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Makers of Popular Candy Crush Saga File Trademark for "Candy"

February 4, 2014,

candy.jpgCalifornia - King. com Limited, the company behind 2013's most downloaded mobile app, has made a move to obtain trademark protection over the word "Candy." In an effort to prevent others from riding the wave of success of the enormously popular Candy Crush Saga, King has begun sending cease and desist letters to competing app makers that use the word Candy in the names of their games. The move is being described as a strategic business move by some and an example of Intellectual Property protection going too far by many.

The trademark application was submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by the British video game maker in February 2013 based on its already granted European Union trademark registration. The application is for the word "Candy" only and covers three classes, from the video game itself to clothing to educational and entertainment services. After months of back and forth with the USPTO, last week King's "Candy" application finally cleared the review process and was approved for publication.

King's decision to trademark such a commonly used word is facing harsh criticism, especially by the app makers who have been told to shut down their apps based on a potential for confusion with King's "Candy" trademark. According to makers of other games that use the word "Candy," King is trying to unfairly monopolize the use of this word in the video game industry.

One of the targeted app makers, Benny Hsu, has expressed frustration at King's ability to reserve the exclusive right to use "Candy", claiming that his "All Candy Casino Slots" game has nothing to do with Candy Crush Saga and that he should not be prevented from using the word in the name of his game. He is one of many faced with the difficult situation of having to come up with names that work around commonly used words protected by trademark. Hsu, for instance, pointed out that he was barred from using the word "Memory" in the name of another app because of an existing trademark for the term. With the accumulation of more trademarks being granted for commonplace words, individuals like Hsu are growing increasingly concerned that they will be stepping on others' toes no matter what words they use to name their games.

Since its release in 2012, Candy Crush Saga has soared in popularity, becoming the most download app of the year in 2013, with an estimated 500 million total downloads. According to records, King logs about 700 million play sessions of the game per day, leading to approximate daily sales of $850,000.

NFL Star Revis Finally Gets Trademark for "Revis Island"

October 21, 2013,

football.jpgCalifornia - Tampa Bay Buccaneer cornerback Darrelle Revis was granted trademark protection over the phrase "Revis Island" last month, according to documents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Revis originally filed the application for "t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats, footwear, sleepwear, swimwear" in January 2010. The application process was long and attenuated, as Revis went back and forth with the USPTO filing four extensions of time to file a Statement of Use before finally being granted protection on September 24th.

The former New York Jets player earned the nickname "Revis Island" during his time in New York, where he became known for his ability to shut out opponents, isolating them and rendering them unable to catch a pass. His one-on-one coverage of some of the best receivers in the NFL has prompted countless comments that they have taken a "trip to Revis Island." This impressive play earned him the Jets franchise record for most career passes defended. He has also been selected to play in the Pro-Bowl four times.

Now that the "Revis Island" trademark has registered, Revis is free to expand upon his success by selling merchandise under the name he worked (and played) hard to create. Indeed, this appears to be just another step in Revis' building of his brand as he already has a Nike shoe named after him, the Zoom Revis, which sells for $130 a pair. While there is no official word on what exactly he plans to sell under the new brand, Revis' broad fan base surely provides a ready market for "Revis Island" apparel and merchandise.

Revis' registration marks one in a long chain of famous athletes and celebrities seeking trademark protection over their coined nicknames and phrases. Among a growing list, the Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin trademarked "Linsanity," Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte field for protection for his catchphrase "Jeah" and Chad Johnson filed an application for an "Ochocinco" logo. Beyond athletes, celebrity music couple Jay Z and Beyonce recently made headlines by taking things a step further and filing for trademark protection of their daughter's name "Blue Ivy" the same month that she was born.

Redskins QB RGIII Runs into Trademark Trouble

April 25, 2013,

football.jpgCalifornia - Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III burst onto the NFL scene last season as a rookie. With his RGIII nickname gaining popularity he chose to try to protect it by filing an RGIII U.S. trademark application. The application is for "shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, footwear, hats, caps, athletic uniforms".

When the RGIII Trademark Application published for opposition on December 25, 2012, Research Group 3, or "RG3," an Anaheim, California maker of suspension parts for motorcycles filed a request for extension to oppose it. Research Group 3 is considering initiating an action with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to try to bar the QB from using his nickname as a trademark. Research Group 3 feels the public may be confused into thinking that the RGIII trademark is somehow associated with RG3.

