It’s old news by now, but the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the immoral and scandalous  trademark ban set forth in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional under the First Amendment because it disfavors certain ideas and thus discriminates based on viewpoint.  Practically, this means that the United States Patent and

Since 1995, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have maintained intellectual property licensing guidelines, most recently updated in 2017.  Those guidelines, titled “Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property,” discuss how the FTC and DOJ evaluate licensing for patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and know-how and how they

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit ruled that trademark rulings from the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) do not have preclusive effect.  This means that ITC actions do not bar district court cases, that ITC trademark rulings are not binding on district courts, and that parties are not estopped from raising arguments they’ve raised in front

Earlier this month, at the request of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals officially set a trademark registration requirement by making an earlier ruling precedential.  That previously-unpublished ruling, which affirmed an earlier Trademark Trial & Appeal Board ruling, clarified the specific types of sales transaction information that are

With the 2019 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Tournaments in full swing, most people probably aren’t thinking “hmm, I wonder if the NCAA owns any trademarks related to the Tournament?” But, maybe they should be.

To date, the NCAA owns over twenty-four trademarks related to its annual Basketball Tournaments. Unsurprisingly, those trademarks include such

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) approved Campbell Soup Company’s (“Campbell’s”) application to trademark the word “chunky.”  Campbell’s filed an application with the USPTO back in May 2018.  In its application, Campbell’s cited to “massive unsolicited media coverage of chunky,” according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.  The word “chunky” has been parodied

We live in an era where news, information, and trends move very quickly. Words, phrases, or ideas that were obscure or non-existent yesterday can be the top trending story tomorrow. These overnight trends are now routinely used by opportunists in trademark applications. But trademarks are meant to be used to identify the source of and

Of late, multiple authors of this blog have followed the legal landscape around “scandalous” trademarks. In particular, this post follows up on the USPTO’s petition to the Supreme Court, which we previously covered.

A “scandalous” or “immoral” trademark is one which a member of the public would likely find “shocking to the sense of