Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

trademark law Archives

About trademarks

Business owners in New Jersey can use trademarks to protect aspects of their company, such as a logo or brand. However, some illustrated intellectual property can present some complications when it comes to trademarking if the illustrations are not representative of the business brand or do not have sufficient uniqueness.

Tradmark protection isn't always ironclad

The romance genre is a popular one among readers in New Jersey and throughout the country. Therefore, those who read or write romance novels may be familiar with something referred to as "Cockygate". The story begins when an author filed for a trademark to the word "cocky" through a company called Hop Hop Productions, Inc. It is not clear if the author has a financial interest in the company itself.

Vegas Golden Knights still facing trademark concerns

Hockey fans in New Jersey and across the United States have watched the first-year Vegas Golden Knights successfully make their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Though they're playing for their first championship, the Golden Knights are still officially registering their name and logos with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Protecting recipes not easy due to internet

Many New Jersey chefs dream of creating a signature recipe that's worth millions. For example, Sir Kensington's raked in $140 million when it sold its ketchup recipe to Unilver in 2017. However, in the age of the internet, it can be difficult to keep recipes from being posted online. Further, most recipes aren't protected by copyrights or patents.

Trademark congestion may be an issue for companies

Of the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language, 81 percent of them have been used to create single-word trademarks. That may be a hindrance to companies in New Jersey and elsewhere that are looking to create quality brand names. The study, which was published in Harvard Law Review in February, analyzed 6.7 million trademark applications from 1985 to 2016. It also included 300,000 marks that were already registered as of 1985.

Trademark options may be limited

New Jersey residents and others who are starting a business may find that many of their preferred names are already trademarked. Of the 100,000 most commonly used words, 75 percent of them are trademarked. Even if a particular name is available, it may not be wise to use it. For instance, those who use their last name as part of their business name might lose rights to that name if the company is sold.

NFL launches lawsuit to prevent Super Bowl counterfeiting

New Jersey residents may know that the Super Bowl attracts millions of viewers and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. The National Football League has a reputation for fiercely protecting its brand and intellectual property, and the league was joined by the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 24 in filing a lawsuit against an unnamed group of defendants to prevent the widespread counterfeiting of official Super Bowl merchandise.

Philly Special could be a lucrative trademark

New Jersey residents and others who watched the Super Bowl may have seen a trick play called the "Philly Special." The play involved a throw from the Eagles tight end to the quarterback, who caught the ball for a touchdown. On the Monday after the Super Bowl, one man filed an application for a trademark to the phrase Philly Special Cheesesteak. Another wanted to trademark the phrase for a clothing line.

Trademark case strikes down language restrictions

Trademark hopefuls in New Jersey may be interested in a trademark case decided in December 2017 that struck down some restrictions on obscene or offensive speech used in trademarks. The case played out as a contest between First Amendment rights and the obligation the government has to protect the population from offensive speech. In this instance, the First Amendment seems to have won the day.

Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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