Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kanye West Files Four Trademark Applications for YEEZY SOUND...Is It a New Record Label, Streaming Music Service, or Something Else?

Whatever Kanye West's plans are for YEEZY SOUND, they appear to be big (at least according to four recent trademark applications filed for the name). On November 2nd, Mascotte Holdings, Inc. (a holding company for Kayne's trademarks), filed four applications to register YEEZY SOUND [standard characters] as a federal trademark.
Kayne's holding company filed each application in a different class of goods or services (hence the four applications) and the goods and services covered by these application are extremely broad. Some of the standouts include:

All these applications were filed on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting Kayne is not using these trademarks in commerce yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Before these applications can mature into registrations, Kayne must start using the mark with the listed goods and services and submit sufficient proof of same to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. See TMEP 1103.

According to my quick search, these are the first applications for YEEZY SOUND filed by Mascotte Holdings, Inc. and are four of the eight applications filed by the holding company with the USPTO this year. Earlier this year, Mascotte Holdings filed applications for YEEZY (various clothing items), WAVE RUNNER (flip flops, sandals, shoes), and two applications for CALABASAS CLOTHING (various clothing items and bags).

So are the YEEZY SOUND applications related to a new streaming music services, record label, retail stores, or something else? Pay attention to these applications to find out.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Despite Recent Claims He is Not Running, Kid Rock Files Trademark Application For KID ROCK FOR SENATE

Despite claiming on October 24th that he is not running for Senate in 2018, on October 26th Robert J. Ritchie (that's Kid Rock's real name) filed a trademark application for KID ROCK FOR SENATE with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This appears to be the first application for KID ROCK FOR SENATE filed by Robert J. Ritchie and the only trademark application filed by him in 2017.
The application covers a few broad goods and services that will likely need to be clarified further before this application can register:
  • Paper goods and printed matter (Class 9);
  • Entertainment services (Class 41); and
  • Clothing (Class 25).
Kid Rock filed this application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting he is not currently using this mark with the listed goods and services but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Before this application can fully register, and assuming there are no other issues with it, Kid Rock will need to actually start using this trademark with the listed goods and services and submit sufficient proof of such use to the Trademark Office. TMEP 902; TMEP 904.

How do we know this Robert J. Ritchie is actually Kid Rock? Despite the fact that the mark references Kid Rock, there are a couple other indicators: (1) the address listed in the application (a Tequesta, Florida P.O. box) appears to coincide with Kid Rock's charity and is the same address listed in Kid Rock's AMERICAN BADASS BEER COMPANY and KID ROCK trademark registrations and (2) the attorney listed in this application is the same attorney listed in many other Kid Rock trademark applications and registrations, including the registration for KID ROCK.

Is Kid Rock actually running for Senate or is this just a publicity stunt? Notably, this trademark application does not include "political campaign services," which is often included in trademark applications for political campaigns, such as the application for Evan McMullin's logo I blogged about last year. Therefore, unless and until Kid Rock further clarifies the goods and services listed in this application, submits specimens showing use of this trademark, and/or files a new application that covers political campaign services, we may have to take his word that he is not actually running for Senate in 2018. Bummer?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Is This Recent Trademark Application for Bartending Robots?

On October 25th, a company called Lush Robotics, Inc. filed a federal trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for LUSH [standard characters] covering a variety of goods and services that appear to be related to robots (and possibly bartending robots).
The goods and services covered by this futuristic application are:
  • Entertainment services, namely, appearances by robots; providing bartending services (Class 41);
  • Beverage preparation machines; industrial robots (Class 7); and
  • Computer programs, downloadable computer programs and mobile device software for control of intelligent robot, for beverage, snack and food mixing, for conducting financial transactions, for image recognition, for communicating with other users, for sending beverages and redeemable credits to other users and for social networking (Class 9).
Bartending robots? Or just a fancy vending machine? Unfortunately, this application does not give us much more detail.

Lush Robotics filed the application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently providing these goods/services under the LUSH mark but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Therefore, Lush Robotics did not need to submit any specimens showing how this trademark is being used in commerce, which would have shed some more light on these goods and services. TMEP 904. However, Lush Robotics will need to eventually submit acceptable specimens if it desires a registration for this mark. TMEP 902.

According to my quick search, Lush Robotics, Inc. does not even have a website, although the trademark application indicates they are a Delaware corporation located in Palo Alto, California. This appears to be the first trademark application filed by the company with the USPTO.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Apple Files Application to Register iPhone X's "FACE ID" as a Trademark. Will it Obtain a Registration?

Apple's new iPhone X comes with a facial recognition feature that unlocks the phone simply by scanning the owner's face (although the accuracy has come under some fire lately). That feature is call the Face ID, and Apple just filed a federal trademark application for the name.
The trademark application for FACE ID, which Apple filed on October 23rd, is for the stylized version of the name seen above. The application covers:
Computer hardware and software for secure biometric authentication, and password management and protection for use on computers, handheld mobile digital electronic devices and mobile telephones
in Class 9 and was filed on an intent-to-use basis (which suggests Apple is not using this as a trademark yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future - likely because pre-orders for the iPhone X didn't start until October 27th). Interestingly, Apple also claims a priority date of April 24, 2017 based on a trademark application it filed for this same mark in Liechtenstein. Claiming priority based on a foreign application is permitted under Section 44(d) of the Trademark Act. See also TMEP 1003.

