Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Virgin Enterprises Files Trademark Applications Covering "Space Travel Passenger Transportation Services"

Trademark applications covering space travel aren't that common, but they are starting to pop up more and more. For example, last summer I blogged about Paul Allen's Vulcan Space. The most recent applications, however, are from Richard Branson's Virgin Enterprises.

On July 13th, Virgin Enterprises filed two applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the Virgin Orbit logo (one seen below and the other the same thing but against a black background) as a trademark.

The applications cover several goods and services related to space travel, air transport, and satellites, including:
  • Launching of spacecraft, namely satellites and rockets, into orbit for others (Class 39);
  • Space travel passenger transportation services (Class 39);
  • Luggage check in for space travel (Class 39);
  • Commercial space lines, namely, rockets, spacecraft (Class 12);
  • Satellites for scientific purposes to be sent into orbit (Class 9)
  • Satellite transmission of signals (Class 38)
The applications are based on similar trademark applications Virgin Enterprises filed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2017. They appear to be related to Virgin Orbit (obviously), the newest member of the Virgin family.

Interestingly, these are not the first space travel-related trademark applications filed by Virgin Enterprises. Earlier this year, the company filed an application for VIRGIN ORBIT in standard characters covering the same goods and services listed in the logo applications. Additionally, the company has owned a trademark registration for the Virgin Galactic logo seen below, covering "Travel agency services, namely, making reservations and bookings for transportation, space travel agency services; namely, booking of transportation into space" since November 2008.
Virgin filed several other trademark applications for variations of the Virgin Galactic logo back in 2014 and 2015 as well. None of those applications have registered yet, probably because Virgin Galactic does not appear to be using those variations of the logo in commerce and such use is required before the applications can mature into a registration given the intent to use filing basis. See TMEP 902.

According to my very quick search, Virgin and Vulcan appear to be the only companies with active trademark applications or registrations covering the transportation of passengers into space, save for one registration covering a spacecraft logo owned by an Excalibur Almaz Limited corporation on the Isle of Man.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Is RED CUP PONG Merely Descriptive of Beer Pong Tables?

College students might be in the best position to answer this question. On July 10th, a company in Virginia named Blue Ridge Product Solutions, LLC filed applications to register RED CUP PONG (in standard characters), and the stylized logo seen below, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Both applications cover "Game tables; inflatable mattress swimming floats for recreational use, namely, beer pong floats; games, namely, table top games, equipment sold as a unit for playing drinking games, parlor games, singing games played with cards and game components" in Class 28.
According to the applications and specimens submitted with the same (see above), Blue Ridge Products Solutions, LLC is in the business of selling party games and accessories and has been using the "Red Cup" marks at least as early as December 1, 2010.

But are the marks merely descriptive of the underlying goods? A mark that merely describes the goods in connection with which it is being used cannot be registered on the USPTO's Principal Register without a showing of acquired distinctiveness. TMEP 1209; 15 USC 1052(e)(1). A mark is 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 a mark is deemed merely descriptive, it can be registered upon proof of "acquired distinctiveness," which means the mark has become distinctive as applied to the applicant's goods in commerce (i.e., consumers associate the mark with the applicant's goods, rather than only as a descriptive term). TMEP 1212; 15 USC 1052(f).

So does RED CUP PONG or RED CUP describe a feature, purpose, or use of drinking games and beer pong floats? Or do the terms "require imagination, thought, or perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of those goods..." in which case the mark would be suggestive and registerable on the Principal Register without a showing of acquired distinctiveness. TMEP 1209.01(a).

We'll find out what the examining attorney assigned to this application thinks in about three months. The applicant might hope for an examiner without too many "fun" college experiences...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

JAY Z's Company Files 15 Applications to Register JAYBO as a Trademark

A couple weeks ago it was Beyonce filing applications for the names of her and JAY Z's twins, now it's JAY Z's turn. On July 6th, S. Carter Enterprises, LLC (a company associated with JAY Z) filed fifteen applications to register JAYBO as a federal trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
According to my quick research, Jaybo is an animated character in the music video for "The Story of O.J.," a song released as part of JAY Z's new 4:44 album. The full video is available on YouTube. In the video, JAY Z highlights a long history of racist cartoons from major animation studios, including Disney and Warner Bros.

