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Trademark Law Archives

New startups should protect trademarks from the beginning

When a new startup is being launched in California, business founders often make mistakes because they are moving too fast. A common mistake that many business founders make is failing to protect their company's trademarks from the beginning. Though this mistake may not cause problems immediately, it could lead to trademark infringement claims and other litigation as the company becomes more successful.

Judge rules Costco infringed on Tiffany's trademark

On Sept. 8, a federal judge in New York ruled that the giant retailer Costco Wholesale intentionally misled consumers by placing "Tiffany" signs over display cases with diamond engagement rings. Tiffany & Co. sued the retail giant in 2013 after someone informed them of a "Tiffany" display at a Costco store in Huntington Beach, California.

Retail search results could infringe on trademark rights

California consumers who use Amazon.com for online shopping needs may be accustomed to using the search features of the site to find specific products, including branded items offered by third-party sellers. The company has recently faced a lawsuit related to trademark infringement based on the method by which search results are returned for a watch manufacturer's products. At the district court level, a judgement favored Amazon.com in the case, but on appeal, the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the decision.

Salt Lake Comic Con registers trademark amidst litigation

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has new information to consider in the ongoing trademark infringement dispute between San Diego Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con. After San Diego Comic-Con sued Salt Lake Comic Con for infringing on its trademark of 'comic-con," Salt Lake Comic Con registered a trademark of its own.

Washington NFL team loses federal trademark protections

Football fans in California are likely aware that the name and trademarks of the Washington NFL franchise have been the subject of a contentious legal dispute. Native Americans have long objected to the team calling itself the Redskins, and the storied franchise was dealt a blow on July 8 when a U.S. District Court judge ordered that the cancellation of six of their trademarks should go ahead, affirming a decision that had been made in June by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

NFL team argues trademarks not offensive

Football fans in California are likely aware that Native American groups have been harsh critics of the Washington Redskins NFL team. Six of the team's trademarks were canceled in 2014 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because they were considered offensive, but lawyers representing the professional sports franchise appealed the ruling on June 23.

Hard Candy company sues Madonna for infringement

Madonna fans in California might be interested to know that the singer now faces a lawsuit from Hard Candy, a Florida company that makes clothing and accessories geared towards young women. The company claims that the singer is violating the company's trademark by attempting to license clothing and fitness clubs under the name Hard Candy Fitness.

Designbook startup challenged for Facebook trademark similarity

California-based Facebook is accusing Vermont-startup Designbook of trademark infringement, while Designbook is accusing Facebook of bullying. The founders of Designbook filed trademark applications in September 2014 but were informed in March that Facebook plans to challenge them because the names are similar and might be confusing for consumers.

Federal judges deny rock band's name trademark application

California music lovers may be interested to learn that a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied an Oregon-based rock band's application to trademark its name. The Asian-American band is named Slants, and its trademark application was rejected on the basis that the band name is a racial slur.

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