Can Apple obtain a registration for FACE ID on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Principal Register though? To obtain such a registration, Apple will need to show, among other things, that FACE ID is not merely descriptive of the listed hardware and software for secure biometric authentication.

A trademark 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). For example, BED & BREAKFAST REGISTRY was held merely descriptive of lodging reservation services. In re Bed & Breakfast Registry, 229 USPQ 818 (Fed. Cir. 1986). Merely descriptive trademarks can be registered on the Principal Register if they become distinctive of the applicant's goods or services in the marketplace, but that is nearly impossible to show if a trademark was only recently adopted. TMEP 1212 et seq.

Assuming Apple obtains a registration for FACE ID on the Principal Register, it would have the exclusive, nationwide right to use that term in conjunction with computer hardware and software for secure biometric authentication (subject only to those who may have acquired trademarks rights in this term for the same or related goods prior to Apple's application). If it must amend this application to the Supplemental Register (which I call the minor leagues of trademark registrations) because the Trademark Office deems FACE ID merely descriptive, it would not obtain those exclusive, nationwide rights. TMEP 801.02(b); 15 USC 1094.

So, is FACE ID merely descriptive of computer hardware and software for secure biometric authentication? That will be up to the attorney at the Trademark Office assigned to this application (and perhaps eventually the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and a federal court) to decide.

According to my quick search, this is the first trademark application for FACE ID filed by Apple and the 47th trademark application filed by the company in 2017.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Is This Trademark Application for ALMOND BUTTER Merely Descriptive or Generic? Not So Fast...

As I've blogged about before, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register (on the Principal Register at least) trademarks that are merely descriptive without a showing of acquired distinctiveness in the marketplace. 15 USC 1052(e)(1). Merely descriptive trademarks describe "an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services" and the law prefers that these descriptive designations remain free for all to use, at least until the relevant consuming public starts to associate that designation with a particular product or service. TMEP 1209.01(b). Generic terms, which are primarily understood to be the common or class name for particular goods or services, are never registerable as trademarks. TMEP 1209.01(c).
So will the USPTO register the mark ALMOND BUTTER (standard characters) filed by Slippery Squid, LLC on October 18, 2017? It's a descriptive, or possibly even generic, word combination, right? Not so fast. It all depends on the underlying goods or services, which in this case are described as "Audio recording and production; Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances; Music publishing services; Presentation of musical performances; Production of sound and music video recordings." Is ALMOND BUTTER descriptive or generic for audio recording, music publishing, and music performances? Probably not (unless maybe the music is about almond butter).

In this case, ALMOND BUTTER is likely an arbitrary trademark because it has nothing to do with the underlying music services. Arbitrary trademarks "comprise 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." TMEP 1209.01(a). APPLE for computers is a good example of an arbitrary trademark. Arbitrary marks are much stronger than descriptive trademarks and therefore typically enjoy a greater degree of protection. Such marks can also be registered on the Principal Register without a showing of acquired distinctiveness.

This ALMOND BUTTER application is a good example of two important trademark concepts - (1) merely descriptive trademarks are weak, more difficult to register, and should be avoided, if possible and (2) the underlying goods and services play an important role in determining a trademark's strength (use of a word on some goods may be generic while use of the same word on other goods may be arbitrary).

In sum, had this application covered "almond butter" rather than music services, the applicant would have been in trouble. However, because the underlying services [probably] have nothing to do with almond butter, the risk of a refusal for being generic or descriptive is probably not likely (although there are several other issues that could prevent registration, such as creating a likelihood of confusion with a mark in a previously filed application or registration).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dwanta Claus is Coming - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Files Trademark Application for DWANTA CLAUS

Dwanta Claus, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's holiday alter ego, may be a registered trademark soon. On October 12th, DJIP, LLC (the same entity that owns a trademark registration for DWAYNE JOHNSON) filed a federal trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for DWANTA CLAUS.
The application covers a massive amount of goods and services, including many of the goods and services for which The Rock is known, including:
  • Entertainment in the nature of live performances by a sports, film and entertainment celebrity (Class 41);
  • Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a sports and film celebrity (Class 41);
  • Charitable services, namely, providing sporting goods to underprivileged children (Class 41);
  • Consulting services in the fields of fitness and exercise (Class 41);
  • A variety of toys and athletic equipment (Class 28);
  • A variety of clothing and apparel items (Class 25);
  • Series of books, magazines and written articles in the field of entertainment, general interest, health, nutrition, sports, fitness, athletics, exercise, film, television, celebrity news and information, sports news and information; address books (Class 16); and
  • Pre-recorded CDs and DVDs featuring entertainment films, health, nutrition, sports, athletics, exercise, instructional content regarding exercise, fitness, motivation and self-improvement, television, celebrity news and information, motivation and self-improvement information, sports news and information, and music (Class 9).
The application was filed an on intent-to-use basis, suggesting (but not necessarily meaning) that The Rock is not using DWANTA CLAUS in conjunction with the listed goods and services yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Before this application can mature into a registration, he must provide evidence to the Trademark Office that he is using the mark with the listed goods and services. See TMEP 1103.