Rather than battle it out in court, it appears that the sides are attempting and enter into a consent agreement whereby both parties can use their respective trademarks in a way that avoids confusion. This would involve making a clear delineation between the use of RGIII and RG3. Research Group 3 has stated that it is not trying to profit from QB's fame and wishes him the best on and off the field. What it hopes to accomplish is to avoid consumer confusion in the marketplace.

Research Group 3 claims that it has evidence of actual confusion in that it has received inquires as to whether the Redskin's QB is associated with the company. Research Group 3 has the option of filing a Notice of Opposition which would initiate a proceeding with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The TTAB would then decide the fate of Robert Griffin III's trademark. If it is determined that a likelihood of confusion exists and that Research Group 3 has prior use, the TTAB could decide to prevent the RGIII trademark's registration.

With the increasing fame of the QB and his RGIII nickname, it is understandable that Research Group 3 would want to protect its trademark from any misperception. The company started making off-road motorcycle suspension parts in 1998 and hopes to "bring the art and science of off-road motorcycle suspension to a whole new level."

Research Group 3's popularity grew as it created the technology to aid professional and amateur riders to maneuver motorcycles through challenging terrain. It continues to be endorsed by professional figures in the industry, including Travis Pastrana, Broc Hepler, Rodney Smith, Nick Wey, Brian Deegan and Ronnie Faisst.

Cookware Giant Sued for Trademark Infringement over Green Colored Pans

February 27, 2013,

burner-cooking.jpgCalifornia - Meyer Manufacturing Co. Ltd. asked a California federal judge of the Eastern District of California to rule that Telebrands Corp. cannot trademark pots and pans with a green cooking surface.

Telebrands, the original "As Seen On TV" company, produces the Orgreenic product line of pots and pans that have the insides painted green to symbolize that the products are environmentally friendly. Telebrands accused Meyer's EarthPan line of pots and pans of infringing its trademark for "the color green on the inside surface of a cooking pot or pan."

The Hong Kong-based cookware giant Meyer told Judge Lawrence K. Karlton in its Motion for Summary Judgment that Telebrands' supplemental trademark should never have been granted because the green color used on the interior of the pots and pans is a functional indicator that the products are eco-friendly and the color has not gained secondary meaning to make it protectable.

"There are no other colors that signal that a product is environmentally friendly or healthy as does the color green. Being 'green' is synonymous with being environmentally friendly, and Telebrands may not monopolize a color that performs such a function," Meyer argued in its motion.

Meyer went on to claim that even if Telebrands' trademark was found to be valid, Telebrands had no proof that there was any consumer confusion between the Orgreenic products and the EarthPan line, which is a necessary element of trademark infringement.

Meyer's motion brought to attention the Second Circuit's ruling against Christian Louboutin SA last September. The appeals court there held that the trademarked red-soled shoes did not prevent competitor Yves Saint Laurent from selling shoes of a similar style in all red.

Though the cases have many differences, Meyer argued that since its pans are entirely green, instead of just the internal cooking surface being green, its products have the same level of resemblance to the Orgreenic products as Yves Saint Laurent's shoes had to Christian Louboutin's shoes.

Meyer initiated the litigation in the Eastern District of California when it filed a lawsuit for a declaratory judgment that the EarthPan line does not infringe Telebrands' trademark. Telebrands then filed a counterclaim accusing Meyer of infringing its trademarked green cookware and accusing the company of intentionally trying to confuse consumers in an attempt to profit from Telebrands' goodwill.

Mary Kay, Michael Kors Battle Over MK Trademark

February 14, 2013,

cosmetics.jpgCalifornia - Mary Kay Inc. filed a lawsuit against the clothing company Michael Kors LLC claiming the company is promoting competing products with the founder's initials, which breaches an agreement the two companies made to manage the use of similar trademarks.

The cosmetics company alleged that Michael Kors filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in an attempt to register the trademark MK for use on charms to be affixed to Estee Lauder cosmetic gift bags. Mary Kay claims this is in direct violation of the coexistence agreement the two companies struck, which only allows Mary Kay to use the MK trademark on makeup and other cosmetic goods.

Michael Kors first attempted to register an MK trademark in 2003. Mary Kay already owned a variety of MK trademarks and challenged Michael Kors application with the USPTO, according to the complaint.

