USPTO Updates Exam Guide for Generic Marks

genericism trademark

On May 23, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office updated its exam guideline for examining generic marks, Examination Guide 1-22. The guideline clarifies that the establishment of a prima facie case of generic marks will be based on the reasonable basis standard, which is the same standard used for other substantive refusals of trademark …

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More Russian Warships, More Failures to Function

failure to function trademark

As of March 21, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, and so do the filings of trademark applications capitalizing on that war. As discussed in an earlier blog, RUSSIAN WARSHIP, GO FUCK YOURSELF was filed on February 26, 2022, just two days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, there have been six other renditions …

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“Russian Warship, Go Fuck Yourself” as a Battle Cry? Yes. As a Registrable Mark? Probably Not

failure to function trademark

The world is currently seeing the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and there has been one catchphrase which has seemingly captured the fighting ethos of the Ukrainian people: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.” With that said, it was only a matter of time before this common phrase would wind its way as a trademark application …

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That Sucks! Otherwise Generic gTLD Still Non-Registrable Because Not Attached with Preceding Domain Name

1st amendment distinctiveness failure to function genericism trademark

On February 2, 2022, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed in In re Vox Populi Registry Ltd.,[1] the decision of the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refusing registration to .SUCKS as a service mark for Vox’s domain name registry services. However, the Fed Circuit agreed with the TTAB in that …

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New Trademark Application Reveals Problems with Mad Rush for “Hot” Trends

Cannabis IP failure to function trademark

A new trademark application for COVID-KUSH was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on July 30, 2020.  The applicant is Anthony Ariza dba Covid-Kush of Santa Clara, California.  The identification of goods and services indicates it is a mark for use in International Class 30, for gelatin-based chewy candies; flavored, sweetened gelatin …

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SCOTUS Watch: SCOTUS Finds Adding “.com” to “Booking” Makes it a Non-Generic Registrable Mark

distinctiveness genericism scotus watch trademark

In a major ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in U.S.P.T.O. v. Booking.com B.V.,[1] that an otherwise generic mark used in commerce conveys source-identifying characteristics when used with the “.com” top-level domain (TLD).  In her majority opinion, Justice Ginsburg opined that since only one domain name owner can hold one particular domain name at any …

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Fed Circuit Watch: TTAB Fails Genericness Test

descriptiveness fed circuit watch genericism section 2(f) trademark ttab

In a rare review of a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) case, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the decision in Royal Crown Co., Inc. v. The Coca-Cola Co.,[1] involving the doctrine of trademark genericism.  The Fed Circuit panel found fault with the TTAB’s analysis of the test for …

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