According to my quick search, this is the first application for DWANTA CLAUS filed by Dwayne Johnson (or, more appropriately, the legal entity that appears to hold his trademarks). Apparently the actor has been using the term "Dwanta Claus" for quite some time, including when he gave away a car last year, when he visited a sick teen in the hospital, and when he read his "Twas the Night Before Rockmas" on YouTube.

Given the expansiveness of this trademark application, it doesn't look like The Rock plans to give up this phrase anytime soon. Expect to hear more from Dwanta Claus this holiday season.

Monday, October 16, 2017

CBS Files Trademark Application for $1

No, I'm not talking about the filing fee to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (that was $275 per application). I'm talking about the actual mark CBS wants to register.
On October 11th, CBS Studios, Inc. filed two federal trademarks application for "$1" in standard characters (meaning the registration sought covers only the text, not a specific stylized version - see TMEP 807.03).

One application covers "Digital media, namely, pre-recorded digital video discs, digital versatile discs, DVDs, downloadable audio and video recordings, and high definition digital discs featuring drama; Downloadable television programs featuring drama provided via a video-on-demand services" in Class 9.

The other application covers, in Class 41:
Entertainment services in the nature of a television and multimedia series featuring drama distributed via various platforms across multiple forms of transmission media; Providing non-downloadable entertainment television programs featuring drama via a video-on-demand services; providing information in the field of entertainment via the Internet and portable and wireless communication devices
A TV show called $1? Maybe. CBS filed this application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently using this trademark in commerce in conjunction with the listed goods and services, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Although this is not a guarantee CBS will release a television series titled $1, it is supposed to be a guarantee that something is in the work for such a show.

According to my quick search, these are the first trademark applications for "$1" filed by CBS. CBS Studios currently owns 374 other live trademark applications or registrations with the USPTO.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Simpsons Production Company Files Applications to Register Closing Credits Animation, Sound as Trademarks

Recognize the closing credits scene below? Can you hum the jingle that accompanies it?

This animated scene appears at the end of The Simpsons, and other shows produced by James L. Brooks' Gracie Films. The film and television production company (or, more specifically, the Trustee(s) of The Brooks Family Trust) just filed federal trademark applications for the logo (seen below), animation, jingle accompanying the animation, and the words GRACIE FILMS and JAMES L. BROOKS.
The Brooks Family Trust filed each of these applications on October 5th and, with the exception of the JAMES L. BROOKS application, all the applications cover entertainment services in the field of film and television, namely, the creation, production and distribution of motion picture films, television programs and animation in Class 41 and claim a first use date of 1984. The JAMES L. BROOKS application covers "Entertainment services, namely, director, producer, and screen writing services for motion picture films and television programming" and claims a first use date of 1965.

As these applications demonstrate, and as I've blogged about before, it is possible for trademarks to take the form of something other than a name or a logo (in this case, a sound and an animation). Sound marks, for example, can "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." TMEP 1202.15. You can listen to the sound covered by the sound mark application here. Is this a familiar arrangement that creates an association with a particular good or service in your mind?

Shorts clips or animations can also function and be registered as trademarks. HBO, for example, obtained a registration for its iconic opening and closing scene. The motion must actually identify and distinguish the goods/services and indicate their source. To identify the motion mark, the applicant must submit to the Trademark Office a drawing that "depicts a single point in the movement, or...a square drawing that contains up to five freeze frames showing various points in the movement, whichever best depicts the commercial impression of the mark" along with a "detailed written description of the mark." TMEP 807.11.
For this motion mark application, the Trustee(s) of the Brooks Family Trust submitted the drawing above and described the mark as "a computer generated sequence showing movie goers in a darkened movie theater watching a projection of a film with the words "GRACIE FILMS" on the movie screen."

These Gracie Films-related trademark applications are a great example of the different types of marks that may be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. These five applications cover standard character (word) marks, design marks (i.e., logos), sound marks, and motion marks. While the procedural hurdles for obtaining registrations for sound and motion marks can be a little more complex, such registrations are certainly possible.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Quarterly Index (7/1/17 - 9/30/17)

Entertainment Trademark Filings:
Sports Trademark Filings:
Food and Drink Trademark Filings:
Other Unique Filings:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Vacuum Maker Dyson Files Trademark Application Covering "Driverless Cars"

On September 26th, reports surfaced that Dyson Technology Limited, best known for its high-end vacuums, would be building an electronic car by 2020. By that time, the United Kingdom-based company had already filed a United States trademark application covering car-related goods and services, which may provide some further insight into its plans.
Trademark image
On September 25th, Dyson Technology Limited filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a trademark application for DYSON (standard characters) covering not only "electronic cars," but also "driverless cars," "autonomous vehicles," "driverless transporter vehicles," and "motorcycles" (initial reports did not seem to mention driverless cars, although I may have missed it). 