If these recent trademark applications are any indication, JAY Z has plans to take the JAYBO message even further. S. Carter Enterprises, LLC filed the JAYBO applications in fifteen different classes of goods and services (hence the fifteen applications), resulting in a vast range of goods and services being covered. Some of the goods and services covered by the JAYBO applications include:
Each application was filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting S. Carter Enterprises is not using JAYBO in commerce with these 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). It also means the company must actually start using JAYBO with the listed goods and services before the applications will mature into trademark registrations. TMEP 902; 15 USC 1051(c)-(d).

If you're a JAY Z fan, keep an eye out for JAYBO merchandise, potentially coming soon.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Quarterly Index (4/1/17 - 6/30/17)

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Beyonce Spends $12,000 in Filing Fees on Trademark Applications For What May Be Her Twins' Names

The same company that owns several of Beyonce's federal trademark registrations (like the registration for BEYONCE) just filed more trademarks applications for what may be the names of her twins. The applications, which were filed by BGK Trademark Holdings, LLC on June 26th, are for RUMI CARTER and SIR CARTER. The company filed one application for SIR CARTER and two for RUMI CARTER (although the RUMI CARTER applications appear to be identical).
Mark Image
The goods and services covered by these applications are expansive, spanning 15 classes and totaling over $4,000 in filing fees per application. Some of the goods and services covered include:
  • Fragrances and skin care products (Class 3);
  • Baby teething rings (Class 10);
  • Baby carriages and baby strollers (Class 12);
  • A variety of bags, including tote bags, beach bags, and hand bags (Class 18);
  • Playpens for babies (Class 20);
  • Drinking cups for babies (Class 21);
  • Crib bumpers, fitted crib sheets, crib skirts, and baby blankets (Class 24);
  • Hair accessories (Class 26);
  • Baby rattles and baby swings (Class 28);
  • Online retail store services featuring music (Class 35); and
  • Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances (Class 41).
The applications, which were signed by Celestine Knowles Carter, were filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting Beyonce is not using these trademarks in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering the twins were only born recently). See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1052(b)

Are these the names of Beyonce and Jay-Z's twins? You be the judge. But note this same company owns the application for BLUE IVY CARTER covering nearly identical goods and services. That application was published in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Official Gazette in January and is likely to register any day now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Amazon Files Applications to Register AMAZON SPHERES, and Sphere Design, as Trademarks

A few days after Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods, it filed two federal trademark applications for something completely unrelated - the AMAZON SPHERES.
What are the Amazon Spheres? Apparently they're giant glass spheres the mega-company is building in downtown Seattle that will house waterfalls, rivers, and tropical gardens. The structures won't be finished until early 2018.

On June 21st, however, Amazon Technologies, Inc. filed two federal trademark applications related to the spheres - one for the words AMAZON SPHERES (which I first thought would be another consumer good) and one for the design seen above (which is described in the application as only a "sphere design").

Amazon filed both applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not using the marks in commerce yet but it has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense given the opening date). TMEP 806.01(b); 15 U.S.C. 1051(b). The goods covered by each application are the same and include the following:
  • Paper goods and printed matter (Class 16);
  • Clothing, headgear, footwear (Class 25);
  • Toys and sporting goods (Class 28); and
  • Advertising and business services, retail store and online retail store services (Class 35).
According to my quick search, these two trademark applications bring Amazon's total to 33 applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so far in 2017. These appear to be the first applications related to the "Amazon Sphere," although I suspect there will be more to follow.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

COVFEFE for Beer and 31 Other Applications to Register COVFEFE as a Trademark Filed in Less Than Two Weeks

Back in January it was "Alternative Facts." In June, it's COVFEFE. Since President Trump tweeted the strange word in the early morning hours of May 31st, 32 applications to register the word as a trademark have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The very first application, for #COVFEFE, was filed by an individual in Illinois and covers hats, t-shirts, jackets, and various other apparel items. Some of the other goods and services covered by these COVFEFE applications include:
There are also several applications covering various clothing items in Class 25.

Obviously, multiple applications for the same word covering the same goods and services will cause problems for most of these applicants because the USPTO will not register a mark that is confusingly similar to a mark contained in a previously filed application covering related goods or services. 15 USC 1052(d). Generally, the applicant that files first for particular goods and services is entitled to registration over later-filed applications.