In order to coexist in the market without any threat of trademark infringement, the two companies struck a deal in 2005 that resolved their differences and limited use of the MK trademark by Michael Kors. One of the terms prevented Michael Kors from using MK to promote any kind of cosmetic products.

Another term of the agreement prohibited Michael Kors from using the MK trademark unless the company's full name was spelled out near the trademarked initials. Mary Kay claims that Michael Kors asked to modify the agreement in 2011 to allow the company to create a circular charm with the MK trademark.

Even though Mary Kay did not agree to Michael Kors' request to use the trademark without the full name of the company, Michael Kors proceeded to apply for the MK charm trademark. Later Mary Kay learned that Michael Kors planned to use the charms on cosmetic bags that would be sold by Estee Lauder in several retail stores, including Macy's and Nordstrom.

"Because these breaches concern the wrongful use of a valuable trademark that Michael Kors contractually agreed not to use in these ways, the damage to Mary Kay from Michael Kors' breach is irreparable, immeasurable and not solely compensable by monetary damages," the complaint said.

Mary Kay is asking the court to force Michael Kors to honor the agreement it made with Mary Kay and withdraw its applications for the MK charm trademark.

Anheuser-Busch Wins BUD Trademark Battle in the European Union

January 25, 2013,

beer-bottle-pouring.jpgCalifornia - Anheuser-Busch InBev NV was granted the trademark BUD to use in conjunction with selling beer in Europe by a European Union court on Tuesday.

The two companies began battling over beer trademarks more than a century ago. Both Anheuser-Busch and Budvar began brewing beers using the name Budweiser in the late 19th century. The name comes from Ceske Budejovice, a town in Czechoslovakia, which is called Budweis in German.

After years of trademark battles, the two companies have been granted a mix of trademark rights around the world. Budvar is required to use Czechvar on its beer in the United States and Canada. In Germany, Austria and other EU nations Anheuser-Busch can only use Bud on its beer. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, both companies can use the Budweiser name.

Budvar has been challenging the EU trademark office's decision to grant the BUD trademark to Anheuser-Busch. It argued that the trademark is protected by designation of origin, as the name is from the Czech city, and that Anhauser-Busch should not be allowed to use it since it does not make its beer in Ceske Budejovice as Budvar does.
The court ruled that Budvar had only used the designation of origin in a few areas of France and Austria and claimed that the low volume of sales in those areas did not justify blocking Anheuser-Busch's registration.

Anheuser-Busch released a statement that said, "We are extremely pleased to have confirmed our right to a Bud trademark registration valid throughout the entire European Union. This ruling is majorly important in that it will expand our already strong global protections for Bud and Budweiser."

Anheuser-Busch got the news just a week after the U.K. Supreme Court rejected to hear the company's case in which it was attempting to secure exclusive rights to the BUDWEISER trademark in the United Kingdom.

The lower court who initially turned down Anheuser-Busch's request said that the two companies have coexisted for so long in the market and both companies have such high volumes of sales that consumers are accustomed to the two existing together and neither company deserves the name more than the other.

Nike's Covenant Not to Sue Bars Trademark Invalidity Counterclaim

January 14, 2013,

nike.jpg.jpgThe United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a shoe company could not dispute the validity of one of Nike Inc.'s trademarks, after Nike agreed not to sue the company for infringement.

Given that Nike's covenant fully insulates Already LLC from any infringement claims from Nike, the court ruled that a controversy no longer exists between the parties and therefore the court cannot hear Already's invalidity claims against Nike.
The Court also held that allowing Already's invalidity claim to proceed would undermine the requirements for filing a lawsuit under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that there must be an actual controversy between the parties in order for a legal action to proceed.

Nike initially filed the lawsuit against Already in 2009, claiming that Already was selling two lines of shoes, its Sugar and Soulja Boy brands, that infringed on Nike's design trademark for its Air Force 1 line of sneakers. Already responded with a counterclaim that alleged Nike's design trademark is invalid.

When litigation costs began to outweigh its possible benefits, Nike moved to dismiss the lawsuit and issued Already a covenant not to sue. However, Already opposed the dismissal of the invalidity claims, arguing that it should still be able to dispute Nike's trademark.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the unanimous decision affirming the Second Circuit's ruling. The court held that since Nike had agreed unconditionally not to sue Already, the federal courts lack jurisdiction over Already's counterclaims that Nike's trademark is not valid.

