California Intellectual Property Blog

Former NFL Star Shawne Merriman Takes on Nike Over Use of “Lights Out” Trademark

By Mandour & Associates, APC on May 7, 2014

Closeup of American Football on FieldSan Diego – According to a complaint filed recently in U.S. District Court, former NFL player Shawne Merriman is suing Nike for its use of the phrase “Lights Out,” alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. In the court filings, the standout linebacker details how he sought federal trademark protection of the phrase back in 2007 and how he has been using it since even before that. Read the rest »

Mmmm…Beer: German Brewer Tries to Trademark Homer’s Beer of Choice

By Mandour & Associates, APC on May 1, 2014

beer-bottle-pouring-thumb-200x132-40682 Orange County – Germany-based Duff Beer UG has applied to the European Union’s general court in Luxembourg for permission to register a European Union trademark for “Duff”, Homer Simpson’s favorite beer. Read the rest »

Patented Boeing Autopilot Technology Questioned in Missing Malaysia Flight MH370

By Mandour & Associates, APC on April 23, 2014

Patent RegistrationOrange County – Back in 2003 Boeing applied for and was granted a patent for technology that allows for remote control operation of an in-air plane’s flight path.  The application suggests that the remote control autopilot system be engaged “when the security of the onboard controls is jeopardized.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Patent Registration

USPTO Throws Out Most of Zillow’s “Z-Estimate” Patent Claims

By Mandour & Associates, APC on April 8, 2014

home-price-150x150 San Diego – As a result of a case brought before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the patent encompassing Zillow’s popular home valuation tool has been seriously diluted.   In its ruling, the Board found 25 of the 40 claims mentioned in the patent, referred to as the ’674 patent, unpatentable.  Zillow filed for the patent back in 2006 but wasn’t granted patent protection for its “Z-Estimate” tool, which is featured prominently on its website, until 2011.

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Posted in: Patent Registration

Johnny Manziel Scores Trademark Rights to “Johnny Football”

By Mandour & Associates, APC on April 3, 2014

Trademark RegistrationOrange County – Texas A&M Football star Johnny Manziel landed a big victory this recently as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handed down a final refusal against a company that sought trademark rights to the name “Johnny Football.”  The 21 year-old standout quarterback filed his own trademark application for Johnny Football on February 2, 2013 in relation to clothing and entertainment services, including motivational speaking.  Another company, however, had already filed the same trademark application earlier in 2012.  As a result of that filing, Manziel’s own application was suspended pending the disposition of the prior filed application.

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IBM Looks to Patent Technology that Reads Human Feelings

By Mandour & Associates, APC on March 28, 2014

face-150x150 Los Angeles – A recent patent filing by the country’s leading holder of patents may be about to take the connection people feel with computers to a whole new level.  According to an application published earlier this month by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), IBM is seeking protection over technology that takes sensory input from humans and digitizes it in order to recognize and differentiate various human emotions. Read the rest »

Posted in: Patent Registration

Proctor and Gamble Looks to Protect Old Spice Whistle as Sound Trademark

By Mandour & Associates, APC on March 25, 2014

whistle-150x150
Los Angeles – According to documents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Proctor & Gamble has applied for trademark protection for the Old Spice whistle.  The application was filed on January 17, 2014 and describes the trademark as “a whistled tune comprising of the following notes: A3 sixteenth note, A3 sixteenth note, B3 eighth note, D4 eighth note, C#4 dotted eighth note, E4 sixteenth note, F#4 eighth note, D4 eighth note.” The USPTO has cleared the application for publication, making the famous jingle one of the relatively select few sound marks allowed federal trademark protection.

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Samsung Creates a New Function to Compete With Apple’s Pinch-to-Zoom Patent

By Mandour & Associates, APC on March 14, 2014

touching screen on tablet-pc Los Angeles – A recent patent filed by Samsung looks to get around Apple’s patented pinch-to-zoom technology, which has been a source of major contention between the two tech powerhouses for years.  The issue goes back to before Apple was famously awarded $1 billion in patent infringement damages in 2012.  Though that award was eventually reduced to hundreds of millions, one of the major hot buttons in the litigation surrounded the pinch-to-zoom technology.  The presiding judge found that Samsung had infringed Apple’s pinch-to-zoom patent, dubbed the ‘ 915 patent, in over 20 of its devices.
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Candy Crush Saga Makers Rethink “Candy” Trademark Application

By Mandour & Associates, APC on March 12, 2014

Trademark ApplicationLos Angeles – The manufacturer of the hugely popular and equally addictive app, Candy Crush Saga, has withdrawn its “Candy”  trademark application with the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). King. com Limited originally filed the application back in February 2013, causing a wave of backlash and criticism among those who claimed that the British video game company was attempting to unfairly monopolize use of a common word.   King also stirred up complaints from other app makers, who claimed that their games were being threatened because of their own use of the generic word. Read the rest »

Ford Infringed Automatic Turn Signal Technology, According to New Lawsuit

By Mandour & Associates, APC on March 6, 2014

Patent InfringementOrange County – Execs at Ford Motor Co. are busy fending off the second patent infringement lawsuit they have been faced with this month.  This one was filed in the District Court of the United States for the District of Delaware by an American inventor named Richard Ponziani, who claims that Ford willfully infringed on his patent for turn signal technology.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement