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

April 2017

This post lives on the other side of the coin from my prior blog post entitled “On Trademark Cease and Desist Letters: Strategies & Considerations.” Responding to a trademark cease and desist letter is an art form. The nature of, and strategy behind, the response will vary depending on the facts and circumstances. Here are some guideposts to help you get it right. continue reading→

TTAB causes of action: lining up the chess pieces

Systems are incredibly powerful in the practice of law. By system, I mean a set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines used to perform an activity. When it comes to filing a notice of opposition or petition for cancellation or counterclaims in a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") proceeding, I have a very simple system that I use to make sure that I am not omitting any causes of action. OK - it's really just a checklist, but it is very effective. At the end of this blog post, you'll have an opportunity to download a copy of the checklist. Let's review the available causes of action in TTAB proceedings. continue reading→

The Trademark Company: A Cautionary Tale

George: I got greedy. Flew too close to the
sun on wings of pastrami.
Jerry: Yeah, that's what you did . . .
- Seinfeld, Episode #904 "The Blood"

Matthew Swyers is done—at least for five years, maybe forever. It didn't matter that Swyers was a former Trademark Examining Attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") from December 2000 through September 2002 (or maybe that made it matter more). The USPTO got their man, even if he was formerly one of their own. I don't take any pleasure in the misfortunes of others (although I know a lot of others are taking satisfaction in his comeuppance). That's not why I'm writing this blog post. I'm writing it because I think it's fascinating and I wanted to learn more about what happened and why. Like most attorneys practicing trademark law before the USPTO, I'm not very familiar with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline ("OED") or exclusions on consent—why would I be? So a look into the downfall of Swyers was educational, even if I was left with a few unanswered questions.

continue reading→

California cannabis trademarks in 2018?

On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("AUMA"). And on December 12, 2016, Assembly Bill No. 64 ("AB 64") was introduced in the California Legislature. Although the AB 64 is still in its early stages and has a ways to go before being passed by the California Legislature and approved by the Governor, it has some important consequences for recreational and medical marijuana businesses who want to protect their trademarks. continue reading→