However, that assumes all the other statutory requirements for registration are met. See 15 USC 1052 for common refusals to registration. For example, generally, before a trademark application will mature into a registration, it must be in actual use as a trademark in interstate commerce (meaning the mark identifies the source of the applicant's goods/services and such goods/services are being sold, shipped, or, in the case of services, promoted or rendered across state lines). If an applicant cannot successfully demonstrate it is using COVFEFE as a trademark in commerce, or if there are any other deficiencies with the application (i.e., inadequate description of the goods/services, deficient specimen of use, incorrect classification of goods/services, etc.) the application will be abandoned and the non-refundable filing fees lost.

So, although 32 COVFEFE trademark applications have been filed through June 11th, and many more are likely to come, a very small number of these will actually register. Most will be refused registration due to earlier filed COVFEFE applications covering related goods/services, others will not submit sufficient proof of use, and other applicants will be denied due to various deficiencies in their applications.

In other words, while it's relatively easy to file a federal trademark application, it is only the beginning of a complicated legal process and by no means guarantees an applicant a federal trademark registration.

The trademarks and the application serial numbers filed through June 11th are:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Prince's Company Files Multiple Trademark Applications For Holographic Musical Performances

Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc., Prince's main business company, had a busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 2nd. On that day, the company filed 17 federal trademark applications for PRINCE, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, and the symbol below in a variety of classes for a broad range of goods and services.
Mark Image
While several goods and services are listed in these applications, one particular service stands out - "holographic musical performances" in Class 41. Is a Prince hologram in the works? Apparently there was some buzz about a hologram shortly after Prince passed away last year, but these applications may be a step in that direction.

Why? Because these applications were all filed on an intent to use basis, which means the company submitted a verified statement that it has a bona fide intention to use these trademarks in commerce with the listed goods and services. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Additionally, before these applications can fully register, Paisley Park Enterprises will need to submit sufficient proof that the marks are actually being used in commerce (i.e., it is actually providing holographic musical performances). TMEP 902. While this doesn't guarantee or require Paisley Park Enterprises to start using these marks with, for example, holographic musical performances, they do suggest something is in the works.

Some other goods and services covered by these applications include:
The goods and services covered by the PRINCE [standard characters] applications and those covered by the design above are the same.

Is a holographic Prince performance, and perhaps a Prince restaurant or retail store, coming soon? Stay tuned and watch these applications to find out.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Android Creator Files 83 Trademark Applications for New "Essential" Brand, Hinting at Brand's Expansiveness

Essential Products, Inc., a corporation associated with Android creator Andy Rubin, according to the California Secretary of State's website, filed 83 federal trademark applications in May 2017 for what appears to be his new brand of AI-infused consumer gadgets.

Some of the applications filed by Essential Products include ESSENTIAL PHONEESSENTIAL HOME, ESSENTIAL AR, ESSENTIAL FITNESS, and ESSENTIAL CAR. A full list of the marks filed in May is at the bottom of this post. You can also go to the USPTO's TESS system and type ""Essential Products Inc"[on] and 201705??[fd]" into the free form search box to see every application.

The goods and services covered by each application are expansive, although most overlap across applications. Some of the goods/services covered are:
  • Virtual reality headsets and head mounted displays for use in playing video games; mobile phones; smart phones; computers and tablet computers (Class 9);
  • Providing consumer information via voice-controlled automated inquiries, namely, providing an online automated consumer resource for searching, locating, rating and providing directions for the purchase, consumption and use of a wide range of consumer products, services and information over a global communications network (Class 35);
  • Application service provider (ASP) services featuring computer software and providing online nondownloadable software, namely, computer software for creating, authoring, distributing, downloading, transmitting, receiving, playing, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, displaying, storing and organizing text, graphics, images, audio, video, and multimedia content (Class 42).
All the applications were filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting the company is not using any of these marks in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.

In addition to the marks above, on December 20th of last year Essential Products filed a trademark application for the logo below, covering "mobile phones; smart phones; computers and tablet computers; accessories and replacement parts for all the aforementioned goods; computer operating software for mobile phones, smart phones, computers and tablet computers" in Class 9.
According to Bloomberg, Andy Rubin left Google about two years ago and is planning to develop a suite of consumer hardware products with recruits from Apple and Google. With this mass filing of trademark applications, it looks like he is on his way.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Delaware Company Files Trademark Application for COTTON CANDY COMB OVER...Any Problem?

