marketing and promotion services for businesses; promoting the goods and services of others via computer and communication networks; organizing, maintaining and promoting a forum for the exchange of information among businesses, governments, educational institutions and communities through the use of a global computer network; providing business and networking information in the field of personal development, namely self-improvement, self-fulfillment, charitable, philanthropic, volunteer, public and community services, and humanitarian activities[.]"
Despite already using the term on its website, LinkedIn filed these applications on an intent-to-use basis (which typically means an applicant is not yet using the mark in commerce). However, this might be because the company does not have a good specimen showing use of the mark as a trademark in commerce or because it is not yet using the mark in conjunction with some or all of the services listed in the applications.

Specimens are more than a picture or screenshot of the mark. They must show the mark actually functioning as a trademark, which means it is serving as a source indicator for the identified services. TMEP 1301.04(d). For servicemarks (such as LINKEDIN INFLUENCER), an acceptable specimen will actually show the mark and associate it with the services identified in the application. TMEP 1301.04(f). It's also helpful if the mark is shown with the  symbol.

With these recent filings, you may seen updated LinkedIn Influencer content on the website describing the program in more detail (like this) and/or the addition of the ™ symbol whenever the term is used. LinkedIn will need to submit an acceptable specimen for each application before they will fully register. 15 U.S.C. 1051(b) - (c).

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