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Trademark, Copyright, and Unfair Competition Law Blog

More Than Your Mark®

Things you need to know about trademark law and brand protection.

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Mar 10, 2023

US Patent and Trademark Office Suspends Action on Trademarks Critical of Public Figures

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has suspended action on pending applications for trademarks that are critical of public or government officials. The suspension will remain in effect until the U.S. Supreme Court can weigh in on the issue. The USPTO guidance can be found here. » Read More

Feb 10, 2023

Trademark Owners Beware: Scams on the Rise

Business scams such as false invoices, unordered products, and advance-fee fraud are an ongoing problem for companies of almost every size. And now trademark scams, which are particularly dangerous, are on the rise.  

The first danger is posed by “trademark agencies” that offer supposedly low-cost trademark services, sometimes as part of branding services. » Read More

Jan 27, 2023

What makes the Adidas Thom Browne case so interesting?

The jury verdict in favor of Thom Browne, Inc., for its signature “four bars” design has been widely reported and commented on. But what makes this case so interesting? adidas filed suit against Thom Browne in 2021, claiming the designer’s use of stripes on his casual and athletic wear were infringing adidas’ famous three-stripe trademark, which adidas has used since the 1950s (and on sportswear since 1967). » Read More

Dec 16, 2022

JACK DANIEL’S vs. BAD SPANIELS

Can a whiskey maker stop production of a copycat pet toy marketing itself as dog poo?

What are the First Amendment rights attaching to a parodic use of trade dress? And to what extent does the law allow the owner of a famous trade dress to stop production of a non-competing product that copies that trade dress (that is, the design and labels on a product package)? » Read More

Dec 02, 2022

Ninth Circuit Broadens Means to Serve Foreign Defendants in Lanham Act Cases

Service of process is required when commencing a civil lawsuit because it informs and notifies a person or entity that it has been named in the lawsuit. If service of process does not take place or is shown to be deficient, the case cannot proceed, because the court will not have personal jurisdiction to enter a judgment against that party. » Read More

Nov 11, 2022

Postmortem Rights of Publicity

The laws defining the right of publicity – the right to prevent others from using your name and likeness without permission – are a state-by-state patchwork. For example, while New York has a strong right of publicity statute (Sections 50 and 51 of its state Civil Rights Law), New Jersey recognizes only a common-law right, recognizing a person’s right in their name and likeness as a property right. » Read More