"Given the covenant's broad language, and given that Already has asserted no concrete plans to engage in conduct not covered by the covenant, we can conclude the case is moot because the challenged conduct cannot reasonably be expected to recur," the opinion stated.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a concurring opinion, which was backed by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, that a covenant not to sue may not always bar an accused infringer from continuing its invalidity counterclaim.
The concurring opinion stated that the covenant not to sue must be sufficiently broad enough to remove any risk that the defendant might be sued for infringement again in the future. Nike's covenant was broad enough to eliminate the risk of future litigation, but the concurring opinion warned that might not always be the case.

Former Frontman Fights for VILLAGE PEOPLE Trademark

November 15, 2012,

concert.jpgCalifornia - The Federal Circuit stood by the TTAB's decision to refuse cancellation of the VILLAGE PEOPLE live music trademark.

Karen Willis, wife and agent of former Village People frontman Victor Willis, filed three total petitions for cancellation to cancel three separate registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Two registrations were for live music and one was for recorded music. Willis, who is representing herself pro se, pleaded claims of fraud, abandonment, and genericness in each of the three proceedings.

Willis admits the group has used the band name and logo as recently as 2010 to promote shows. However, she claims that these shows do not count as continued usage because the members of the band were lip-syncing and therefore are not a real "musical and vocal group."

The TTAB and the Federal Circuit did not agree. They both stated that a group is not disqualified as a "musical and vocal group" just because a band lip-syncs and does not play their own instruments. Under the same reasoning, Willis' claims that the trademark had been fraudulently obtained twas dismissed.

The court also dismissed Willis' claim that the trademark should be cancelled for genericness because "Village People" had become a common term for live musical performances.

Though Willis has not been successful with the TTAB or the Federal Circuit in getting the two live music trademarks cancelled, she is still working to have the recorded music trademark cancelled. In the same proceedings where it ruled on the live music trademarks, the TTAB ruled that there was a significant dispute of material fact regarding whether or not Can't Stop Productions, Inc., the owner of the trademarks, had continuously used the trademark to sell recorded music. For these reasons, the TTAB allowed Willis to amend and refile her abandonment claim and certain fraud claims for as to the the recorded music registration.

Willis and her husband have engaged in other intellectual property battles with Can't Stop Productions. Due to a decades-old change in the Copyright Act, Victor Willis won a copyright termination dispute against it last May which allowed Willis to recover rights to "YMCA," "In the Navy," and other songs.

Philly Deli Refuses To Give Up Fight For Cheesesteak Trademark, Sues PTO

October 9, 2012,

cheesesteak.jpgCalifornia - A Philadelphia deli sued U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos on Thursday after failing to convince the PTO or the office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to let it trademark the phrase "Philadelphia's Cheesesteak."

The deli is seeking a court declaration that the trademark is valid and fully enforceable and an accompanying order requiring Kappos to issue a registration for it on the Principal Register, according to TTABlog, which reported the lawsuit on Monday.
Campo's Deli at Market Inc. is a local Philadelphia mom and pop cheesesteak and hoagie shop run by Mike and Denise Campo and their family, with satellite locations at the Phillies stadium and the Flyers and Sixers arena.

Campo's originally filed its application with the PTO for registration of the trademark "Philadelphia's Cheesesteak" in June 2009. The PTO examining attorney ultimately refused registration, and Campo's appealed to the TTAB in November 2010.
In August the TTAB affirmed the PTO's justifications for refusing the trademark on the grounds of likelihood of confusion with previous marks as well as geographic refusal.
Campo's says it has been using the trademark since at least January 2009, strictly in association with its sale of cheesesteaks in a retail environment for direct and immediate consumption by the purchasing public.

The trademark describes "a sandwich so superlative, it could only be called 'Philadelphia's Cheesesteak,'" according to the complaint. The deli is not trying to improperly control the phrase "Philadelphia Cheesesteak," which is simply a generic term to describe a type of sandwich, it says.

"The difference in the two phrases, of course, is an ('s) which demarcates a particular kind of gloriously gluttonous sandwich provided only by the plaintiff -- not just a Philadelphia Cheesesteak, but 'Philadelphia's Cheesesteak,'" the complaint says.
The trademark is "descriptive of the unique and tremendously delicious goods [Campo's] offers for sale to the famished masses, and is not, by contrast, an indication of the geographic origin of the sandwich, which would otherwise prohibit registration," it says.

