When applying to register a mark through the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office, the PTO will want to know what kinds of goods and services you use your mark in conjunction with. That is, what are you selling? The decision here effects two parts of your application: (1) the International Class you choose; and (2) how you describe your goods and services. You can think of the International Class as the broad category your product or service fits into, and the description is the more specific explanation of what, within that class, you’re marketing. [Read more…]
For a lot of small businesses and startups, there’s just not a lot of money to go around. So when that business is looking to make payroll, get a minimum viable product out the door, or just keep the lights on, spending money registering multiple trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office just isn’t an option. In that situation, the question I always get is this: do I register my logo or my company name? The answer is almost always going to be your company name, for a handful of reasons. [Read more…]
A couple weeks ago I filed a trademark application on behalf of a client. Simple word mark, standard classes, everything done online via a TEAS+ application, no big deal. This week, I received a rather official-looking email from Trademarkia regarding filing deadlines. I thought it was problematic when I first saw it, then I did a little digging and I’m officially disgusted with the law firm behind it. [Read more…]
Today Ford Motor Company sued Ferrari in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan. I haven’t really had a chance to go through and get a handle on the case yet, but this is shaping up to be very interesting. Click through to read complaint in its entirety. Thus far, my favorite quote is, “Ferrari’s misappropriation of the F-150® trademark, or counterfeits, copies, reproductions, or colorable imitations thereof, has been, and continues to be done, with the intent to cause confusion, mistake, and to deceive consumers concerning the source and/or sponsorship of Ferrari’s products and services.” I think Ford’s come a long way over the last couple years, but something tells me Ferrari is not trying to get consumers to associate them with trucks. In any case, the complaint’s below:
On April 30th, the Boston Athletic Association, the non-profit that puts on the Boston Marathon®, filed suit against CafePress.com and Zazzle.com, as well as ten John Does, for a litany of offenses that basically boil down to trademark infringement and unfair competition. The BAA’s gripe is that CafePress and Zazzle allowed their users to create and upload designs that infringed on the BAA’s marks. Those infringing designs were then sold to other users on various items such as t-shirts, mugs, and stickers.
This suit has been met with some amount of populist outrage, outrage that I fully understand, and which was in fact my gut reaction as well. After all, the BAA and the Boston Marathon have been around forever, they’re seen as a big and strong corporate entity, and it looks like they’re trying to use their size to crush a few well-meaning individuals with a bogus lawsuit. Unfortunately, I think this is an open and shut case in favor of the BAA and, if I were their attorney, I would have filed it as well.