TTAB Okays Amendment of “IBOOKSTORE” to “IBOOKS STORE,” Finds Acquired Distinctiveness

On February 27, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

In this consolidated appeal, the Board reversed the USPTO’s refusal to allow amendment of Apple’s mark from IBOOKSTORE to IBOOKS STORE (two words), and then found that Apple had established acquired distinctiveness for the amended mark based upon the “transfer” of inherent and acquired distinctiveness from two prior registrations for the mark IBOOKS. In re […]

TTAB Test: Which Two of These Four Mere Descriptiveness Refusals Were Reversed?

On February 24, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

Two of these four Section 2(e)(1) refusals were reversed. Put on your TTAB judicial robes and see if you can figure out how these recent appeals came out. [Answer will be found in first comment]. In re Blue Equity Int’l, LLC, Serial No. 86623172 (February 21, 2017) [not precedential]. [Requirement for disclaimer of BEST in […]

Impression Products v. Lexmark: Whither Patent Territoriality

On February 24, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.,Supreme Court No. 15-1189, two questions are posed that run to the heart of maintaining the principle of patent territoriality (and thus the defeat of international patent exhaustion).  Oral argument is scheduled for March 21, 2017; a merits decision is expected by the end of June 2017. Whither […]

CORN THINS and RICE THINS Merely Descriptive But Not Generic, Says TTAB

On February 23, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board sustained oppositions to registration of CORN THINS for popped corn cakes, and RICE THINS for rice cakes [CORN and RICE disclaimed], find the marks to be merely descriptive of the goods and lacking in acquired distinctiveness. However, the Board dismissed Opposer Frito-Lay’s claims that the marks are generic, or so descriptive as to […]

TTAB Test: Is PLUM Confusable With BLACKPLUM and/or PLUMDOG for Financial Services?

On February 22, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The USPTO refused registration of the mark PLUM for various advisory and consulting services, including mortgage brokerage, finding the mark likely to cause confusion with the registered marks BLACKPLUM for financial advice and consultancy services, and PLUMDOG for mortgage brokerage. Applicant’s services overlap with those of the cited registrations, but what about the marks? How […]

TTAB Affirms Refusal to Register Container Shape on Principal Register

On February 21, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

Ouch! Well, you can’t win them all! The Board affirmed a refusal to register the container shape shown below, for “dairy products, namely, skyr,” on the ground that the applied-for mark comprises “a nondistinctive configuration of packaging for the goods.” The Examining Attorney had accepted Applicant’s amendment to the Supplemental Register in the alternative, and […]

Impression Products: Hon. Michelle Lee vs. the American Industry

On February 21, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. the United States government has taken its most anti-patentee position on international exhaustion in modern history, as manifested by its summary of the argument (reproduced as part of the pdf version of this note). What did Ms. Lee Say on the Record in Impression Products?   Nothing! Absolutely nothing!  […]

The Patent “Rocket Docket” vs. “suffer[ing] the indignity” of PTAB? [confirmation copy]

On February 21, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

The Eastern District of Virginia’s legendary patent “rocket docket” has been a source of amazement for the past generation as a model of speed and efficiency.  Messrs’ Quinn and Brachman say that “the question presented is this: If the Eastern District of Virginia can dispatch patent cases in less time than the PTAB, why should […]

PTO Head Michelle K. Lee “doesn’t align with strong, inherent property rights”

On February 20, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

“Michelle Lee Must Go”:  James Edwards, writing on the country’s most popular patent blog, says that “Michelle Lee’s track record at the PTO doesn’t align with strong, inherent property rights. It indicates that she lacks an understanding and appreciation for the right to the labor of one’s mind, the legitimacy of and right to license […]

Whither Under Secretary Michelle K. Lee (con’d): Secretary of Commerce Vote in Eight Days

On February 19, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

A respected insider reports that the confirmation hearing for the Secretary of Commerce-designate will be held in eight days which may open the door to consideration of whether Ms. Lee stays in her current position as his Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Regards, Hal

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