Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Tantalizing Trademarks.  Fun fact - 32 trademark applications or registrations incorporating "Thanksgiving" are active with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covering a variety of goods and services.
Some of those goods and services include wine, coffee, and slot machines.  Oh, and of course the famous MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE is registered as a trademark and owned by Macy's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Coffee for Crossfitters - Crossfit Expands Trademark Portfolio With Coffee Filing

Are you a Crossfitter that loves coffee?  If so, you're in luck.  On November 18th, CrossFit, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for CROSSFIT in Class 30 for "coffee."
And even better news for your Crossfitting coffee drinkers - according to the trademark application Crossfit coffee is currently being sold and has been sold since at least October 1, 2016.

According to my quick search, CrossFit, Inc. owns 39 live trademark registrations or applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (including this coffee application).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A KATE SPADE Hotel, Restaurant?

Did you every wish your favorite fashion designer would open a hotel, restaurant, or spa? For fans of Kate Spade, their dreams may be coming true. On November 17th, Kate Spade, LLC filed a federal trademark application for KATE SPADE in Class 43 for "hotel, cafĂ©, restaurant and spa services."
The fashion company filed this trademark application on a 44(d) basis, meaning it already filed a similar trademark application in a foreign country within the past six months and is basing its priority date on that application (in this case, a trademark application in Australia). For this application to register in the U.S., the Australian application must first mature into a registration in that country (or Kate Spade must start using this mark in the U.S. in conjunction with the listed services).

So will Kate Spade be offering hotel, restaurant, or spa services in the future? Pay attention to this trademark application to find out.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Will This RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS Trademark Application Receive a Likelihood of Confusion Refusal?

I'll admit, when I first saw it I was confused.  I wondered why a sole proprietor filed a RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS trademark application and alleged a first use date of only 2009.  Then I saw it - Red NOT Chili Peppers.  The federal trademark application, filed on November 14th, was filed by a guy in California for the mark RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS in Class 41 for a variety of entertainment services related to a musical band.

Guess who already owns a registration in Class 41 for entertainment services related to a musical group?  A California partnership called the Red Hot Chili Peppers consisting of Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, John Frusciante, and Michael Balzary.  You may have heard of them.  That registration alleges a first use date of 1983.

When an application is likely to cause confusion with a previously filed application or registration, the Trademark Office will refuse registration to the most recent application under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.  That section prohibits the registration of a mark that, as used on or in connection with the goods or services specified on the application, so resembles a registered mark as to be likely to cause confusion.  TMEP 1207.01.  The two critical factors (but not the only factors) in making such a determination are the similarity of the marks and the relatedness of the goods or services.

But what about the parody defense?  Does that permit the registration of RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS?  Not exactly.  The Trademark Office makes it clear that "the fact that a mark is intended to be a parody of another trademark is not, by itself, sufficient to overcome a likelihood of confusion refusal..." TMEP 1207.01(b)(x).  The "right of the public to use a humorous and parodic manner does not extend to use of such words as trademarks if such use conflicts with the prior use and/or registration of the substantially same mark by another."  Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc. v. Miller, 211 U.S.P.Q. 816, 820 (TTAB 1981).  For example, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found a likely of confusion between LESSBUCKS COFFEE and STARBUCKS COFFEE when used with identical goods and services, despite the parodic nature of LESSBUCKS COFFEE.  Starbucks U.S. Brands, LLC v. Ruben, 78 U.S.P.Q.2d 1741 (TTAB 2006).

Will the Examining Attorney who reviews the RED NOT CHILI PEPPERS trademark application experience the same confusion I did and issue a 2(d) refusal?  We will find out in approximately three months when this application is assigned to an attorney at the Trademark Office.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

TWINKIE Ice Cream? TWINKIE Cappuccino? Both May Be Coming Soon, According to Recent Trademark Applications

If you've dreamed of your favorite childhood treat in ice cream form, your dream may be coming true in the near future.  On November 11th, Hostess Brands, LLC filed a federal trademark application for its Twinkie The Kid character seen to the right in Class 30 for "ice cream; frozen confections."

Hostess filed the application on an "intent to use" basis, suggesting it is probably not using this mark in conjunction with ice cream and frozen confections yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.  In other words, this filing basis is supposed to suggest that Hostess is contemplating offering some sort of ice cream or frozen confection product relatively soon.

Hostess already owns two federal trademark registrations for the same Twinkie The Kid character in Class 30 for "bakery goods, cakes, bread, buns and rolls" and "cake."

Do you love coffee too?  On November 9th, a couple days before the Twinkie The Kid ice cream application, Hostess filed another federal trademark application for TWINKIES in Class 30 for "prepared cappuccino and coffee-based beverages and cappuccino and coffee-based mixes."  Hostess also based this application on an "intent to use" basis.  Twinkie flavored coffee, anyone?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

FIREBALL Cigars? Apparently It's a Thing

On November 6th, Sazerac Brands, LLC (the manufacturer of Fireball whiskey) filed another federal trademark application for FIREBALL. But unlike the four other trademark applications or registrations for FIREBALL Sazerac owns, this application wasn't for whiskey. Instead, Sazerac filed it in Class 34 for "cigars."
I, for one, was unaware Sazerac sold FIREBALL cigars. But according to the trademark application they have been doing so at least as early as December 2014. Do these cigars taste like Fireball? Or are they normal cigar branded with the Fireball marks?

I suppose this shouldn't be much of a surprise though, considering the manufacturer of Jack Daniel's whiskey owns 121 live federal trademark applications or registrations for marks containing JACK DANIEL'S that cover a wide variety of goods and services (including spices, musical instrument amplifiers, and outdoor furniture).

According to my quick search, Sazerac Brands owns 596 live federal trademark applications or registrations, five of those related to FIREBALL.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Are These Trademark Applications for BravoTV's New Logo?

The tweaks are minor (maybe to tack onto prior use? - ed.), but recent applications filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hint at possible changes to BravoTV's logo.  On November 2nd, Bravo Media, LLC filed two federal trademark applications for the logo seen below.
One application covered a variety of services related to television broadcasting in Class 38 while the other covered a variety of services related to television programming and production of motion pictures and television shows in Class 41.  Bravo filed both applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting the network is not using the logo in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future.
Might these applications be for a replacement of Bravo's current logo, see above, which registered as a federal trademark in 2006?  Note that the new trademark applications are for a logo with a more square conversation box, smaller, more rounded font, and the tip of the conversation box is now at the far left.

According to my quick research and as of the date of this post, the applications filed with the USPTO on November 2nd are the only applications or registrations related to Bravo's logo since Bravo filed the current logo's application in 2005.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Spartan Expands Trademark Portfolio with 5 New Applications for Race Names

Spartan Race, Inc. sought to expand its federal trademark portfolio on October 28th by adding five new applications to the mix. On that date, the obstacle race company filed five federal trademark applications for what appears to be the names of various races organized by the company. The applications are for:
Each application was filed on a 1(a) basis (meaning Spartan is already using these marks in commerce) with first use dates between February and September 2011, depending on the race.

Each application covers the same services in Class 41 - "entertainment in the nature of obstacle courses, obstacle races, endurance events, endurance races, athletic events, sporting events and competitions; arranging, organizing and conducting obstacle courses, obstacle races, endurance events, endurance races, athletic events, sporting events and competitions."

According to my quick search, Spartan Race, Inc. owns 56 live applications or registrations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.