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 »

4 Stripes you’re out! Adidas Sues Designer Marc Jacobs

Adidas has been around for a long time and spent a lot of money promoting its 3 stripe logo. Part of its strategy to protect its brand includes trademark registration. The German company owns numerous U.S. trademark registrations on the various incarnations of its brand. So when fashion designer Marc Jacobs recently released a line of clothing that included 4 stripes down the sleeve, Adidas’ trademark attorneys quickly went into action, filing a trademark infringement lawsuit in Oregon federal court.
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Why Hall & Oates Purchased a Trademark Registration for Oatmeal Cereal

Daryl Hall and John Oates make beautiful music together. At least some people say that. Their last names also go together nicely to create an interesting phrase. People have played off the band’s name for decades, but when a cereal company began branding its granola as “Haulin’ Oats”, Hall and Oates decided they needed to put a stop to it and protect their brand name. But even though they have been known as Hall & Oates for years, they were forced to purchase a trademark registration to stop the cereal company. Read the rest of this entry »