The deli needs to register the trademark in order to pursue its franchising aspirations, so that the purchasing public knows that it provides a particular kind of Philadelphia Cheesesteak "of such a tremendous quality, such a gustatory delight and such a propensity for myocardial infarction that it could only be called 'Philadelphia's Cheesesteak' -- the very best example of what is otherwise a very common sandwich," the complaint says.

Campo's could use the trademark at any store in any future location in the country, since it has nothing to do with the sandwich's geographic origin, the deli says.
"No customer at any such prospective location would be under the misconception that the sandwich purchased by the beach from a Campo's store is literally prepared in Philadelphia when, instead, it is prepared on location, at each satellite location, over a steaming hot griddle directly in front of the consumer," the complaint says.

In the TTAB's ruling, the board agreed with the PTO that the trademark is confusingly similar to three registered trademarks including "Philadelphia Cheesesteak Co.," and that the trademark is primarily descriptive.

But the existing trademarks concern the identification of a particular company specializing in prepared foods, namely meat, the complaint says. There is no likelihood of confusion between the requested trademark for a type of sandwich and the three trademarks for a company which produces wholesale sliced meat, it says.

Although the PTO has also refused to register the trademark on the grounds that the use of "Philadelphia's" is too geographically descriptive, the office has previously approved registrations for trademarks including "Philadelphia's Soft Rock Station," "Philadelphia's Big League Sandwich" and "Philadelphia's Home Town Builder," according to Campo's.

Apple Can't Trademark Mobile App Music Icon: TTAB

September 21, 2012,

iPad.jpgCalifornia - Apple Inc. on Wednesday failed in its efforts to persuade the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to allow it to trademark the square, orange music player app icon familiar to iPhone and iPad users.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal board ruled that Apple's proposed trademark for the icon is too similar to a trademark already registered to the now-shuttered MP3 download service iLike, which also features a double musical note inside an orange square.
Apple sought to register its icon in relation to computer software used to play recorded audio content, sold as a feature of mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone.

The trademark examining attorney refused registration to Apple on the grounds that the proposed trademark is likely to cause confusion with iLike's registered trademark. iLike's trademark is registered in relation to providing temporary use of software for adding music and video profiles on the internet, listening to MP3s and sharing MP3s and music playlists with others.

The appropriate test is not whether the trademarks can be distinguished when subjected to a side-by-side comparison, but whether they are sufficiently similar in terms of their overall commercial impression so that confusion as to the source of the goods and services offered under the respective trademarks is likely to result, the TTAB said.
Though the trademarks are not identical, they both comprise a double musical note in an four-sided orange box, the TTAB noted.

"The basic similarities in the marks outweigh any specific differences that might be apparent upon a side-by-side comparison," the board said. "The differences in the details of the respective depictions of the double musical notes and their background designs do not suffice to distinguish the marks in terms of their overall commercial impressions."

Apple's software and iLike's services, meanwhile, perform similar functions in relation to controlling digital music, according to the board.
Apple argued that consumers looking for MP3 software are careful to distinguish between competing services since, among other reasons, many such services require the entry of personal information.

"One need only look around at any public gathering, or even just walking down the street, and you will notice many people with their handheld devices," the TTAB said. "While this group of people may include discriminating consumers, it also includes those who are not very careful."

Hot Dog Purveyor Loses Out In Sinatra Estate's Trademark Challenge

September 13, 2012,

franks-anatra.jpgCalifornia -- The estate of Frank Sinatra on Wednesday shut down a hot dog truck owner's attempt to trademark the phrase "Franks Anatra" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as the PTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sustained the estate's challenge and rejected the trademark application.

Frank Sinatra Enterprises LLC alleged Bill Loizon's application for the Franks Anatra trademark would create a likelihood of confusion with its own previously registered trademarks for Frank Sinatra's name, falsely suggest a connection with Sinatra and dilute the estate's trademarks.

The estate owns registered trademarks for Sinatra's name in connection with entertainment services including musical performances rendered by a singer, as well as in connection with prepared sauces.

Federal Circuit law dictates that when a trademark attains dictionary recognition as part of the language, it can be taken to be reasonably famous, the TTAB said. Sinatra has his own entries in reference works including the Random House Dictionary of the English Language and the Encyclopedia Britannica, it noted.

