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Trademark Law Archives

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.

Common trademark mistakes to steer clear from

California residents and others elsewhere may put a trademark on certain things. If a company creates a new logo or uses a color combination that sets it apart from other companies, it can claim exclusive commercial use of that creation. However, many trademark mistakes could lead to legal disputes in the future.

Supreme Court gives weight to board ruling in trademark cases

In its first trademark case in nearly a decade, the Supreme Court has decided that rulings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board can have a preclusive effect on future trial court litigation. The 7-2 decision reversed an earlier ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had upheld an earlier trial court decision. The case, which will also have implications for California companies involved in trademark enforcement, involves a 16-year dispute between B&B Hardware, Inc. and Hargis Industries.

The importance of trademark law in building a business brand

California entrepreneurs may be interested in learning about the importance of trademark law in choosing a business brand. Due to the potential issues down the road, attention should be paid to having a strong mark from the start.

The word 'ox" at center of Red Bull vs. Old Ox fight

People in California could be interested in this case involving the drink maker that produces Red Bull recently filing a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opposition against Ashburn, Virginia's Old Ox Brewery. Old Ox is a small family-run startup craft brewery that began in June 2014. Their beer production schedule includes 4,000 kegs to be produced by the end of 2015. They will be distributing the beer in a small section of Virginia. Red Bull is a well-known energy drink brand based in Austria.

Lawsuit fallout affects California chocolate fans

In a case that might have had far-reaching ramifications for chocolate lovers in California, the famous chocolate mogul, Hershey, claimed in August that a New Jersey company, LBB imports, infringed on their trademark. LBB focuses on high-end chocolates from overseas countries, including England. Hershey filed a lawsuit against LBB alleging a trademark violation but later dropped the lawsuit after LBB agreed to stop importing the brands in question. Sources say that distributors of the specialty confections, most notably Cadbury English-made chocolates, are unhappy with the decision.

Radio stations allowed to air controversial team name

Sacramento readers who have been following the ongoing debate about the use of the word Redskins in connection with the Washington, D.C., football team may be interested in a recent decision made by the Federal Communications Commission. According to a Dec. 19 source, the FCC dismissed a petition filed against a radio station by the owner of the Washington Redskins football team.

Microsoft files lawsuit against scammers

California investors, entrepreneurs and business owners may be interested in a potentially landmark case involving Microsoft. On Dec. 18, the well-known company filed a lawsuit against Omnitech Support and other companies, alleging trademark infringement and deceptive business practices. The lawsuit claims scammers falsely presented themselves as Microsoft tech support in an attempt to infect consumers' computers with malware.

What is trade dress and why should I protect it?

Over time, intellectual property law has grown to offer degrees of protection to a variety of ideas, presentations and products that are considered proprietary to their owners. At the heart of trademark law is the idea that, in a competitive marketplace, it's not enough simply to provide goods and services that are in some way superior to those of competitor; you must also help your clientele find and remember you. Otherwise, how will your customers know you're better?

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