Generic Fair Use

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Tag: USPTO (page 2 of 2)

Athlete Trademarks are Getting Absurd

Two trademark applications have recently caught my attention.  Both involve NFL players and their offhand comments that have become accidental catchphrases.  I highlight these two as a means of underscoring the recent trend among athletes to seek to register trademarks of all kinds.  Most of these marks, unfortunately, have limited commercial value and a short lifespan for relevance among the consuming public.  While I am a champion for protecting your trademark rights, these two particular applications strike me as nothing short of absurd.

Please allow me to explain…

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The First Amendment Embraces “Disparaging” Trademarks

On December 22, 2015, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed decades of legal precedent and held that the United States Patent and Trademark Office cannot refuse to grant federal registrations for trademarks on the basis of the mark being “disparaging.”[1]  This standard of refusing registrations for “disparaging” marks is derived from Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the federal statute that governs U.S. trademark law.[2]

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