Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not Preempt the Lanham Act

On 12 June 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) issued an 8-0 opinion (PDF) expounding the intersection of two federal statutes including the Lanham Act in POM Wonderful v. Coca Cola, 571 U. S. ___ (2014). This opinion concerns the alleged preclusion of a cause of action under one federal statute by the provisions of another […]

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“The Slants” Refused Registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)

Regardless of the intent of the use of the name “the Slants” to “take back” the ethnic slur by an Asian-American rock band, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on 26 September 2013 refused registration of the mark. The TTAB reasoned that the mark could not be registered as it is a disparaging […]

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Unregistered Trademarks Can Have Priority Over Later-filed Federal Registered Marks

Incorrectly informed people can be blindsided by a few trademark issues. One topic that frequently occurs in my conversations with potential clients involves federal registration of trademarks. If I successfully complete a trademark registration, this does not mean that the trademark does not infringe another’s brand name. When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) […]

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Word-based Trademarks Do Not Lose Strength when Identified with Manufacturer Name

On 16 March 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) reversed a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) dismissing tire manufacturer Bridgestone’s opposition to the registration of the mark MILANZA for use with tires. The Federal Circuit found that the mark MILANZA did not lose its strength […]

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