31
Jul/07

Great Moments In Mobile Trademark Lawyering


I was on the train last night. I received an email from a client asking if its application had been opposed. I used the web browser feature on the iPhone and by dint of perserverance and rapt attention to what key I was hitting, I logged onto TESS, entered the mark, looked at the TTAB status, and reported the status to the client. It probably only took ten times as long than were I doing this on a laptop (but I did receive an acknowledgement from the client before I had arrived home).
As Dr Johnson said of walking dogs and lady preachers, it’s not that it’s done well, it’s that it’s done at all.



30
Jul/07

Grinder v Grinder


mccormick grinder.jpg
weatherchem grinder.jpg
McCormick, the spice company, has registration no 2,183,132, for a mark consisting of:
“the configuration of a round bottle that abruptly narrows at approximately one-third distance from the bottom. The bottle then remains a straight cylinder up to the cap. The cap is a round cylinder with sets of three raised vertical lines, spaced evenly apart. The crown of the cap consists of a rounded top, with a rim slightly overhanging the bottom cylinder of the cap. At the top of the crown of the cap is a raised round rim, surrounding a small, short, flat, slightly raised cylinder at the apex of the cap. The applicant claims the color black, with regard to the cap, as a feature of the mark.”
Weatherchem began selling a bottle also containing a grinder.
McCormick sued (Justia summary page here, (complaint here).
The matter has now settled (Coverage here).



30
Jul/07

Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse Formed


From its website:
Purpose
The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a registered 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. Its objective is to facilitate dialogue, affect change, and spur action on the part of policymakers to address the gaps in both the law and ICANN policies that enable massive domain name abuse and consumer frauds. In doing so, CADNA seeks to decrease occurrences of cybersquatting in all of its forms by requesting anti-cybersquatting legislation updates and ICANN policy reforms. With pro-abuse groups already organized in Washington and the recent election of new leadership in both houses of Congress, the time to act is now.
Approach
CADNA will work to educate the public, lobby the relevant agencies of jurisdiction in the United States government, and actively communicate with members of Congress. Through these activities CADNA aims to effectively exert pressure on ICANN, propose draft legislation to increase the statutory damages set forth in the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) to take decisive action on abuses by domain name registrars and registrants, and work with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to introduce an international anti-cybersquatting treaty.”



30
Jul/07

Domain Name Wire: Top Domain Stories of July


Domain Name Wire: “Top Domain Name News Stories of July 2007″



30
Jul/07

That Barton Fink Feeling: Authors As Brands


NY Times: “The Ludlum Conundrum: A Dead novelist Provides New Thrills
“Robert Ludlum died six years ago, but that has done nothing to slow the release of books published under the name of the actor-turned-novelist who specialized in thrillers built on a foundation of paranoia.
Since his death in 2001, 12 books with his name have been released. Twelve Ludlum books have been released since his death, with a 13th due out in September. The business is deployed now as a kind of film studio, presenting books completed by others or new ones written using his name.”



28
Jul/07

"Latest Trend: Trading Down"


Barrons: “Latest Trend: Trading Down” (no free online version): quoting a survey by WSL Strategic Retail as to whether consumers had stopped buying their usual brands in 14 cateogires becuase the price was too high:
“A full 45% of those surveyed said they gave up on thier favorite cosmetic because of price inflation. And 42% traded down on their perfume and magazines, or eliminated the purchases altogether.”



27
Jul/07

More On Qualifications Of Deputy Director of PTO


Very long, very interesting comment thread on Volokh about the suit regarding Deputy Director Peterlin’s qualifications to be Deputy Director of the PTO. Background here.
One comment: The point is made that the statute requires a background in either trademark or patent law. Does anyone know the thinking that went into this clause? It’s ok to be half inepxerienced but not totally inexperienced? Or was the thinking that the Deputy Director would be a specialist in one field, and the Director the specialist in the other?
A point made on the thread was that Director Bruce Lehman, appointed by Clinton, had a copyright background, not patent or trademark, and this is correct. Lehman was followed in 1998 by Q. Todd Dickinson, who practiced both patent and trademark law, who was followed in 2000 by Jim Rogan, who, as a congressman, was a manager of Clinton’s impeachment trial, who was followed by the current Director, Jon Dudas, who served six years as Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, and Staff Director and Deputy General Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.
I asked an Administrative Law professor who might have standing in a suit challenging whether the Director abused discretion in selecting the Deputy Director, and he responded (off the cuff): “someone challenging a decision made by the Deputy Director” and then wondered whether there are such people.



26
Jul/07

Social Networking Tools Poll


Are any of you guys using ‘social networking apps’ such as Facebook or Twitter?
The “ask a question’ app and the staus update function on Facebook both seem to be efficient means of conducting (non-confidential) polls of colleagues. The Group function seems to have potential as well (in that its less distracting than a listserv for a discussion group).
Look me up on Facebook and check out the Between Lawyers group.



25
Jul/07

"EU NameSpace Is Dead?"


CircleID: “EU NameSpace is Dead?



25
Jul/07

New Trademark Law Blog: Beauty Marks


Friend and former Westchester, now Seattle resident Jessica Stone Levy has begun a new blog “Beauty Marks” featuring ‘miscellaneous thoughts about trademarks and branding.”