When I clicked this trademark application, I had an idea as to what it may be referring, and sure enough my suspicions were confirmed. On May 22nd, a Delaware company called Integrity Brands, LLC filed a federal trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for COTTON CANDY COMB OVER [standard characters] covering "candy; cotton candy" in Class 30. According to the application, the applicant has been using this mark since at least April 1, 2017.

The specimen submitted with the application, which shows the manner in which the mark is seen by the public (see TMEP 904 et. seq.) and is pictured below, shows you where the applicant got this unique idea for their cotton candy.
Are there any issues with this application? Is the applicant entitled to a federal registration for this mark? A couple sections of the Trademark Act that might apply are discussed below.

Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act (15 USC 1052(c)) is an absolute bar to the registration of a mark that "consists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent..." This bar applies not only to full names, but also "first names, surnames, shortened names, pseudonyms, stage names, titles, or nicknames." TMEP 1206.01.

However, unlike the application for TRUMPMOJI that I blogged about last year, which was refused registration under Section 2(c) for using Trump's name, this mark does not contain anything referring to Trump, just the words COTTON CANDY COMB OVER. The specimen shows how the public views the mark, but nothing other than the words COTTON CANDY COMB OVER are the subject of this trademark application.

What about Section 2(a) (15 USC 1052(a)), which bars the registration "of a designation that consists of or comprises matter which, with regard to persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, does any of the following: (1) disparages them; (2) falsely suggest a connection with them; (3) brings them into contempt; or (4) brings them into disrepute"? TMEP 1203.03.

When it applies to a non-commercial interest, the elements of a Section 2(a) disparagement refusal are:
  1. What is the likely meaning of the matter in question, taking into account not only dictionary definitions, but also the relationship of the matter to the other elements in the mark, the nature of the goods or services, and the manner in which the mark is used in the marketplace in connection with the goods or services; and
  2. If that meaning is found to refer to identifiable persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, whether that meaning may be disparaging to a substantial composite of the referenced group. 
TMEP 1203.03(b)(i). This refusal, for example, has been applied to the mark HEEB for clothing and entertainment services, when the evidence supported the derogatory nature of HEEB in reference to the Jewish community. In re Heeb Media LLC, 89 USPQ2d 1071 (TTAB 2008). Is the term COTTON CANDY COMB OVER of a similar nature? Doubtful. (Note - the constitutionality of the disparagement bar under Section 2(a) was recently argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and a decision is due any day).

To establish that a mark may falsely suggest a connection with a person or an institution as prohibited by Section 2(a), it must be shown that:
  1. the mark is the same as, or a close approximation of, the name or identity previously used by another person or institution;
  2. the mark would be recognized as such, in that it points uniquely and unmistakably to that person or institution;
  3. the person or institution named by the mark is not connected with the activities performed by the applicant under the mark; and
  4. the fame or reputation of the person or institution is such that, when the mark is used with the applicant’s goods or services, a connection with the person or institution would be presumed.
TMEP 1203.03(c)(i). Again, the mark here is COTTON CANDY COMB OVER, not anything mentioning Trump. Is COTTON CANDY COMB OVER a "close approximation of, the name of identity previously used by another person" and "would be recognized as such, in that it points uniquely and unmistakably to that person or institution"?

You be the judge of the above. We'll find out what the examining attorney assigned to this application at the USPTO thinks when this application is assigned in approximately three months.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Company Behind RompHim Files Trademark Application for ROMPHER

By now you may have heard about the viral RompHim sensation - a romper designed specifically for men and possibly the hottest summer trend of 2017. The guys behind the newest fashion trend and their business entity, Aced Clothing, LLC, sought to raise $10,000 for their idea on Kickstarter but have greatly exceeded that, raising $365,563 so far.
Aced Clothing filed a federal trademark application for ROMPHIM on March 29, 2017 that covers "Headwear; Jackets; Pants; Rompers; Shorts; Tank tops; Wearable garments and clothing, namely, shirts; Jackets." As of the date of this post, it has not been assigned to an examining attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for review.

A more recent trademark application by Aced Clothing, LLC, however, suggests the company might not be solely focused on men after all. On May 16th, it filed another federal trademark application for ROMPHER (get it?). Similar to the ROMPHIM application, this application also covers various clothing items, although the specific items vary slightly. The ROMPHER application covers "Bathing suits; Dresses; Hats; Pants; Rompers; Shirts; Shorts; Skirts; Tank tops."

