Using Sans-Serif Font Makes a Bland not a Brand

A recent Fast Company article identified displaying a trademark in sans-serif font as the hottest branding trend in 2018. If you were part of this trend, the article labeled your trademark a bland not a brand. According to the article, blanding occurs when the trademark lacks any meaningful differentiation from its competitors. Even a coined …

Rare Loss for Plaintiff in Alcoholic Beverages TTAB Case

Breweries, distilleries, and wineries that are defendants in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cases have not fared well this year. More often than not, alcoholic beverage defendants foolishly cling to overly broad goods descriptions that ultimately prove to be their downfall. The scene was set for another plaintiff victory in a recent TTAB case, but …

Assessing Trademark Strength at the Search Stage is Critical

Trademark strength is an extremely important likelihood of confusion factor even if it is not generally a dispositive factor like the similarity of the marks or relatedness of the good or services factors. When the trademark strength of a particular term used in connection with certain goods or services is improperly assessed it generally leads …

Building Brand Awareness Requires Consistent Trademark Use

All startup companies and even some mature businesses have an issue with creating brand awareness, and brand awareness is the first step in the sales process. If prospective purchasers are unaware of your brand, it is much more difficult to get those prospective customers into the sales funnel and move them towards the conversion you …

Quaker Oats Brand Extensions Will Soon Include Milk

The Quaker Oat Company started its business by producing oats. However, the company has engaged in several brand extensions since its founding. Today, the QUAKER mark is used in connection with 80 different hot cereals, 28 different cold cereals, 37 different grain-based snacks, 22 different rice-based snacks, 22 other grain-based products.  That is a total …

The Heavy Burden of Proving Fame for Dilution Purposes

Most companies that have been using a federally registered trademark for ten years or more often mistakenly assume that the mark is famous. Long periods of use is a factor in the ultimate fame determination, but fame for dilution purposes is much different than fame for likelihood of confusion purposes. In fact, trademark owners would …

Limitations in Goods Descriptions Must be Meaningful to be Effective

You do not have to look far to find a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that says the Board will not read a limitation into a goods descriptions where an express limitation does not exist. In fact, we have several blog posts this past year that touch on or directly address this principle. By …

Girl Scouts Lawsuit Highlights Problems with Descriptive Marks

Despite both organizations having descriptive marks, the Girl Scouts of America recently sued the Boy Scouts of America for trademark infringement after the Boy Scouts announced its plans to drop the word “BOY” from its mark and allow girls to participate in its program. The Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of undermining the Girl …