Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Trademark Touch

Check out this interesting article on 'touchmarks' written by Stephen R. Baird, Esq. He defines what a touchmark is as well as the various challenges for claiming a 'touchmark.'

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What a Tweeting Mess!

Back in August, I posted about Twitter filing for the mark Retweet. The USPTO has since sent Twitter's legal counsel an Office Action suspending Retweet's application based on prior filings. However, let's take a closer look at these filings & perhaps we can figure out where Retweet is going to end up - abandoned or a real, live Federal trademark.

Here's what the USPTO is telling Twitter:

"Although the examining attorney has searched the Office records and has found no similar registered marks which would bar registration under Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. Section 1052(d), the examining attorney encloses information regarding pending Application Serial Nos. 77724346, 77802071, 77797006, 77697186, 77749897, 77746004, 77725866, 77701645, 77695071...

Action on this application will be suspended pending the disposition of these application upon the applicant’s response to the office action."

Wooo, that's a whole lot of sevens! Okay, let's look at each one, in order...

TweetLaw is currently suspended pending the outcome of Tweet, which is owned by Twitter.

tweetdealz is currently suspended pending the outcome of a whole lot of filings, which includes Tweet.

TweetTV is currently suspended pending the outcome of quite a few filings. And yup, Tweet is one of them.

Cotweet is being published for opposition. This filing went to publication on the 3rd of this month. So far, no oppositions have been filed. If no oppositions are filed, this filing will move to registration.

TweetNetworking is currently suspended pending the outcome of 7 filings, which include Tweet.

tweetworking is also suspended because of other filings. And guess what? Tweet is in the mix.

TweetDeck is suspended because of Tweet.

tweetPhoto has filed using Twitter's pretty distinctive looking bubbly blue font but their refusal has to do with descriptiveness: "
The relevant definition of ‘tweet’ is “[a]n entry posted on the microblogging service Twitter.” See attached. The relevant definition of ‘photo’ is “photograph.” See attached. Thus, the term ‘tweetphoto’ means an entry posted on Twitter to which a photograph is attached."

TweetMarks looks pretty to good to go except the USPTO is waiting for clarification on a specimen from them. They have until December 9th of this year to respond or the mark becomes abandoned.

Wowza. Okay, let's take a step back & look at these filings. A good chunk of them are suspended based on Twitter's filing for Tweet so let's look at that filing:

"
Action on this application will be suspended pending the disposition of Application Serial Nos. 77695071, 77697186, and 77701645 upon receipt of the applicant’s response resolving the following."

TweetMarks, CoTweet, and tweetPhoto are the marks mentioned. Look familiar?


So what do you think the outcome of Retweet or Tweet will be?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trademarks for the Troops
A hearty THANK YOU from all of us at TradeMark Express to our troops.

Since it's Veteran's Day, I thought it'd be nifty to take a look at filed trademarks that are about the vets.

Hope for Veterans is owned by Community Hope and "is a transitional housing program...to provide a safe, supportive environment wherein former servicemen and women can start rebuilding their lives." Find out more about them here.

Recruit Veterans "is a service-disabled veteran owned and operated staffing and recruiting firm." Read more about them here.

Thank a Vet is a pending trademark for a clothing line. Buy the clothes here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trademarkia


Launched in September of this year, Trademarkia is a free, incredibly easy to use search engine that allows users to search the USPTO database of Federal trademarks, be they live or dead.

Two of my favorite features:


* Logo Themes: The USPTO does offer the capability to search logos on their site but it's a bit cumbersome. Here's
an article about how one can do so. But Trademarkia's interface is much easier & really, it's just neat to browse through logos.

* Trademark Categories: aka Goods/Services
Each classification is accounted for here & each has it's own snazzy design leading you into the International Classification. Once you're in a class, you can then look at Federal trademarks alphabetically.

Now it should be said that while Trademarkia is super snazzy, very easy to use & just overall cool looking -- this is a search of the Federal trademarks ONLY, meaning we're missing State trademarks & Common-Law databases.


Also another thing I noticed is in conducting my SAM test, the engine seems to work pretty similar to the USPTO, which means the user will need to be sure to check all possible variations of the mark when conducting this preliminary search.


SAM Test

USPTO Flaw #1, Sound
: Trademarkia, like the USPTO, brings up 3 marks for IShine but not Ice Shine.
USPTO Flaw #2, Appearance: Again, same results as the USPTO - Trucool but not Turcool
USPTO Flaw #3, Meaning: This one was a bit odd as Trademarkia resulted in only 1 hit whereas the USPTO comes up with 23. Not sure what happened there.

Even given the above, I still strongly recommend folks use Trademarkia as a preliminary clearance Federal trademark search engine. It's far & above easier to use than the USPTO. Then once your mark clears that preliminary step, you can move on to the comprehensive part of the trademark process.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Distinctiveness & Descriptiveness Continuum


Here's a visual snapshot of the USPTO's Distinctiveness & Descriptiveness Continuum. Click to view a larger version. I hope it makes the PTO's guidelines a little clearer plus I like charts, graphs & whatnot :)

So far I've written about merely descriptive marks so I'll be sure to hit the other sections & re-post this visual with links to each new post.