Aced Clothing filed the ROMPHER, and ROMPHIM, applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not yet using these trademarks in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). This makes sense because, at least in the case of ROMPHER, it does not appear Aced Clothing is selling these goods yet. Before either of these applications will fully register, Aced Design will need to start selling or shipping the RompHim and RompHer goods in interstate commerce and submit sufficient proof of same to the USPTO. See TMEP 1103.

The ROMPHIM trademark application will probably be assigned to an examining attorney at the USPTO within the next month and the ROMPHER application sometime around mid-August (it typically takes around 3 months after an application is filed for it to be assigned to an attorney at the USPTO for review). When assigned, the examining attorney will review the applications and determine whether they should be approved for publication (one of the final phases in the registration process) or, if there is a problem, issue an Office action to which the company will need to respond accordingly.

Will RompHer catch on like RompHim? We can only hope.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ubisoft Files New SPLINTER CELL Trademark Application Covering Multi-Player Computer Games, eSports Competitions

UbiSoft's Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series has been around for years, boasting six installments of video games over the years, the last of which UbiSoft released in 2013. A recent federal trademark application for SPLINTER CELL filed by UbiSoft with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, however, suggests a new installment may be in the works.

UbiSoft filed the application on May 15th for a variety of computer and video game-related services in Class 41, including:
  • Entertainment services, namely, providing interactive multi-player computer games via the internet and electronic communication networks;
  • Entertainment services, namely, continuing television programs and interactive television programs featuring comedy, drama, live-action, and animation, broadcast over television, satellite, audio, and video media;
  • Entertainment services, in the nature of eSports competitions; and
  • Providing a web-based system and on-line portal for gamers to participate in on-line gaming, operation and coordination of game tournaments, leagues and tours for computer game playing purposes; rental and distribution of entertainment content of others, namely, video games, movies and television shows.
The application was filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting UbiSoft is not yet using the SPLINTER CELL trademark in conjunction with all the services listed in the application but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

This is the first video game-related SPLINTER CELL trademark application filed by UbiSoft since October 2016. That application covered services similar to those in this most recent one. UbiSoft does already own four federal trademark registrations for SPLINTER CELL going back to 2002, and registrations for SPLINTER CELL CONVICTION, SPLINTER CELL CHAOS THEORY, and SPLINTER CELL DOUBLE AGENT. Although these registrations cover video games, none cover services as expansive as those in the most recent applications, such as eSports competitions or television programs.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Commissioner of Baseball Files Four Applications to Register World Series Trophy as a Trademark

Major League Baseball's Commissioner's Trophy, given to the winner of the World Series, may be a federally registered trademark soon. On May 10th, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball filed four federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the trophy. These appear to be the first federal trademark applications for the trophy filed by the Commissioner.

The applications describe the mark as "a design representing a three-dimensional object comprised of thirty flags mounted on poles and arranged in a circle on a round base. The interior of the base consists of a slightly raised dome." According to the application, this particular design was first used in commerce on July 7, 2000 (I don't know enough about baseball to know the significance of that date, if any).

The Commissioner filed each application in one class of goods and services (hence the four applications). The goods and services covered by these applications include:
As I've blogged about before, it is certainly possible to obtain a federal trademark registration for the way something looks. Generally, as long as the configuration sought to be protected is not functional, it can be registered and protected as a trademark. See TMEP 1202.02(a)(iii); 15 USC 1052(e)(5). How does one determine whether a product feature or design is functional? Generally four factors are considered:
  • the existence of a utility patent that discloses the utilitarian advantages of the design sought to be registered;
  • advertising by the applicant that touts the utilitarian advantages of the design;
  • facts pertaining to the availability of alternative designs; and
  • facts pertaining to whether the design results from a comparatively simple or inexpensive method of manufacture.
See TMEP 1202.02(a)(v);  In re Morton-Norwich Prods., Inc., 671 F.2d 1332, 1340-1341 (C.C.P.A. 1982).

The MLB is not the only professional sports league to seek a federal trademark registration for its championship trophy. The NFL has owned a federal registration for the Vince Lombardi Trophy since 1983. And in 2015, the National Hockey League obtained a federal registration for "a three-dimensional configuration of a trophy with a ridged circular base, that narrows into an open bowl shape with curved lines radiating upward from the base of the bowl" (aka the Stanley Cup).

