California Intellectual Property Blog

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Mandour & Associates, APC – California Intellectual Property Blog

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

BANANA SUIT COSTUME SPARKS SCARY HALLOWEEN COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT

By Joseph Mandour on October 4, 2017

Orange County – Banana suit costumes are a popular favorite for Halloween, and it turns out there’s big money in them. Enough so that Kmart and Rasta Imposta are entrenched in a copyright lawsuit over a banana suit which is a registered U.S. copyright.

For nearly a decade since 2008, Kmart has been purchasing costumes from costume manufacturer Silvertop Associates which does business as Rasta Imposta. However, this year Kmart and Rasta Imposta failed to reach an agreement on pa Read the rest

JAGUAR LAND ROVER FILES TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS TO PROTECT APPEARANCE OF VEHICLES

By Joseph Mandour on September 27, 2017

Los Angeles – Jaguar Land Rover filed five trademark applications between April and September 2016 in hopes to protect the shape of its vehicles. The design most recently called in to question is the Land Rover Defender after Jim Ratcliffe, billionaire owner of Ineos, is looking to release a similar vehicle.

Ineos is a company chiefly focused on chemicals, so it seems questionable that they are attempting to wedge their way into the extremely competitive au Read the rest

FEDERAL JUDGE REFUSES TO DISMISS SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON TRADEMARK CASE

By Joseph Mandour on September 19, 2017

San Diego – The Trademark case between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con is now moving toward trial. After Salt Lake Comic Con filed a Motion for Summary Judgment claiming that Comic Con was a generic term, U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia refused to dismiss the trademark case citing lackluster evidence to support such a claim.

San Diego Comic-Con is claiming that the two defe Read the rest

STARBUCKS UNICORN DRINK TRADEMARK LAWSUIT IS AMICABLY RESOLVED

By Joseph Mandour on September 11, 2017

Los Angeles – Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world, released a unicorn themed Frappuccino for a limited time between April 19th and 23rd of this year. Unicorn themed foods and products have been trending across social media the last couple of years so it is no wonder Starbucks took the opportunity to jump into the fray. However, Starbucks was not the first to create a commercially sold unicorn themed beverage. v

Unicorn themed foods are colored with cotton cand Read the rest

IN-N-OUT SUES SMASHBURGER FOR TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on August 30, 2017

Orange County, California – Infamous burger joint In-n-Out Burger, which originated in Baldwin Park, California in 1948, is suing its new lead competitor Smashburger for a trademark infringement. In-N-Out is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and has 326 locations. Smashburger is a gourmet burger restaurant that started in Denver, Colorado in 2007 and has quickly grown to over 300 locations as well.

While Smashburger is still a new chain, it has gained popularity quite rapidly due to its gourmet and regionally diverse burgers. To date, Smashburger already has more than 370 locations in 37 states and 9 countries.

In-N-Out has used its registered trad Read the rest

NEW BALANCE WINS $1.5 MILLION TRADEMARK CASE IN CHINA

By Joseph Mandour on August 25, 2017

San Diego – New Balance won a trademark infringement case in China against three Chinese shoemakers that were held to be infringing on New Balance’s signature slanting N logo. The case is notable because this is the largest trademark infringement award ever granted to a foreign business in China.

This is not only a win for New Balance, but the decision paves the way for other foreign companies in China who continue to face the same struggles with intelle Read the rest

CROCS DENIED PATENT FOR PLASTIC SHOE DESIGN

By Joseph Mandour on August 17, 2017

Orange County – Crocs, the footwear company based out of Colorado, appears to be losing any hope to achieving a design patent on its well-known plastic shoes. It has taken 10 years for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to officially reject Crocs’ design patent application. Crocs’ patent had been rejected twice before but Crocs has now received a third rejection.

Despite it being Crocs third rejection, Crocs still may attempt to appeal the decision, though it is loo 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

PIEROGI FEST TRADEMARK BATTLE HEATS UP

By Joseph Mandour on August 3, 2017

San Diego – A pierogi is a delicious savory dumpling part of Polish heritage. It’s also the center of a trademark dispute between a Chamber of Commerce and Hometown committee separated by 700 miles in Pennsylvania.

The pierogi takes center stage in the names of two Polish cultural festivals complete with parades, vendors, games, and other activities. There’s the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Pennsylvania and the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival in Edwardsville, Pennsylva Read the rest

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