Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Trademarks and Such

DQ Intellectual Property Advisor David Novak weights in on the Redskin trademark decision:
To answer your question, no, not exactly.  In short, the Redskins would still have common law trademark rights in their name and logo as well as rights under various state laws.  Having a federal registration for a mark is certainly valuable (that’s why people get registrations), but it is possible to enforce trademark rights without having a federal registration.  It’s just a little more complicated and expensive.  As funny as last season’s South Park episode Go Fund Yourself was, the law in it wasn’t 100% accurate.

For an overview as to why there is a good possibility that the trial court decision will be overturned and the Redskins will get to keep their federal registration you should read this article by professor Eugene Volokh.  He’s a law professor at UCLA specializing in first amendment law and has been following a similar dispute between the USPTO and a band comprising five Asian-American gentlemen who want to register the name of their band, The Slants: How an Asian American band name case may affect the Redskins trademark.

Standard disclaimer stuff: for information purposes only, doesn’t constitute legal advice, there is no attorney-client relationship, blah, blah, blah.

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