Some of the other goods and services covered by this application include:
  • All-terrain vehicles;
  • A variety of parts and fittings for land vehicles (chassis, bumpers, transmission systems, etc.);
  • Business consultancy services and business management advisory services, relating to the distribution, sale, maintenance, restoration and repair of motor vehicles and their parts and fittings;
  • Distributorship services and retail store services relating to motor vehicles and parts; and
  • Maintenance, repair, servicing, reconditioning, restoration, inspection, care, cleaning, painting and polishing of motor vehicles.
Dyson filed this application on an intent-to-use basis, which indicates it is not using DYSON in conjunction with these goods and services yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense, considering it does not plan to fully develop these vehicles until at least 2020). TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

According to my quick search, this is the first automobile-related trademark application filed by Dyson Technology Limited in the United States (although the company owns 77 other active trademark registrations or application covering a variety of other goods and services).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Ritz-Carlton Files Trademark Application Covering "Caviar"

As if the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain wasn't fancy enough already, a recent trademark application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests the hotel may be adding another ritzy good to its lineup - caviar.

On September 15th, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC filed a federal trademark application for THE RITZ-CARLTON (in standard characters) covering a single good in Class 29 - "caviar." The hotel filed the application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently selling The Ritz-Carlton caviar but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). According to my search, this is the first trademark application covering caviar ever filed by The Ritz-Carlton.

Perhaps the hotel will be selling this caviar on their new yachts in 2019? Not only did the hotel announce The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection on its website, but it also filed five applications to register the words THE RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION as a federal trademark back in June 2017. Those applications, which the hotel also filed on an intent-to-use basis, cover a variety of goods and services related to cruise services, including "transport of passengers and of goods," "cruise ship services," and "organizing and operating excursions, tours, holidays and cruises."

Before the trademark applications for THE RITZ-CARLTON covering caviar and THE RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION covering a variety of cruise ship-related goods and services can actually register, the Ritz-Carlton must actually start using the mark to sell the listed goods and render the listed services and submit sufficient proof of such use to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. TMEP 1103; 15 USC 1051(d).

Caviar and yachts - [probably] coming to Ritz-Carlton soon.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Two Hurricane Irma-Related Trademark Applications Filed on Day Storm Hit Florida

As is the case when nearly any newsworthy event occurs (like with Covfefe), people across the country attempt to "capitalize" on a name or phrase by filing intent-to-use trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). Hurricane Irma, it appears, is no different.
On September 10th, the day Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, two Hurricane Irma-related trademark applications were filed - one for HURRICANE IRMA and the other for I SURVIVED HURRICANE IRMA.

An individual in Columbus, Mississippi filed the application for HURRICANE IRMA on an intent-to-use basis, which suggest she was not using the name as a trademark at the time of filing (i.e., was not selling goods or rendering services under that name) but has a bona fide intention to so do in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). That application covers a host of non-beer related alcohol products, including:
  • Alcoholic beverages made of fruit; 
  • Alcoholic beverages except beers;
  • Alcoholic cocktail mixes;
  • Alcoholic cocktails in the form of frozen pops; and
  • Alcoholic coffee-based beverage.
Before this application can register, the applicant will need to actually start selling the goods listed in the application under the HURRICANE IRMA name and submit sufficient proof of the same to the USPTO. TMEP 1103; 15 USC 1051(d). If she cannot do this before her extensions run out, the application will go dead.

The applicant who filed the I SURVIVED HURRICANE IRMA application, an individual from Levittown, New York, also filed that application on an intent-to-use basis. That application covers:
  • Tee-shirts; Tee shirts; Apparel for dancers, namely, tee shirts, sweatshirts, pants, leggings, shorts and jackets (Class 25); and 
  • Tee-shirt embroidering services; Imprinting messages on tee-shirts (Class 40). 
As with the HURRICANE IRMA application, this applicant will need to start actually using this phrase in conjunction with the listed goods and services before he can obtain a registration. However, simply plastering this phrase on various clothing items is not typically enough to demonstrate trademark use and therefore obtain a registration. TMEP 1202.03(f)(i) ("Slogans 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.").

Although it might not be an issue with these two applications given the differences in the underlying goods and services, often when a slew of applications are filed for the same mark, many of the underlying goods or services are related (i.e., there might be several more Hurricane Irma-related applications covering clothing filed in the future). In that case, later filed applications are often refused registration under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.

Under Section 2(d), an application that is likely to cause confusion with a previously filed mark will be refused registration. TMEP 1207.01; 15 USC 1052(d). But what happens when two applications are executed and filed on the same day, such as the applications above, which were both executed and filed on September 10th? Which is the previously filed application? In this case, because the execution date and filing date are the same for both applications, the application with the lowest serial number will be deemed the earlier filed application. TMEP 1208.01(b). In this case, that is the HURRICANE IRMA application (Ser. No. 87/602,370), not I SURVIVED HURRICANE IRMA (Ser. No. 87/602,412).

Only two Hurricane Irma-related trademark applications have been filed so far, but considering the most recent trademark applications appearing in the USPTO's database are only from September 10th (the database is usually 4-5 days behind), I would not be surprised to see more applications in the near future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jake Paul Files Applications to Register JAKE PAUL, IT'S EVERYDAY BRO as Trademarks

Sometimes controversial actor and YouTube personality Jake Paul has been busy filing federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the past two weeks. Or, more appropriately, his business entity 10 Digit Investments, LLC has been busy (this entity is listed as the owner of the trademark applications and the California Secretary of State website lists Jake Paul as a member or manager of the LLC).
Jake's business entity filed the most recent trademark application, for JAKE PAUL, on September 8th. That application covered a variety of goods and services, including:
  • Musical sound recordings (Class 9);
  • A variety of clothing items (Class 25);
  • Publicity services; promoting the interests of musicians, entertainers, artists, and social media personalities; advertising services, namely, promoting the brands, goods and services of others (Class 35); and
  • Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting live performances, personal appearances, television performances, and radio performances by an entertainer, social media personality and performing artist (Class 41).
Additionally, on September 1st, 10 Digit Investments, LLC filed a trademark application for IT'S EVERYDAY BRO, covering similar goods and services as well as bedding, linens, printed materials, and toys. Finally, on August 29th, Jake filed the first JAKE PAUL trademark application, covering bedding, linens, printed materials, and toys.

Noteably missing from the JAKE PAUL trademark applications is Jake's written consent to register his name as a trademark, which is required under Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act. See TMEP 1206.04. Before the JAKE PAUL trademark applications can mature to registrations (assuming everything else is in order), Jake will need to submit this written consent.

According to my quick search, these are the first federal trademark applications filed by Jake Paul and his business entity, 10 Digital Investments, LLC. Loeb & Loeb, a law firm based in Los Angeles and known for representing celebrities and entertainment clients, assisted Jake Paul with these trademark filings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

10 Trademark Applications for JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM Filed By Universal City Studios/Amblin' Entertainment

Apparently a new Jurassic Park movie, titled Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is being released next summer (news to me), and Universal City Studios, LLC and Amblin' Entertainment, Inc. are already getting a head start on protecting the movie's title.
On September 7th, Universal City Studios and Amblin' jointly filed ten applications to register JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM as a federal trademark, with each application covering different goods or services. Those goods and services cover not only entertainment services, but also a variety of merchandise one would expect to be marketed with a blockbuster movie. Some of the goods and services listed in these applications include:
Universal and Amblin' filed all these applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting they have a bona fide intention to (but may not) use the JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM mark in conjunction with all the listed goods and services (which makes sense considering the film is not set to be released until next summer, so it's very unlikely they would be offering those goods and services under that mark as this time). See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

As I've blogged about before, it is not uncommon for entertainment companies to file several trademark applications for a broad range of goods and services prior to the premiere of a movie or television show. I would not be surprised if Universal and Amblin' file more applications for this film prior to the premiere date.

According to reports, Chris Pratt is back to star in this film, which is scheduled to hit theaters on June 22, 2018.

Monday, September 11, 2017

24 Beer-Related Trademark Applications Filed in Single Day as Beer Field Gets More and More Crowded

In my opinion, trademark applications for beer and breweries are some of the most popular filings these days. In fact, I've blogged about it before - here and here. That trend doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

On September 6th (the most recent trademark applications available for viewing in the USPTO's database are always 4-5 days behind), applicants filed twenty-four beer-related trademark applications. Some of the highlights include:
  • CATFISH [standard characters] for beer filed by Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee;
  • Mark Image for beer and lager filed by Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, Oregon;
  • BUZZROCK BEER COMPANY [standard characters] for beer filed by an individual in Hermosa Beach, California;
  • GAY BEER [standard characters] filed by Loyal Brands, LLC in New York City;
  • Mark Imagefor beer filed by Hatchet Brewing Company, LLC in Southern Pines, North Carolina; and
  • TAPER [standard characters] for beer filed by Sufferfest Brewing Company, LLC in San Francisco, California.
Many of these entrepreneurs and brewing companies take advantage of the intent-to-use filing basis under 15 USC 1051(b), which allows an applicant to obtain priority (contingent upon registration) in a mark prior to developing any common law rights. See also TMEP 1101. In other words, if a brewer has a bona fide intention to use a name or logo with a beer (i.e., has developed marketing plans, has ordered proofs, etc.), it can effectively "reserve" rights in that name or logo as of the filing date with an intent-to-use trademark application, if that application actually matures to a registration.

The large number of trademark filings for beer-related marks also demonstrates the importance of a trademark search prior to use and filing of a mark. Not only will the Trademark Office refuse, under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act (see also TMEP 1207 et seq.), to register a mark that is too similar to an active, previously-filed application or registration, using a mark that is too similar to another's mark can put a newcomer at risk of infringement, if the newcomer's goods or services are related to those offered by the senior user. A trademark search helps identify these risks up front and can save substantial headaches (and costs) down the road. If you plan on using or filing an application for any mark (and especially beer-related marks), a trademark search is highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Are Rocky and Bullwinkle Coming Back? Five Recent Trademark Applications Hint at Return

Remember the animated The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show from the late 1950's and early 1960's? It may be making a return, if recent trademark applications are any indication.
On September 1st, Ward Productions, Inc. (the producer of the show) filed four trademark applications to register THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The studio also filed another application for the show's title back in February. The goods and services covered by these applications are those you would expect to be offered in conjunction with a television series or movie, including:
Ward Productions filed all these applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it was not using the mark in commerce on the filing date but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Before these applications can mature into registrations, the animation studio must actually start using THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE in conjunction with the listed goods and services. TMEP 1104; 15 USC 1051(c)-(d).

Ward Productions does currently own federal trademark registrations for ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE and ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE AND FRIENDS, but those registrations only cover comic books/magazines and greeting cards/calendars, respectively. 

So are Rocky and Bullwinkle returning? Maybe. Pay attention to these trademark applications to find out.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Rashad Jennings Files Application to Register His Signature as a Trademark

On August 28th, NFL running back and Dancing With The Stars winner Rashad Andre Jennings filed a federal trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his signature, seen below.
The application, which claims a first use date of February 2014, covers:
Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a sports celebrity; providing a website on a global computer network featuring information about appearances, accomplishments, exploits and biography of a professional football player; fan club services; charitable services, namely, academic mentoring of inner city youth.
This isn't the first trademark application filed by Rashad, and it's not the only one covering charitable services. Mr. Jennings owns a federal trademark registration for MEET US AT THE FIFTY, covering christian ministry services, and for SHAD SQUAD covering "Charitable foundation services, namely, providing financial support to youth for literacy, mentorship and health and fitness." In 2016, he also filed trademark applications for the words OAK HAUS and a stylized "OH" design, both covering hats, pants, and shirts, and an application for SHAD THE POET covering t-shirts.


As with any application that pertains to the name, portrait, or signature of a particular living individual, a consent statement must be signed by the individual identified by the trademark. TMEP 1206.04(a); 15 USC 1052(c). Mr. Jennings submitted this consent with his SHAD THE POET application (seen above), but not this most recent application for his signature. Because the SHAD THE POET application has not matured into a registration yet, it's likely Mr. Jennings will need to submit a similar statement with this application as well. TMEP 1206.04(c).

This isn't the first time I've blogged about a celebrity filing a trademark application for his or her signature. In January 2016, I blogged about an application filed by Jay Leno for his unique signature. That application has since matured into a registration.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is Reddit Changing Its Logo? Multiple Trademark Applications for New Design Recently Filed

The popular online message board Reddit may be making slight changes to its logo if recent trademark applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are any indication. On August 25th, Reddit, Inc. filed five federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the design seen below. Reddit filed each application in a separate class of goods or services (hence the five different applications for the same mark).
Some of the goods and services covered by these applications include:
The website filed all these applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not using this design in interstate commerce as a trademark yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering a quick scan of reddit.com doesn't reveal this mark). TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

Why file new trademark applications for the design above if Reddit already has registrations for its current logo (see here, for example), which is pretty similar? Because Section 7(e) of the Trademark Act (15 USC 1057(e)) prohibits any amendment of a mark that "materially alters" the mark. See also TMEP 807.14 et seq. An amendment is only acceptable if "the modified mark contains the essence of the original mark (i.e., the mark as originally registered), and the mark as amended creates essentially the same impression as the original mark." TMEP 1609.02(a). If the marks do not create the same "commercial impression," or if it is a close call, it is safer to simply file new applications for the new mark because the new mark may fall outside the scope of protection offered by the existing registration and an amendment to the existing registration would likely be prohibited.

According to my quick search, these are the only applications for this new logo filed by Reddit so far. The website owns 41 other live applications or registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including registrations for AMA, REDDIT, and ALIEN BLUE.

Monday, August 28, 2017

FIFA Files Application to Register "USA 2026" as Trademark

According to FIFA's website, the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup is just beginning, but two expressions of interest in hosting the event have been submitted: (1) a joint expression by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and (2) by Morocco. Regardless, on August 23rd the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) filed a federal trademark application for the phrase USA 2026 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The application covers a wide variety of goods and services you might expect to be marketed in conjunction with the World Cup, including:
  • Entertainment services provided at or relating to sports events (Class 41);
  • Providing provision of entertainment infrastructures, namely, VIP lounges and sky boxes both on and off site sports facilities for entertainment purposes (Class 41);
  • Games and playthings (Class 28);
  • Promotion of sports events in the domain of football (Class 35);
  • Wide variety of clothing items (footwear, headgear, shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, etc.) (Class 25);
  • Jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, team and player trading pins (Class 14);
  • Pens, pencils, photograph albums, autograph books (Class 16); and
  • Holograms (Class 9).
FIFA filed this trademark application on an intent-to-use basis, which suggest it is not using this trademark in commerce yet (makes sense), but does mean it submitted with the application a verified statement that it has a bona fide intention to use this mark in commerce. See TMEP 1101; 15 USC 1051(b)(3)(B). Before this application can mature into a trademark registration, FIFA must start using the mark in U.S. commerce and submit sufficient proof of the same to the USPTO. TMEP 1103; 15 USC 1051(d).

