Myers Berstein
Toll Free Communication

Trademarks Archives

Kardashians Dash to Block Blac Chyna from Trademarking Their Name

kardashians.jpgIt is no surprise that the Kardashians are always in the news. This time the companies of Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim have filed an opposition to Blac Chyna's registration for the trademark, Angela Renée Kardashian-her future married name once she marries Rob Kardashian. With Rob and Chyna's on again/off again relationship status the matter could end up being irrelevant, but read on to learn about the current Kardashian debacle.

What every business needs to know about trademark basics

If you run a business, you want your products or services to stand out to potential customers in order to maximize your sales and profits. Developing a trademark is one way that your business can accomplish this. Trademarks are protections for the name and marking a business will use for advertising and promotion. They are normally considered valid whether a trademark registration has occurred or not, but registering the mark with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) offers extra legal protection, especially if a conflict arises where one of your competitors wants to use your mark. The PTO offers three options for applying for a trademark:

The Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration

A trademark (or service mark) is a source identifier for goods and/or services. Under trademark law, a trademark owner receives basic trademark rights in a mark simply by using that mark in commerce. However, the rights one receives based upon use without registering are limited to the geographic area in which the use has occurred. So, for example, if a trademark owner has only sold in a single state, their rights would be limited to that state and adjacent areas that would be considered within the zone of natural expansion.

The Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration

A trademark (or service mark) is a source identifier for goods and/or services. Under trademark law, a trademark owner receives basic trademark rights in a mark simply by using that mark in commerce. However, the rights one receives based upon use without registering are limited to the geographic area in which the use has occurred. So, for example, if a trademark owner has only sold in a single state, their rights would be limited to that state and adjacent areas that would be considered within the zone of natural expansion.

Louis Vuitton's Checkerboard Pattern Is Not a Valid Trademark

Louis Vuitton's Damier checkerboard pattern continues to lack trademark protection. According to the European Union's General Court on April 21, 2015, the design is considered to be too commonplace to be owned by one brand. The EU's decision affirmed a 2011 ruling by the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). According to that decision, the checkerboard pattern was composed of very simple elements and had been commonly used in relation to various goods. Without any features to distinguish it from other checkerboard representations, it could not function as a source, or origin, indicator.

How to Use a Trademark to Protect Your Brand

If you have developed a brand of any kind, you'll want to protect it in order to maximize earnings and grow the brand. The most common form of protection is filing a trademark application. A trademark is any unique symbol, word, image or device that distinguishes the goods you have created from those of another seller. Certain trademarks are iconic: the font for the Coca-Cola logo, or the alligator logo on a Lacoste shirt. Consumers have come to associate the white cursive script from the Coca-Cola logo with beverages with a certain color, taste, and price. Similarly, consumers have come to associate a small embroidered crocodile sewn onto the left side of a polo shirt with polo shirts of a certain quality and price.

The Match of the Henleys: The Eagles vs. the T Shirt

Don Henley, a former member of the rock band the Eagles, has sued a company for using a pun to sell the style of shirts that share his name. The Minnesota-based Duluth Trading Company marketed its Henley shirts (a T-shirt with a short row of vertical buttons down the front) with the phrase, "Don a Henley and Take It Easy." Mr. Henley complained that the campaign references both his name and the title of the group's breakthrough single, "Take It Easy." Mr. Henley did not want consumers to believe he endorsed the shirts and sued in federal court to enforce the rights to his name, trademarks, and other intellectual property.