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State Trademark Claims

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→

Trademark lawyers wax eloquent about the significant benefits of federally registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Federal courts do too. And one of the benefits touted is the federal registration defense to state dilution claims provided by Lanham Act § 43(c)(6), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)(6).  In fact, in its recently well-publicized decision in In re Tam (which has nothing to do with the defense), the Federal Circuit listed the defense as one of the important legal rights and benefits conferred on trademark owners who register their marks.  In re Tam, 808 F.3d 1321, 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (“registration operates as a complete defense to state or common law claims of trademark dilution”). But this “important” defense afforded by registration hasn’t been treated as such. It’s been chipped away at, and there’s not much left to rely on. Significant limitations have been placed on this supposed significant benefit. continue reading→