So does this application indicate the World Cup is coming to the United States in 2026? Not necessarily. Simply filing the application doesn't require FIFA to start using this trademark at some point in the future, only that it have a bona fide intention to do so at the time of filing (the bidding process or expression of interest from the United States might be enough). The intent-to-use filing basis essentially allows an applicant to "reserve" rights in a trademark, so long as they have a bona fide intent to use it, before actual use is made. If this application is approved by the USPTO (which can take anywhere from 9 - 18+ months, depending on the circumstances), FIFA can request extensions of up to three years before it is actually required to start using this mark (ed. - is that enough time to go through the bidding process for 2026?).

According to my quick search, this is the first trademark application related to the 2026 World Cup filed by FIFA in the United States.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sig Sauer Files Applications to Register "Three-Dimensional Configuration of a Pistol" as Trademark

On August 21st, Sig Sauer, Inc. filed a federal trademark application not for a word or a logo, but rather for "the three-dimensional configuration of a pistol." The drawing submitted with the application is seen below.
The application describes the mark as including
the overall size and shape of the pistol and the external accents and features of the pistol. The mark includes the relative proportions of the external accents and features of the pistol, including (1) the angle and shape of the grip in relation to the slide; (2) the size and shape of the trigger guard; (3) the length, depth, and shape of the relief cuts on the sides of the slide; (4) the angle, shape, size, and separation of the lines and ridges on the slide (slide serrations); and (5) the size and shape of the exposed portion of the hammer. The dotted lines indicate features that are not claimed as a part of the mark, including: the shape of the front and rear sight, the shape of the trigger, and the exposed portion of an inserted magazine.
The specimen submitted with the application (which is supposed to show the mark as seen by the public) is below.
It is possible to register the design of a product, a type of trade dress, as a trademark, but there are a couple more hoops an applicant must jump through to obtain the registration.

To start, trade dress that is functional, or "essential to the use or purpose of the article or if it affects the cost or quality of the article" is not registerable. 15 USC 1052(e)(5)TMEP 1202.02(a)Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co., 34 USPQ2d 1161, 1163-64 (1995). The test for functionality is complex. For a better explanation of functionality than I can ever make, see John Welch's article here.

If the aspects of the product design sought to be registered are not functional, the trade dress must also have acquired distinctiveness in the marketplace. See TMEP 1202.02(b)(i) ("A mark that consists of product design trade dress is never inherently distinctive and is not registrable on the Principal Register unless the applicant establishes that the mark has acquired distinctiveness..."). An applicant faces a "heavy burden in establishing distinctiveness in an application to register trade dress." Id. Generally, the applicant must establish through a combination of a convincing amount of advertising, sales figures, length of use, survey evidence, survey evidence, etc. that the public has come to recognize the applicant as the source of the product embodied by the design.

In sum, if the applicant can establish that the product configuration is (1) non-functional and (2) has acquired distinctiveness, it can be registered as a trademark on the Principal Register.

Interestingly, on the same day the application above was filed, Sig Sauer filed two other applications for slight variations of the gun design. Those applications are here and here. It may be that Sig Sauer hopes, by slightly tweaking the elements claimed in the application, it can get at least one of these applications through the registration process.

According to my quick search, these are the first trademark applications for a gun design filed by Sig Sauer.

What do you think? When you see the gun configuration above, do you think of Sig Sauer?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

There's a "Society of Beer Drinking Ladies" and it Just Filed Trademark Applications for its Name & Logo

If you're a lady and you like drinking beer, these trademark applications are for you.

On August 18th, the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies, Inc., a corporation based in Toronto, Ontario (who else but the Canadians, eh?), filed two federal trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office - one for the name SOCIETY OF BEER DRINKING LADIES and one for the logo seen below.
Both applications cover the same, rather expansive, list of goods and services, including:
  • Beer (Class 32);
  • Restaurant and bar services (Class 43);
  • A website providing information on beer (Class 42);
  • Bags (Class 18);
  • Drinking glasses (Class 21); and
  • A variety of clothing items (Class 25).
According to the applications, the Society has been providing drinking glasses, the website, and clothing items in the United States since 2014. The filing basis of the goods and services in Classes 18, 32, and 43 suggest the Society is not selling those goods or rendering those services in the United States yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

According to my quick search, these are the first United States trademark applications filed by the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies, Inc. According to the group's Facebook page, it is about "bringing ladies together for good times and craft beer." Sounds like a worthy cause to me.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Is the Halo Top Product Line Expanding? Trademark Applications for Ice Cream Bars, Yogurt, Custard Filed

