• Posts by William Borchard
    Counsel

    Bill advises on domestic and international trademark matters at the highest level.  His practice consists of counseling clients and handling domestic and international trademark and copyright matters including clearance ...

A phrase sometimes can be registered as a trademark even though it also conveys a message.

 Book cover displaying the name Lori Allen, her picture, SAY YES TO WHAT’S NEXT, and How to Age with Elegance and Class While Never Losing Your Beauty and Sass

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejects many applications to register a phrase as a trademark on the ground that the phrase fails to function as a trademark because it is merely informational or is a well-recognized and widely used concept or sentiment that would not be understood by the public to be a source indicator.

Posted in Trademarks

If you adopt a recognized or widely used concept or sentiment as your trademark, don’t expect to have the exclusive right to use it or to register it even if you use it in a traditional trademark manner.

Whether an ordinary purchaser would think so in the real world was not relevant to this trademark registrability analysis.

Posted in Trademarks

If you are thinking of registering a variation of a famous trademark for use as your own mark, think again.

In selecting a word to use as a trademark, don’t assume you know what it will mean to all consumers.

Filled shot glass in front of agave plant

Certification marks differ from trademarks and service marks, but they are protected against uses of identical or confusingly similar terms just like trademarks and service marks.

A U.S. trademark application may be found to be void from the beginning if it is filed in the wrong name.

Many of us are looking for humor to divert our attention from Coronavirus cabin fever.

We are reminded of two cases in which animals—respectively a monkey and a cat—were held not to have ownership rights in intellectual property.  It is curious that these rights were seriously asserted in the first place, and that they were dealt with in a semi-serious manner in the second place.

A group of marks having a recognizable characteristic in common with each other may enjoy greater protection than each individual mark, depending on how the marks are promoted and when the rights are asserted.

Microscopic view of coronavirus cells

What can you do to protect your goodwill if you unknowingly select an unfortunate brand name, or through no fault of your own, your brand name threatens to be tainted by an extraneous circumstance—like the coronavirus outbreak in 2020?

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