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: