TTAB Rules that Reckless Disregard for Truth Rises to Fraud

On September 30, 2021, in a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) clarified that “reckless disregard satisfies the requisite intent for fraud on the USPTO in trademark matters.” Chutter, Inc. v. Great Management Group, LLC,2021 USPQ2d 1001 (TTAB 2021). This question was left open by the Federal Circuit in the seminal case of In re Bose. Since Bose, the number of …

How to Handle Recent USPTO Delays

The USPTO has been experiencing a surge in new trademark application filings since the height of the pandemic and this has caused delays in examining applications and issuing trademark registrations. There are many possible reasons for the surge in new trademark applications filings including a record number of small businesses being formed, changes to Amazon’s brand registry program, established businesses …

The Coca-Cola Company Protects its Famous Script Trademark

If you were The Coca-Cola Company (“TCCC”), how would you stop a trademark application for CONCEAL-CARRY REGISTERED HANDGUN (“CONCEAL-CARRY”) for clothing? The marks certainly don’t sound very similar. What if I told you the CONCEAL-CARRY application was filed in this stylization – would that change your mind? Of course, it would! But why? For starters, COCA-COLA owns a registered trademark …

When Should I Apply for a Trademark?

Any client interested in protecting its intellectual property should apply for a trademark as quickly as possible to ensure the maximum amount of legal protection. The trademark does not need to already be in use in interstate commerce or even have an online presence in order to file a trademark application. In fact, under the United States Patent and Trademark …

The Trademark Modernization Act is Coming: Ready or Not!

The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”) was passed by the U.S. Congress on December 27, 2020 as part of the huge COVID relief package that sent most Americans an additional $600 stimulus check. Although the changes will not be implemented at the USPTO until December 27, 2021, there are several sweeping changes that will be forthcoming. The Trademark Modernization Act …

USPTO To Raise Trademark Filing Fees Effective January 2, 2021

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) first announced that trademark filing fees would be increasing in August 2019 but delayed rolling out the increase due to the pandemic. In August 2020, the new Commissioner of Trademarks announced that the increase would become effective January 2, 2021 without announcing the specific fee structure. The USPTO has not raised fees …

USPTO Issues New Exam Guide for Generic Domains

Last week, the USPTO issued its long overdue exam guide from SCOTUS’ June 30, 2020 decision in the Booking.com case (read our blog post on the case here). The Booking.com case rejected the USPTO’s bright line rule that “generic.com” trademarks should be automatically refused on grounds of genericness. As is customary when a USPTO rule is struck down by SCOTUS, …

What Is Bona Fide Intent?

There has been a lot of talk lately about what the true meaning of “bona fide intent” means under the Lanham Act, given the plethora of recent applications filed by trademark squatters in an effort to profit from the Washington Redskins’ name change. It is against U.S. policy to file trademark applications merely to reserve a trademark. The applicant must …

What the Fauci?

In late March, we advised that a large number of COVID and CORONA VIRUS trademark applications had been filed at the USPTO.  In fact, more than 200 such applications have been filed, and it’s likely not one of them will be approved for registration. We explained the terms are not able to function as a trademark. But, last week, Dr. …

What Is Trademark Use in Commerce?

In order to qualify to register your client’s trademark at the USPTO, it must be using the trademark in commerce. But, what exactly does “use in commerce” for a trademark mean? Trademark Use in Commerce Trademark “use in commerce” is a legal term of art and refers to any use generally that crosses state lines. In short, it is any …