the Trademark Resource for Start-Ups, Business Owners, Marketing Professionals, In-House Counsel, and Attorneys

March 2017

Photo of mobile app icons

When I was hunting and pecking for particular apps on my iPad the other night, I suddenly became consciously aware of the powerful branding association created by app icons. I suppose I already knew this even if I wasn't thinking about it before. Literally, when I think of Netflix, I picture the app icon with the red stylized N and black background (the most current app icon). It's the very first thing I think of. It's what I search for and tap on before joining Pablo in Narcos. Same goes for all the other apps I use on a consistent basis—especially services that I only use through an app like Netflix (in contrast, I tend to use Freshbooks and Twitter more through their websites than apps on my iPhone or iPad). Nevertheless, despite the visibility and recognition of these app icons as trademarks that actually get tapped on by consumer fingers, the majority of app icons have not yet been registered as trademarks (I went through a lot of the app icons on my phone out of curiosity and most had not been registered). It's time for app providers to seriously consider registering app icons as trademarks ASAP. continue reading→

Image of Two People About to Shake Hands with Text That says Make Sure you Address Attorneys' Fees in Settlement Agreements

Sometimes when you're negotiating, drafting, and revising a settlement agreement, you include language just because the language was contained in a sample or template. This is especially so when you're a new attorney. One provision that I frequently came across in different settlement agreements was a provision that each party shall bear their own costs and attorneys' fees. It is simple and straightforward on its face, and I never thought it merited much billable time. If the provision was in the settlement agreement, I usually left it there (unless the parties had agreed that one party was going to pay for the other's costs or fees). If the provision was not in the settlement agreement, I wasn't majorly concerned about it because obviously the parties were going to bare their own costs and fees absent some provision in the settlement agreement saying otherwise. But it's actually an important provision because ... continue reading→

Keyboard with finger on keywords and text "Trademarks & Keywords"

What’s the deal with buying or selling someone’s trademark as a keyword? Is it allowed? Or is it trademark infringement? There used to be a lot of debate about this issue. It’s still not entirely settled and the answer is very dependent on the facts of the case. But there is a lot more clarity than there used to be. Recent keyword cases provide a lot of guidance on the use of trademarks as keywords and when such use constitutes trademark infringement. continue reading→

Image of person jumping into 2017 with text The New TTAB Rules

On January 14, 2017, the Trademark Rules of Practice were amended. The 2017 amendments are the first major set of changes since 2007. Many of the changes emphasize electronic filing and service, discovery limitations, and simpler introduction of evidence by way of declarations.

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