California Intellectual Property Blog

Mandour & Associates, APC – California Intellectual Property Blog

OHIO STATE FILES AN OPPOSITION TO BLOCK OKLAHOMA’S “O” TRADEMARK

By Joseph Mandour on September 18, 2018

San Diego – Ohio State University recently filed a Notice of Opposition opposing the University of Oklahoma’s trademark application of an image of a drum major with a block “O” on the front of the uniform. The University of Oklahoma filed the application on December 7, 2017.

In the opposition filed with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ohio State claims that the block letter “O” has been used on its uniforms and merchandise since 1898. The opposition states that the block letter “O” is the “heart of the branding and image of Ohio State and is used in connection Read the rest

IN-N-OUT BURGER SENDS A CLEVER TRADEMARK CEASE AND DESIST LETTER TO A BREWERY

By Joseph Mandour on August 28, 2018

Orange County – Last week, Irvine, California based In-N-Out Burger sent a pun-filled cease and desist letter to Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery located in San Francisco suggesting that the brewerey “hop to action” to clear up a “brewing” trademark issue “in good spirits.”

In-N-Out Burger reached out after hearing of the upcoming release of Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery’s new beer called “In-N-Stout.” The brewery recently used Instagram to promote the new beer, describing it as a barrel-ages milkshake stout and tagged In-N-Out Burger’s account. Within the promotion was an image of the beer featuring a Read the rest

BILLY GOAT CHIP LOSES A ROUND IN BILLY GOAT TAVERN TRADEMARK CASE

By Joseph Mandour on August 16, 2018

Los Angeles – In December 2017, Chicago’s Billy Goat Tavern filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the St. Louis’ Billy Goat Chip Company related to use of the “Billy Goat” name on products. Billy Goat Tavern, founded in 1934, is a popular hang-out spot that gained some fame after it’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Billy Goat Chip Company recently filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit but it was denied by U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr.

The tavern currently sells branded beer and frozen burgers in local grocery stores. According to the lawsuit, Billy Goat Tavern has plans to begin selling potato chips in the near 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 sur Read the rest

NEW WALMART PATENT WILL MONITOR AND RECORD CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES

By Joseph Mandour on July 18, 2018

Orange County – On July 10th, 2018, Walmart filed a patent for audio surveillance technology for quality assurance purposes. According to the patent, sound sensors will be used to collect audio data to help improve the customer experience by focusing on the details of shoppers such as how long they stand in line, beeps of the scanners, rustle of bags, and even the conversations they have.

Sam Lester, a consumer privacy lawyer for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., says, “This is a very bad idea, if they do decide to implement this technology, the first thing we would want and expect is to know which privacy expe Read the rest

GATORADE WINS THE SPORTFUEL VS. SPORTS FUEL CASE

By Joseph Mandour on June 26, 2018

Los Angeles – In August 2016, SportFuel filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo, Inc. subsidiary Gatorade for trademark infringement over Gatorade’s use of the SportFuel trademark in a marketing campaign. Now, two years later Gatorade has prevailed and will be allowed to continue its campaign.

SportFuel provides nutritional products and services to its clients including the Chicago Blackhawks, the Rockford IceHogs, and more from the small town of Western Springs, Illinois. SportFuel was founded in 1993 by Julie Burns who registered the SportFuel trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008.

Gatorade created the sports drink ind Read the rest

SESAME STREET SUES OVER “NO SESAME. ALL STREET” TRADEMARK IN MOVIE TRAILER

By Joseph Mandour on June 12, 2018

San Diego – Sesame Workshop, founder of the children’s show “Sesame Street,” has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against STX Productions over use of its trademark in a movie trailer. The offending movie is titled “The Happytime Murders” which is a romp centered around puppets being killed. It stars Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and Joel McHale.

Sesame Workshop claims that the movie trailer has left the Sesame brand tarnished. The lawsuit continues to say that the movie trailer does not uphold Sesame Workshop’s message and uses the Sesame Street brand without authorization at the end of the trailer when you see the l Read the rest

TRADER JOE’S FIGHTS THE TRADEMARK TRADER SCHMO

By Joseph Mandour on May 17, 2018

Orange County – Recently a Kosher foods company has applied to trademark the name “Trader Schmo,” which is being opposed by the supermarket chain Trader Joe’s. Part of the reasoning behind the opposition is that Trader Joe’s believes that the phrase “Joe Schmo” is so recognized that Trader Schmo will confuse consumers, especially with both companies selling food.

Trader Joe’s began in 1958 and is based in Monrovia, California. There are 475 Trader Joe’s retail grocery stores in forty one states across the country. Trader Joe’s also uses trademarks similar to its core trademark including TRADER MING’S (Chinese food), TRADE Read the rest

SUPREME COURT APPROVES LEGALITY OF PATENT REVIEW PROCESS

By Joseph Mandour on May 3, 2018

Orange County – Last week the US Supreme Court approved the inter partes review (IPR) process for patents, which many believe helps high-tech companies fight patent infringement lawsuits and “patent trolls” more easily and at a lower cost. The justices ruled 7-2 that the U.S Patent and Trademark Office’s in-house patent review does not violate a defendant’s right under the U.S. Constitution to have a case judged by a jury and federal court.

Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch disagreed with the ruling. The case arose when Oil States International Inc., a Houston based company, disputed the legality of the inter partes revie Read the rest

LEBRON JAMES’ COMPANY SUED FOR TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on April 24, 2018

Los Angeles – LeBron James’ company, Uninterrupted, is being sued by Sebastian Jackson’s company, Adventure Enterprise, for trademark infringement. Jackson claims that Uninterrupted infringed his barbershop theme and “Shop Talk” trademark when creating the show “The Shop.” The Show made its debut during the 2017 NBA season and features LeBron James, Draymond Green, Charles Oakley, 2 Chainz, and others.

The barbershop themed shows both include guest speakers who talk about past experiences and success stories as they get their hair cut. Jackson trademarked the “Shop Talk” concept in 2016, listing it as an “organization Read the rest

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