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October 19th, 2016
Get Ready for New Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the "Board") has announced a number of changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice, to take effect on January 14, 2017. The new rules will apply to all proceedings that are pending on, or filed after, that date.
The changes aim to provide more efficiency and clarity to Board proceedings by reducing burdens and better reflecting current technology. A full breakdown of the changes can be found here. Among the most notable are:
- Parties are no longer required to serve Notices of Opposition or Petitions to Cancel - the Board will do that electronically once the documents are filed;
- All filings must be made through the Board's electronic filing system, ESTTA, with exceptions permitted only if ESTAA is unavailable or a party experiences extraordinary circumstances;
- Testimony can be submitted by declaration or affidavit, subject to the right to cross-examine;
- All service of documents between parties must be by email. Consequently, the five-day extended response period for physically mailed service will be deleted;
- Requests for documents and admissions are limited to 75 each, and all discovery, including production, must take place during the six-month discovery period (thus, discovery requests must be served early enough to ensure this requirement is met); and
- The Board's standard protective order will be automatically imposed in all inter partes proceedings.
If you have any questions about proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or other trademark and brand management matters, please contact Catherine M.C. Farrelly at (212) 826 5579 or email@example.com, Dorna Mohaghegh at (212) 705 4869 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Trademark & Brand Management Group.
Other Intellectual Property Law Alerts
Beware of Trademark Solicitation Scams
Trademark solicitation scams are on the rise. If you receive correspondence about your trademarks from someone other than your trademark attorneys — correspondence that looks like an invoice or an offer for trademark services — it may not be legitimate. Here's a summary of what the scams look like and what you should do about them.
September 5 2017
Boston Restaurant Could Not Enforce Geographically Descriptive Trademark Against Celebrity Chef
In a closely watched trademark battle with implications for food, beverage and other industries, a federal court has found for celebrity chef and television personality Christopher Kimball and his new media company, CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL'S MILK STREET. An allegedly competing business, MILK STREET CAFÉ, had sued CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL'S MILK STREET, arguing that Kimball's use of CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL'S MILK STREET was likely to cause confusion with MILK STREET CAFÉ.
August 30 2017
Supreme Court Strikes Down Lanham Act Prohibition on Registration of Disparaging Trademarks
On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Matal v. Tam that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the federal registration of disparaging trademarks, is unconstitutional because it violates "a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend."
June 20 2017