Halo Top is a line of low-calorie, high-protein, low-sugar ice cream sold by Eden Creamery in Los Angeles. Currently the company sells a variety of ice cream flavors and has become increasingly popular over the last couple years. On November 15, 2016, the creamery received a federal trademark registration for HALO TOP covering ice cream and online retail store/online ordering services featuring ice cream.
More recent trademark applications, however, suggest that Eden Creamery may have plans to expand the HALO TOP line of products. On August 7th, the creamery filed another trademark application for HALO TOP with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this one covering the following goods:
  • Dietary supplemental drinks; Powdered nutritional supplement drink mix; Protein supplement shakes (Class 5);
  • Ice cream makers; Ice machines and apparatus (Class 11);
  • Ice cream scoops (Class 21);
  • Bases for making milk shakes; Cream; Dairy-based beverages; Ice cream shakes; Non-dairy creamer; Sour milk; Whipped cream; Whipped topping; Milk shakes (Class 29); and
  • Ice cream soda (Class 32)
Further, on August 1st the company filed yet another trademark application for HALO TOP covering:
  • Custard style yoghurts; Greek yogurt; Yogurt; Yogurt drinks (Class 29);
  • Custard; Frozen custards; Frozen yogurt; Frozen yogurt confections; Frozen yogurt mixes (Class 30); and
  • Self-serve frozen yogurt shop services
And finally, back in March, Eden Creamery filed an application for HALO TOP covering:
  • Frozen confections; ice cream bars; ice cream sandwiches; ice cream novelties and frozen confection novelties; frozen confections and ice cream for retail and wholesale distribution and consumption (Class 30);
  • Ice cream and frozen confection parlor shop store services; scoop shop in the nature of ice cream and frozen confection parlor services; retail store services featuring ice cream, frozen confection and frozen confection novelties for consumption off the premises; wholesale store services featuring frozen confections and ice cream; online wholesale store services featuring frozen confections and ice cream; wholesale distributorship services featuring ice cream and frozen confections; online wholesale distributorship services featuring ice cream and frozen confections (Class 35)
Eden Creamery filed the three HALO TOP applications from March and August 2017 on an intent to use basis, suggesting the creamery is not selling these products or providing these services yet, but does have a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). While these applications by no means guarantee that Eden Creamery will release these Halo Top goods and services, the company is required to start selling the goods and rendering the services in interstate commerce before the applications can mature into registrations. See TMEP 1103.

If you're a Halo Top fan, keep an eye out for more delicious Halo Top products (and perhaps ice cream parlors) in the near future.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is NUTTY NECKLACE Merely Descriptive of Necklaces Made of Stainless Steel Nuts? Not So Fast...

On August 5th, an individual in Pennsylvania filed an application to register NUTTY NECKLACE as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application covers "necklaces" in Class 14 and indicates the mark has been in use since January 5, 2000.
The specimen submitted with the application (which is suppose to show how the mark is actually used in commerce and is seen above) indicates that this mark is used in conjunction with the sale of "hand-crafted jewelry using stainless steel nuts." Makes sense. But is it merely descriptive, and therefore not registerable on the Principal Register without a showing of acquired distinctiveness? See TMEP 1212; 15 USC 1052(f).

Typically, 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). However, if the mark is a "double entendre" in that it is a "word or expression capable of more than one interpretation" it will "not be refused registration as merely descriptive if one of its meanings is not merely descriptive in relation to the goods or services." TMEP 1213.05(c). For example, the mark NO BONES ABOUT IT was held not to be merely descriptive of boneless, pre-cooked ham given its double connotation. In re National Tea Co., 144 USPQ 286 (TTAB 1965).

Does NUTTY NECKLACE only describe a characteristic or quality of the necklaces? Or does it have another interpretation that is not merely descriptive, such as suggesting a quirky, non-traditional necklace? We'll find out what the Examining Attorney assigned to this application thinks in approximately three months.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TINKERBELLE THE DOG Trademark Application Filed For "Modeling" and "Personal Appearances by a Social Media Celebrity"

Oddly, this isn't the first time I've blogged about a trademark application for a "celebrity" dog. First it was Doug the Pug, now it's Tinkerbelle the Dog.
On August 3rd, an individual in New York (who appears to be Tinkerbelle's owner) filed an application to register TINKERBELLE THE DOG as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application covers:
  • Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a social media celebrity (Class 41);
  • Modeling for advertising or sales promotion (Class 35); and
  • Promoting the goods and services of others; Retail store services featuring memorabilia, namely hats, calendars, stickers, notebooks, souvenir bags (Class 35).
According to the application, these services have been offered under the TINKERBELLE THE DOG mark since at least as early as June 1, 2014.

Curious to know how much of a social media celebrity Tinkerbelle the Dog really is, I did my own quick search. Surprisingly (or maybe not), the dog has 154k followers on Instagram, 13,944 followers on Facebook (along with 14,528 likes), 2,278 followers on Twitter, and made $20,000 in 2016.

Not bad for a small dog.