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Recent Trademark Application Suggests Megyn Kelly's New Sunday Night Show on NBC Might Have a Name

Back in January, longtime Fox News host Megyn Kelly left the network to join NBC News. Recently, it was announced that her new Sunday night show on NBC would premiere in June. And now, if a recent trademark application is any indication, that new show might have a [predictable] name.

On May 5th, NBCUniversal Media, LLC filed a federal trademark application for SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MEGYN KELLY. The application covers "Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing television series featuring politics, business, news and public affairs rendered through the media of television, cable, satellite, and broadband systems, via the internet, and portable and wireless communication devices" in Class 41.

NBC filed the application on an intent to use basis, which suggests the network is not currently using the trademark in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering the show is not set to air until June). See 15 USC 1051(b). This is the first application related to Megyn Kelly filed by NBC.
Along with the application, Megyn Kelly submitted a declaration consenting to the use of this trademark and its registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (above). Such a written declaration is required when a trademark consists of or comprises a name (including nicknames), portrait, or signature of a living individual. See 15 USC 1052(c).

So is SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MEGYN KELLY the name of her new Sunday NBC show? The application doesn't guarantee NBC will go with this name, but the "bona fide" intention requirement of the Trademark Act does require that something more than just an idea be in the works for the mark. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Catch Me Outside" Girl Files Trademark Applications for CASH ME OUSSIDE

Update - May 10th

Dani B Holdings, LLC filed six more trademark applications after my original post below. Two CASH ME OUTSIDE trademark applications were filed for various entertainment services and apparel. Additionally, two applications for CASH ME OUSSIDE HOW BOW DAH and two applications for CASH ME OUTSIDE HOW BOW DAH were filed on May 2-3, also covering various entertainment services and apparel.

Original Post - May 3rd

You know her as the "Catch Me Outside" girl, but her real name is Danielle Bregoli and she (or, more accurately, a business entity that appears to be associated with her) recently filed two applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register CASH ME OUSSIDE as a trademark.
On April 28th, a Florida company called Dani B Holdings, LLC filed the CASH ME OUSSIDE applications in multiple classes covering a wide variety of goods and services (some based on actual use in commerce and others on an intent to use), including:
Dani B Holdings, LLC is a Florida limited liability company organized in March 2017 with an address in Hollywood, Florida and lists Barbara Bregoli, Danielle's mother, as the manager

After uttering her infamous phrase on Dr. Phil in September 2016, 14-year-old Danielle has amassed millions of followers on social media (like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and may be getting her own reality TV show.

These two applications appear to be the first applications associated with Danielle to be filed with the USPTO. Are applications for HOW BOW DAH next?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is MTV Bringing Back TRL?

The popular MTV television series TRL (aka Total Request Live) from the late 1990's and 2000's might be making a comeback if recent trademark applications are any indication.
On April 27th, Viacom International, Inc., MTV's parent company, filed three trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for:
Viacom filed each application in Class 41 covering the same services:
Entertainment services in the nature of continuing program series, featuring live action, comedy and drama provided through cable television, broadcast television, internet, video-on-demand, and through other forms of transmission media; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs; entertainment services, namely, providing radio programs and podcasts in the fields of music and news; production and distribution of radio programs and podcasts and distribution of radio programs and podcasts for others
Each application was filed on an intent to use basis, which indicates Viacom is not currently using these marks in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering the last episode aired in 2008). See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

While Viacom filed multiple applications and had some registrations for TRL or TOTAL REQUEST LIVE in the late 1990's and early 2000's, all have since expired. Only one registration for TRL is still active. However, that registration, registered in August 2004 and renewed in 2014 for another ten year term, covers a variety of clothing items in Class 25, not entertainment services or television shows.

These are the first TRL-related applications filed by Viacom since 2003 and the first TRL-related applications covering a entertainment services in the form of a television program filed since 2001.

Does this mean TRL is making a comeback? Maybe. Section 1(b) of the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1051(b), only requires that the applicant have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce. A "bone fide intent" only requires that there be something in the works for the mark and the underlying goods/services (i.e., a business plan, contracts in place, etc.), but does not mandate that the applicant actually start using the mark. That being said, if Viacom wants the above applications to mature into a federal registration, it will need to start using the marks and submit sufficient proof of same to the USPTO. See TMEP 902.

So, something is probably in the works for TRL, although what exactly is not clear. My only request is that they bring back Carson Daly.

Monday, May 1, 2017

California Company Files Trademark Application for BLOODY MARY ON DRAFT

If brunch is your thing, you might be into this - on April 26th a company in California called In A Jar, LLC filed a federal trademark application for BLOODY MARY ON DRAFT. The application covers, of course, "alcoholic cocktail mixes" in Class 33.
Even better for brunchers, the application indicates that this trademark has been in use with the associated goods at least as early as March 1, 2017, indicating the underlying goods are already for sale and probably out there in the marketplace.

According to the company's website, the company (which appears to be doing business as "Preservation") will provide a bar with a kegerator that works with a bar's existing tap lines, as well as various Bloody Mary mixes that can be used with the system, so that a bar can pour Bloody Mary's just as they would pour beer (ed. - is this available for home use as well?).

Will this application face a Section 2(e)(1) refusal, which prohibits the registration of "merely descriptive" trademarks on the Principal Register? See TMEP 1209.01(b) ("A mark is considered merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services"). Maybe. We will find out in approximately three months when this application is assigned to a Examining Attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

So, would you try a Bloody Mary from a tap? I think I'd give it a shot.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Disney Files Applications to Register UNIT ZERO, 5 Other Potential Shows or Movies as Trademarks

Disney Enterprises, Inc. had a relatively busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 24th, filing six different trademark applications for what appears to be titles of television shows and/or movies. The applications Disney filed are for:
Disney filed each application in Class 41 for "education and entertainment services," which doesn't provide a great deal of detail about how these marks will be used. Each application was filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting Disney is not yet using these marks in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b)

Such filings do not obligate Disney to actually start using these marks (although it will need to start using them to actually get a registration), but the statute does require a "bona fide" intent to use the marks as a condition precedent to filing an intent to use application, which means something more than just an idea in one's head exists for the mark (i.e., a business plan has been created, contracts have been signed for the show, the show is in pre-production, etc.). For example, it appears ABC (Disney is the parent company of ABC) is currently casting for Unit Zero, which is set to be a action dramedy.

As I blogged about last month, Disney also recently filed five trademark applications for RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK- RALPH 2. It is not uncommon for entertainment companies to file trademark applications for potential show or movie names prior to their premiere (like Netflix did last October).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Viacom Files 8 Trademark Applications, Most Related to TV Shows

April 17th was a busy day for Viacom International, Inc. at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. On that day, the owner of the BET, Comedy Central, MTV, VH-1, and Nickelodeon brands (among others) filed eight federal trademark applications. Six of these applications appear to relate to television shows, although it is unclear on which network they would air.
Trademark image
The applications filed for television related services are:
Viacom filed each of the applications above on an intent to use basis in Class 41 for "Entertainment services in the nature of continuing program series, featuring live action, comedy and drama provided through cable television, broadcast television, internet, video-on-demand, and through other forms of transmission media; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs."
In addition to the television-related applications, Viacom filed two applications for NICK, both in standard characters and in the design form seen above. Those applications cover "Video game software; computer programs and software; downloadable game software; downloadable mobile applications" in Class 9. According to the applications, Viacom has been offering the software/mobile applications under the NICK mark at least as early as February 1, 2013. The specimen submitted with the applications (above) seems to indicate these applications are related to the Nick Android app (and perhaps iPhone app).

As I blogged about in January, Viacom filed trademark applications for HAMSTER HOTEL and six other potential shows earlier this year. The HAMSTER HOTEL application was approved by the USPTO and will likely be published (the final stage in the registration process) soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CBS Studios Files Two Trademark Applications for NCIS: RED

Is CBS's NCIS series getting a new spinoff? Maybe, according to recent trademark applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
On April 14th, CBS Studios, Inc. filed two applications to register NCIS:RED as a trademark. CBS filed one application in Class 9 and the other in Class 41 for the following goods and services:
CBS filed each application on an intent to use basis, suggesting the studio is not yet using this trademark in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b).