Loizon's desired trademark is a close approximation of the name Frank Sinatra, and is also phonetically equivalent, which reinforces the visual similarity, the board ruled.
Loizon argued that Franks Anatra was not a close enough approximation because the "Franks" portion refers to frankfurters, hot dogs and other similar food items, and "Anatra" means "duck" or "drake" in Italian.

The TTAB disagreed, saying there is nothing inherent in the trademark or Loizon's marketing to lead consumers to translate the word Anatra to duck.
"Furthermore, we do not understand how applicant's mark engenders the commercial impression relating to anything other than a play on the Frank Sinatra name," the board said.

Loizon testified, "The name of my business is Franks Anatra. Franks as in frankfurter, Anatra as in People's Republic of Anatra," "an independent island nation" that is "all about the hot dogs," according to the board. Loizon told the board he has placed the badge of his country on the door of his truck.

"They see our badge of our country, our symbol on the door that says People's Republic of Anatra," Loizon testified. "And it's a colorful logo that I created, and it's on the hood with some Latin underneath it. It looks very official, and it sells a lot of people. They believe it. They walk away saying, 'Wow, Anatra, I've never heard of the place.'"
Loizon also admitted, though, that his island nation imagery is not self-evident and that he has to explain it to customers, the TTAB said.

"Suffice it to say, we find applicant's explanation for choosing the mark Franks Anatra to be obscure and find it unlikely that consumers will understand it," the board said.

Jersey Shore's "Situation" Battles With MTV For Catchphrase TMs

August 23, 2012,

mtv logo.jpgCalifornia - Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of MTV's hit reality series "Jersey Shore" is embroiled in a feud with MTV parent Viacom over the trademark rights to his popular catchphrases from the show.

The catchphrases include "GTL," an acronym for "gym, tanning and laundry," and "twinning," a reference to seducing a pair of twins. The phrases are Viacom's property by authority of Sorrentino's "Jersey Shore" participation agreement, Viacom argued in an opposition lodged last week with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in response to Sorrentino's trademark application.

Sorrentino is attempting to trademark "twinning" in reference to men's and women's apparel, including T- shirts, tank tops, long sleeve t-shirts, sweat shirts, baseball hats, wool hats, shorts, panties, underwear and footwear, according to Viacom's opposition.

But Sorrentino is not and was not, at the time of the filing of its application for that registration, the rightful owner of the claimed mark, Viacom claims. The company already owns trademarks for the phrase "twinning" and "GTL," it says.

Sorrentino's participation agreement for the show, moreover, explicitly says he does not have the right to feature quotes from the show on t-shirts, according to Viacom. By signing the participant agreement, Sorrentino and all the other cast members disclaimed all rights to intellectual property created in relation to "Jersey Shore," including all trademark rights, Viacom's opposition says.

Viacom's attorneys did not respond to emails seeking comment.

During an August 2011 episode of Jersey Shore, Sorrentino became romantically interested in a woman and her twin sister. When one of the show's interviewers asked him, "Is it a twin for the win right now?", Sorrentino responded, "Winning. Twinning. Now, that's a good one. Oh, man, that's a good one, yeah. That's, that's good one, twinning. Twinning, that's a good one."

Cast member Paul DelVecchio, known as Pauly D, also said on camera during the episode, "When you get twins it's cool, so you're winning, but you're twinning because you got two twin chicks."

Sorrentino placed himself at the center of another trademark dispute last year when he filed a $4 million infringement suit against Abercrombie & Fitch. A&F allegedly sparked the conflict by offering him $10,000 to stop wearing its clothing on the show, while simultaneously selling its own line of merchandise featuring his catchphrases.

Hulu Withdraws Opposition To Dish Network's Trademark Application With USPTO

July 16, 2012,

tv_remote_control.jpgCalifornia - In a surprising and unexpected move, Hulu recently announced that it has withdrawn its opposition to Dish Network's "TV Everywhere" trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Hulu and Dish Network would not comment on any specific details of the settlement between the two companies. However, in the filings with the USPTO, Hulu reserved "...all of its rights, claims, remedies and defenses with respect to anyone's ability to use and/or register the term 'TV Everywhere'."

