California Intellectual Property Blog

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MCDONALDS LOSES THE BIGMAC TRADEMARK IN EUROPE

By Joseph Mandour on February 15, 2019

Orange County – In Europe, McDonald’s has held the trademark for the term “BIG MAC” since 1998. However, the trademark was recently lost after the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) decision to revoke the trademark in response to a cancellation filed by an Irish fast-food chain called Supermac’s.

History of the Big Mac

The Big Mac is the invention of Jim Deligatti, who owned a McDonald’s franchise in Pittsburgh. The sandwich debuted in 1967, and despite its decidedly un-catchy original names, such as “Blue Ribbon Burger” and “Aristocrat,” it became popular on the strengt Read the rest

SUPREME COURT FACES DECISION ON TRADEMARK PROTECTION OF ‘SCANDALOUS’ BRANDS

By Joseph Mandour on January 28, 2019

Los Angeles – In January 2019, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding whether portions of the Lanham Act that prohibits “scandalous” or “immoral” trademarks from receiving trademark protection are constitutional.

The case, Iancu v. Brunetti¸ centers around the decision of the U.S. Trademark Office to deny trademark registration to FUCT, a clothing company founded in Los Angeles in 1990. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has already struck down portions of the law prohibiting registration f Read the rest

TESLA FILES TESLAQUILA TRADEMARK FOR LIQUOR

By Joseph Mandour on October 17, 2018

Orange County – In April, Elon Musk made some noise on social media with his April Fools joke hinting at a Tesla-branded Tequila. Apparently it wasn’t a joke. On April 10th Tesla filed a trademark application for Teslaquila in Jamaica for “distilled agave liquor” and last week Tesla followed it up with the same filing in the United States.
In the original Teslaquila April Fool’s joke, in a twitter post Musk said that the the electric car company was going bankrupt and alluded to him being found passed out against a Tesla Model 3 surrounded by Teslaquila bottles. A few days later on Instagram, Musk posted a photo of a tequila bottle wi Read the rest

GROWTH IN CHINESE-BASED TRADEMARK FILINGS IS BECOMING A CONCERN

By Joseph Mandour on July 30, 2018

San Diego – For more than 20 years China has been the largest trademark register in the world, and the pace of filings are only continuing. The increase is party tied to overall economic growth in China. In the first quarter of 2018, China’s GDP rose 6.8 percent and is predicted to increase another 6.7 percent in the next quarter. Along with GDP, the trademark filing activity has had rapid growth. Within the past two years, China’s trademark applications have doubled.
To put the numbers into perspective, in 2017 China had ten times more trademark applications than the United States. Compared to Europe the numbers are even more surp Read the rest

UMBC RETRIEVERS SEEK TRADEMARKS AFTER MARCH MADNESS WIN

By Joseph Mandour on March 21, 2018

San Diego – The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers, a No. 16 seed, had a win no one saw coming during March Madness in Charlotte, NC. The Retrievers played the Virginia Cavaliers, a Number 1 seed, and took the nation by surprise when they won the game in convincing fashion, 74-54. This marked the first time in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that a Number 16 seed defeated a No. 1 seed.

Throughout the game, Jairus Lyles led the team to the win, as the whole team was energized from his confidence, which only seemed to shake Virginia more. The game really took a turn when Lyles made a three-pointer with 14:57 left on the Read the rest

THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES MUST WAIT IN LINE FOR “PHILLY SPECIAL” TRADEMARK

By Joseph Mandour on February 27, 2018

Orange County – Fresh off its first-ever Super Bowl win, on February 15th the Philadelphia Eagles filed a U.S. Trademark Application for “Philly Special” for apparel. The phrase “Philly Special” was made famous by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl in relation to a trick play. The phrase was called out by the team in the second quarter, on a fourth-and-goal when QB Nick Foles caught the ball in the end zone. Days after the Super Bowl win the Eagles were already using the phrase on shirts with the team’s logo.

One problem for the Eagles is that on February 9th, six days earlier than the Eagles, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. also filed a U.S. Trad Read the rest

HARD CANDY COSMETICS ABANDONS ITS TRADEMARK FOR #METOO

By Joseph Mandour on January 22, 2018

Los Angeles – Popular makeup brand Hard Candy Cosmetics filed a trademark application for #MeToo in October 2017 which created great controversy. Hard Candy was looking to brand a line of fragrances and cosmetics with the hashtag #MeToo. #MeToo has been at the core of a social movement to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.

Social activist Tarana Burke is said to have created the phrase in 2007, and it was then popularized by actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 when she encouraged women to tweet #MeToo to demonstrate the scale of the social issue.

Hard Candy Cosmetics has a history of supporting non-profit organizations, a Read the rest

GOOGLE WINS GENERICIDE TRADEMARK CASE

By Joseph Mandour on October 19, 2017

San Diego – Google recently won a lawsuit which challenged the validity of the Google trademark. Under U.S. trademark law, trademark rights are lost when a trademark becomes the generic name for the goods or services for which it is used. Several brand names have succumbed to this tragic occurrence known as genericide.

Formerly protectible trademarks that lost trademark rights are aspirin, escalator, thermos, and kleenex.

In Elliott v. Google, the Plaintiffs filed the ca Read the rest

MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS MAN FILES TRADEMARK FOR “N” WORD

By Joseph Mandour on August 9, 2017

Los Angeles – In June 2017, a Mississippi business owner, Curtis Bordenave, filed a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for use of a racial slur—the “N” word. The goal behind the trademark filing is not to be offensive, but to change people’s perception and the meaning of the word.

Having trademark applications such as this approved only recently became possible Read the rest

AMAZON’S MEAL KIT TRADEMARK FILING NEGATIVELY IMPACTS BLUE APRON

By Joseph Mandour on July 20, 2017

Orange County – In the latest Amazon empire expansion, on July 6, 2017 the company filed a trademark application for meal kits. The trademark application is for “We do the prep. You be the chef.” and is for a convenient service whereby frozen and prepared kits including meat, vegetables, pasta, etc. are delivered to your door. The trademark also covers a loyalty rewards program offering points and coupons for loyal customers. This potential service is great news, unless you are Blue A Read the rest

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