So are these NCIS: RED applications related to a new NCIS spinoff? That's not exactly clear from the trademark applications, but some brief research revealed that CBS apparently ran a NCIS: Los Angeles: Red Team two part backdoor pilot in 2013. Whether these recent trademark applications are related to that pilot or something else, only time will tell. 

From a legal standpoint, however, if CBS wants to obtain a registration for the NCIS: RED mark based on these applications, it will need to start using the marks in commerce and submit an allegation of use evidencing the same to the USPTO. See TMEP 902. If the examination of these applications by the USPTO does not reveal any issues, that allegation of use will be due in approximately one year, although CBS may request up to five six-month extensions of time to file the allegation. See TMEP 1108 et seq. NCIS fans, pay attention to these applications.

On a related note, I previously blogged about the real NCIS filing a trademark application for its badge back in 2015. That application was recently approved by the USPTO after a couple Office actions and was recently published in the Official Gazette

Friday, April 7, 2017

AOL Files 8 Trademark Applications for OATH

On April 3rd, Verizon announced it planned to bring Yahoo and AOL together under a new brand name - Oath. The new name wasn't met with the greatest reception. Regardless, on that same day AOL, Inc. filed 8 federal trademark applications for OATH (in standard characters).
The applications span eight different classes of goods or services and AOL filed each application in a separate class (hence the eight applications). Those goods and services may give us an insight into Verizon's (ed. - maybe an assignment of this mark from AOL to Verizon at some point?) plan for the new brand. Some of the goods and services covered by the applications include:
AOL filed all these applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting the mark is not yet being used in the U.S. (which makes sense given the Summer 2017 rebranding date).

Interestingly, these are not the first trademark applications filed for the OATH name by AOL (although they are the first filed in the U.S.). AOL is claiming a priority date of January 13, 2017 under Section 44(d) of the Trademark Act based on trademark applications it filed in Mauritius on that date for these same marks. See TMEP 806.01(c); 15 USC 1126(d). As I've blogged about before, such foreign filings are not uncommon for major companies, usually when the company wants to keep the trademark information from public view (not even country maintains a publicly accessible database of trademarks like the U.S.). Mauritius is one of the countries that does not maintain a searchable trademark database.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Texas Proprietor Files Trademark Application for DOGGIE WETSUITS, But is it Merely Descriptive? Generic?

Wetsuits aren't just for humans anymore, they're for the dogs. That is, according to Surf'n Sea Custom Wetsuits, a sole proprietorship in Texas. On April 2nd, that business filed a federal trademark application for the stylized wording DOGGIE WETSUITS seen below, covering "dog wetsuits, sports, clothing, wetsuits, water activity, dog products" in Class 18.
According to the application, Surf'n Sea Custom Wetsuits has been selling these dog wetsuits as least as early as October 11, 2015.
But is this mark merely descriptive, or possibly generic for the underlying goods? Merely descriptive marks describe an "ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services" and can only be registered on the Principal Register at the USPTO upon a showing of acquired distinctiveness in the marketplace. See TMEP 1209.01(b); 15 USC 1052(f). Generic words or phrases, on the other hand, "are terms the relevant purchasing public understands primarily as the common or class name for the goods or services" and can never be registered with the USPTO. See TMEP 1209.01(c).

Is the term "doggie wetsuits" a term the relevant public would understand as primarily the common or class name for dog wetsuits? Does that term merely describe a function, feature, purpose, or use of the underlying goods? We will find out in approximately three months when this application is assigned to an examining attorney at the USPTO.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Company Associated With Power Rangers Movie Files 5 Trademark Applications for ROBYN HOODIE Logo

SCG Characters, LLC (which appears to be a subsidiary of Saban Brands, LLC, a company started by Haim Saban, one of the producers of the 2017 Power Rangers movie and a well-known name in Hollywood) filed five federal trademark applications for the ROBYN HOODIE logo seen below on March 30th.
The scope of the goods and services covered by the five applications is massive, suggesting SCG might have been plans for this logo. Some of those goods and services include:
SCG Characters filed each application on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not yet using this mark in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 1101; 15 USC 1051(b).

According to my quick search, SCG Characters has owned a total of 130 trademark applications or registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the years, although only 17 of those are currently active. Some of the other applications recently filed by this entity include TREEHOUSE DETECTIVES, MY PET MONSTER, BIGFOOT LITTLEFOOT, AND POPPLES.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Quarterly Index (1/1/17 - 3/31/17)

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