• 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 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?

Whether a licensee is precluded (legally called an “estoppel”) from challenging the validity or enforceability of the intellectual property rights licensed to it will depend on whether those rights are patents, trademarks, trade secrets or copyrights, and in some cases whether the license agreement has a no-contest provision.

Inaccurate information in a copyright application, though sometimes correctable, may end up costing a pretty penny.

A logo can be covered by both copyright and trademark rights.  If you commission an independent contractor to design a logo for your use, ownership of those rights may vary because there are differences between the copyright law and the trademark law in the United States.

Posted in Trademarks

You can preserve rights in a registered trademark if the mark’s non-use is beyond your control, and you have documented the specific steps you have taken to arrange for its use in the near future.

Posted in Trademarks

A non-U.S. applicant cannot use the Madrid Protocol to register a merely descriptive English word (or its foreign-language equivalent) as a trademark in the United States.  But another strategy may be available.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board  has decided a ”threshold legal issue” as to the registrability of a multiple color mark for product packaging.

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