Dish Network initially filed a trademark application for "TV Everywhere" in September 2009. However, the application was immediately challenged by top cable operators including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communication & Cable Vision Systems, DirecTV and Time Warner. Hulu had previously argued that Dish Network should not be granted a trademark registration on a slogan that was considered a standard industry term by most cable companies. Furthermore, the term was a generic reference that was already being used by third parties descriptively in commerce in reference to subscribers of cable, satellite and other television services.

These subscribers could access and watch video content on devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, PCs and gaming consoles, among others. In contrast, Dish Networks claimed that it had been using the term for a number of years to create a commercial impression for the trademark. Consequently, it asserts that the consuming public recognizes the trademark "TV Everywhere" as a source indicator for Dish Network's services. The term is also currently being used to promote Dish Network services for Slingbox products, and Blockbuster @ Home hybrid services.

NBA's Top Draft Pick To Trademark Signature Brows

July 3, 2012,

basketball.jpgCalifornia - Everyone's eyes have been on NBA hopeful Anthony Davis lately for more than his hoop skills. Davis, the number one NBA draft pick, has a 'unibrow' that he refuses to get rid of. In fact, he is so proud of the look that Davis recently filed trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrases 'Fear the Brow' and 'Raise the Brow'.

The 19-year-old didn't waste any time to jump on the phrases pertaining to his signature look. Maybe it was a lesson learned from the New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin and the phrase 'Linsanity' that became a frenzy of its own earlier this year. Multiple people filed trademark applications for the phrase 'Linsanity' to make a buck off of the point guard. However, in the end the USPTO determined that Jeremy Lin was entitled to the rights of the trademark.

This is not the first time that someone has been known for his or her facial hair. Frida Kahlo, a painter, is a historical icon that among other things was known for her famous self-portraits that included her unibrow. Also, San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson became known for not only his pitching talent but also his beard to which the phrase "Fear The Beard" started in 2010. Wilson also filed a U.S. trademark application on December 1, 2010 for the phrase.

Davis, the 6'10" power forward and center said of his facial feature, "I don't want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it. Me and my family decided to trademark it because it's very unique."

The U.S. trademark application number 85,642,988 for 'Raise The Brow' was filed on June 4, 2012 and application number 85,643,417 for 'Fear The Brow' was filed on June 5, 2012. Both applications were filed as 'intent to-use' applications in international classes 3, 16, 21, 25, 35 and 41. These classes include goods and services such as aftershave, shaving preparations, bumper stickers, shoes, and charitable and entertainment services.

In April, Davis led the University of Kentucky to the national championship and was selected by the New Orleans Hornets this year. Davis stated regarding his now famous feature, "It changes none whatsoever when I'm in the NBA - I'm not going to change who I am. It's me."

Baseball Player's Trademark "That's A Clown Question, Bro" Gets Filed With USPTO

June 26, 2012,

beer-bottle-pouring.jpgCalifornia - On June 12, Bryce Harper, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals, uttered the instantly popular "That's A Clown Question, Bro" catchphrase after a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Harper, who happens to be 19 years old and Mormon, was asked after the game if he would enjoy a beer. With a great deal of annoyance, the Nevada native answered, "That's a clown question, Bro!" In all fairness, the reporter was Canadian and the drinking age in his hometown is only 18. However, the viral buzz instantly caught on, the phrase started popping up everywhere and Harper's camp quickly filed for the phrase with the USPTO on June 13th.

The filing states that the phrase is being registered for use with t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, hats, visors, gloves and shoes. Under Armour, a well-known sports clothing company, is set to begin manufacturing and selling t-shirts bearing the phrase immediately. Additional items will be produced if Harper's management determines that they will sell well. However, given the popularity of Harper and the viral phenomenon, it is likely that the t-shirts and any additional memorabilia bearing the now popular statement will quickly sell out.

Beer was not listed in the trademark application and Denver Beer Company is taking advantage of that fact by beginning sales of a beer named after the phrase. The beer, appropriately named Clown Question Bro Canadian Lager, is set to be on tap in time for the Colorado Rockies series against the Washington Nationals this week and is only being offered in Denver. Priced at five dollars for a 16-ounce draft beer, the brewery claims that the beer will not be offered long term. The Denver base beer company does not anticipate any issues with Harper management regarding the phrase, but they have a back up plan just in case. The beer name will quickly be changed to Clown Question Brau if Harper insists that the beer company stop using the registered phrase.