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: