The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”) has proposed new rules that would require foreign trademark applicants and registrants to engage U.S. attorneys to prosecute applications, handle post-registration matters, and represent them before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Most marks are either trademarks (used in connection with goods) or service marks (used in connection with services). But there are a few other kinds of marks.
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted the U.S. government’s petition for a writ of certiorari in a case challenging provision of the federal trademark statute. In In re Brunetti, 877 F.3d 1330 (Fed. Cir. 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found the portion of the Lanham Act that proscribes registration of trademarks comprised of “immoral and scandalous matter” unconstitutional.
At the beginning of this new year, it helps to remind ourselves why we engage in this work, why trademarks matter, and, more particularly, why registration matters. Trademarks symbolize the goodwill of a business; they are the emblems of the brand owner’s reputation. Registrations strengthen and protection those important symbols.
The iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker was involved in a recent case that has the attention of trademark watchers. The bone of contention was the familiar look of the Chuck Taylor sneaker worn by generations of American kids (and adults), and whether shoes imported by Skechers and others were infringing.