Tim Tebow is many things. He is an athlete, an advocate, a Heisman trophy winner, and now it looks like he will be a trademark registration owner. A trademark application for the term “Tebowingg” recently survived the 30 day opposition period provided after a trademark publishes. The trademark application should proceed to registration, which will entitle XV Enterprises, a company solely owned by Tim Tebow, to the exclusive rights to use the mark “Tebowing” in commerce in connection with the sale of hats, shirts, and t-shirts.
The hugely successful movie franchise, The Lord of the Rings, picks up again when director Peter Jackson releases The Hobbit on December 14th, 2012. The profitability of the movies and all things related to Middle Earth are not lost on others looking to ride the momentum created by the new release. Global Asylum is a movie production company that specializes in “mockbusters”, low-budget movies that have similar titles and storylines to blockbuster movies and are released around the same time. This time around, Global Asylum intends to cash in on The Hobbit frenzy by releasing a film entitled Age of the Hobbits, three days before the release of the Jackson film (see story). So what’s the deal with these mockbusters? Is this fair game or foul play? Trademark law may be the deciding voice.
Shortly after singer Beyoncé gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter in January, the new mother and father, rapper Jay-Z, did something most parents never do. They filed a trademark application on the name of their child. When the parents are two of the most successful musicians on the planet, it seems that even the birth of their first child doesn’t slow down business. It may seem like a smart thing to do, because other people might try to beat them to the trademark office to potentially use the mark as leverage. For example, third parties might try to use the mark in ways that negatively affect their brand or try to sell the mark to them at an exorbitant price. News reports have come out suggesting that they have lost their battle over the trademark. (Click here to see Rolling Stone article.) While it’s true that Beyoncé and Jay-Z will not have have exclusive rights to use the term Blue Ivy, they haven’t lost their rights all together. The couple’s trademark application is still pending before the US Patent and Trademark Office and recently published for opposition. (Click here to see Notice of Publication from the USPTO.) So long as there is no one with senior rights to the same mark for the same or similar goods, their trademark registration application should survive the opposition period.
Computer technology and the internet move at lightening pace. A few years ago, the word app did not even exist. Now it has become commonplace and we hear about apps all the time. In 2008, Apple tried to get out in front of the curve and register a trademark for the term “App Store”, exclusively reserving the term for their use. Since that time, the term “app” has become increasingly popular.
Microsoft recently made an about-face with their planned name “Metro” for the user interface of their upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The Metro moniker had been used in many public settings, such as third-party developer tools and blog posts for some time, but now just weeks before launch, Metro has been replaced with the much less catchy title “Windows 8-Style UI.” It appears that the impetus for the change is the threat of a trademark infringement suit from the German retail chain Metro AG. Apparently someone in Microsoft’s legal department did not do their due diligence when it came to the trademark search for Metro.
The previous Trademark Access blog post discussed a trademark infringement suit between two baseball glove manufacturers. Rawlings Sporting Goods sponsors the “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” baseball glove manufacturers. Rawlings Sporting Goods sponsors the “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” and owns a US trademark registration for that phrase. Rawlings brought suit against Wilson Sporting Goods claiming that Wilson was creating confusion in the marketplace by outfitting a professional baseball player with a gold glove and thereby infringing on Rawlings’s trademark. In a trademark infringement case like this one, one of the major factors that a court would look at is how similar the goods associated with the marks are to each other. If the goods are unrelated, it is less likely there will be any confusion about the source of goods and less likely there will be infringement.
The Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune recently ran articles in their online business sections about Trademark Access’s online trademark registration services. The articles may be viewed by clicking here and here respectively.
As stated by the Deseret News article, Perry Clegg, the founder of Trademark Access, was recently elected to be the secretary of the Intellectual Property Section of the Utah State Bar and has been named among the top intellectual property attorneys in Utah as determined by a survey of legal peers conducted by Utah Business Magazine.
If you are a baseball fan, you are probably familiar with the Gold Glove award that is given annually to one player at each position for outstanding field play. But did you know that the Gold Glove is not actually given out by Major League Baseball, but is awarded by the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings? In fact, Rawlings is the registered owner of US Trademark Registration No. 1,945,584 which covers the phrase “Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
If you are successfully able to register your United States federal trademark, you have navigated the trickiest part of the trademark process. However, you are not completely out of the woods. Simply because you register a trademark does not mean that it will remain valid and enforceable forever. For your trademark registration to remain valid or active, you must show the United States Trademark office that you have continued to use the mark in commerce after registration.
You are probably familiar with two small symbols commonly displayed after the use of a U.S. trademark, the ® and the ™ symbols. But you may wonder what the difference between them is. These two symbols indicate that the owner of a mark is asserting trademark rights in connection with the mark. These “trademark” symbols are intended as notice or a warning to third parties regarding the type of rights that accompany a mark.