IMAX Oversteps with Trademark Enforcement

Trademark enforcement is a critical component of branding, especially when you are a large, well-known brand. You want to make sure that others are not infringing your trademark or diluting your brand in any way. And while IMAX is a large, well-known brand, recently it was perhaps a bit overenthusiastic when attempting to enforce its trademark rights.
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Holy Likelihood of Confusion Batman!! Trademark Opposition to Rihanna’s Robyn Application

Although Robin is the junior member of the dynamic duo, he’s still very well-known and easily recognized. So when singer Rihanna’s company filed a trademark application on the name “Robyn” in the class covering on-line general feature magazines, DC Comics quickly filed an opposition to the application to protect the Boy Wonder’s name and brand. Now the singer and the superhero are battling it out at the Trademark Office.

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Don’t Mess with Texas – State Wins Alamo Trademark Dispute

Always remember the Alamo – at least when it comes to branding. If you don’t, the state of Texas may come after you for trademark infringement.

That’s what happened after two beer manufacturers took their trademark dispute to federal court. Alamo Beer sued Old 300 Brewing for trademark infringement claiming Old 300’s use of the outline of the Alamo infringed on its federal trademark registration. While these two groups battled it out, they received an unexpected challenge. The state of Texas stepped in and asserted its own trademark rights to the Alamo. A federal judge agreed with Texas and now both beer companies will need a license from the Texas General Land Office to continue use of the image of the Alamo. Read the rest of this entry »

Federal Appeals Court to Review “The Slants” Trademark Application

Portland, Oregon based rock band “The Slants” isn’t planning to change its name anytime soon. It just wants the Trademark Office to recognize its chosen name and grant it a trademark registration. After determining that “The Slants” is a disparaging term and rejecting its application, the Trademark Office has stuck to its guns despite multiple attempts by the band to appeal the decision. The band now rests its hopes in a panel of federal appeals judges, hoping they will overrule the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. The question of whether free speech rights should trump trademark law’s prohibition on immoral, scandalous or disparaging marks will now go before this group. Read the rest of this entry »