San 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 »
Orange 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.
Orange County – Facebook has ruffled the feathers of design app company FiftyThree, Inc. with its launch of its new standalone social media app called Paper. Paper by FiftyThree, Inc. issued a statement on its website and also sent a formal letter to Facebook, asking Facebook to stop use of the name. In response, Facebook has apologized that the makers of the drawing app were not notified earlier, but that it has no plan to discontinue the use of the word Paper from its app. Read the rest »
Los Angeles – In a likely effort to shift attention away from the fact that it has thrown in the towel on a major trademark dispute, Microsoft is rolling out a new campaign surrounding the rebranding of its SkyDrive cloud storage system. The service will now be called OneDrive and comes at the end of a drawn out struggle over the SkyDrive name.
Orange County – A federal judge’s ruling kicked 2014 off to a good start for Kate Spade. The holding cleared the high end retailer’s new brand “Saturday” from allegations of trademark infringement brought by a men’s apparel company called Saturdays Surf NYC. The dispute began when Kate Spade filed a request for declaratory judgment that its Saturday brand did not infringe Saturdays Surf NYC. In response to the filing, Saturdays Surf LLC, filed a counterclaim citing trademark infringement on the part of Kate Spade’s Saturday. Read the rest »
Los Angeles – The family that rose to fame for maintaining their rough country, traditional lifestyle despite becoming millionaires are now fending off a lawsuit over a recently launched line of wines. The Robertsons, who star in the hugely popular reality TV show Duck Dynasty, have added appropriately titled “Duck Commander” wines to their wide array of merchandise, which includes apparel, books, toys and even guns. The wines come in three varietals – a chardonnay, a red blend and a moscato – and are currently sold across the country at Walmart.
Orange County – Famed high-end brand Burberry scrambled last week to appeal a decision made by China’s Intellectual Property Office to cancel protection of its iconic tartan plaid design. The UK-based fashion house immediately challenged the loss of protection, which was handed down in one of its biggest Asian markets. China alleged that Burberry had failed to make specific use of the Trademark for the three year statutory period and concluded that the protection of the design had expired. Read the rest »
Los Angeles – A federal appellate court ruling handed down last week shut down Starbuck’s efforts to try to stop Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc., a small New Hampshire coffee seller, from producing “Charbucks” drinks. Filed in New York District Court, Starbucks’ original complaint detailed how Wolfe’s coffee brand and its subsidiary, Black Bear Micro Roastery, had infringed upon its famous trademark and diluted its brand. Writing for the three judge panel, Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier held that Starbucks did not meet its burden in proving that there was a “blurring” of its brand in the minds of consumers.
Los Angeles - One of the best known providers of social gaming applications has won a trademark dispute against the world’s biggest toy and game manufacturer. The English High court ruled earlier this week that Zynga’s “Scramble With Friends” word game does not infringe on Mattel’s classic Scrabble board game. Mattel had originally filed a lawsuit against Zynga, claiming that its use of the word “Scramble” was likely to cause confusion among consumers with its own “Scrabble.” Read the rest »
Orange County – Notorious motorcycle club the Hells Angels filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in California federal court last week, accusing Rapper Young Jeezy and department store Dillard’s of using its logo without permission. Specifically, the Hells Angels have taken issue with the logo featured in Jeezy’s clothing line, 8732 Apparel. Since Dillard’s carries the line and has sold some of the contested merchandise, it was also named as a party to the lawsuit. Read the rest »