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7 Lesser-Known Refusals Every Trademark Owner Must Know

Recently the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“TTAB”) cancelled the federal trademark registrations for the NFL’s Washington Redskins on the grounds that they violate Section 2(a) of The Trademark Act of 1946.  Specifically, the Redskins’ trademarks were cancelled under Section 2(a) because, in the eyes of TTAB, the […]

21 Essential Steps When Starting a Business

Starting your own business can be one of the greatest joys in life.  But for first-time entrepreneurs it can be an endeavor filled with unexpected challenges and potential pitfalls.  It’s more than just opening a store or posting a web site and beginning to sell your goods or services.  It is complying with legal requirements, obtaining financing, and […]

3 Reasons to Protect Your Trademarks Now

Yes, I’m a lawyer. But I promise (Scout’s honor) that you can trust what I’m about to tell you: Your business needs to protect its trademarks. You may be saying to yourself, “Look at this attorney trying to drum up more business for himself and his brethren attorneys. How original.” But my motivation is steeped […]

5 Unusual Things You Should Trademark

Grand chocolatier Nestle recently won a trademark battle with rival confectioner Cadbury.  The case was about the unique shape of Nestle’s famed Kit Kat bar. The case began years ago when Nestle sought to register the four-fingered shape of the Kit Kat bar as a trademark in the European Union (EU). In 2002, the Office […]

3 Simple Steps to Avoiding IP Disputes

It happens all the time.  An entrepreneur starts a business, with the perfect name, brand, and domain. They set up a fan page on Facebook. Then they organize the entity, pouring time and resources into the project. And then, the unthinkable happens. A cease and desist letter arrives in the mailbox, demanding they stop what they’re […]

Brand Protection for the App Maker

Twenty years ago few people had heard of the Internet.  Ten years ago few people had heard of a smart phone.  Today, the world  is shrinking as it becomes more connected than ever before.  People access the Internet routinely through their smart phones and tablet computers and more and more do so by and through […]

Brand Protection for Artists

Did you know that the protection of artistic works in the United States is founded in our U.S. Constitution?  At the time the constitution was written our founding fathers recognized that artists should maintain rights in their works sufficient to inspire continued creativity without the fear that their works would be wrongfully misappropriated.  You can find this […]

Trademarks

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device used in commerce to identify the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name such as Coca-Cola® for beverages, the Nike swoosh for shoes, and FedEx® for package delivery services.