Blockchain.io Responds to BLOCKCHAIN Trademark Lawsuit

I blogged the complaint filed by Blockchain Luxembourg against Blockchain.io here last week.

I have now been contacted by the head of communications for Blockchain.io, who asked that I post the following:

Paymium, that has been successfully operating a BTC/EUR exchange since 2013 and serving 170,000 customers, is currently closing its private ICO to accelerate the rollout of Blockchain.io. The public sale for this complementary cryptocurrency exchange service will start on September 27. 

The domain name Blockchain.io was registered by Paymium way back in April 2012 (https://www.whois.com/whois/blockchain.io), and the Blockchain.io project launch was publicly advertised in the press months ago. 3 days before the beginning of the sale, and a few weeks away from the official release of our platform, it thus comes as no surprise that we are challenged by some potential competitors, for obvious reasons. We condemn this approach that surely doesn’t comply with the crypto-community values. 

Moreover, Blockchain.io disputes the accusation of making false and misleading statements. What is at stake is, at first, the protection of our name, our reputation, and our loyal investors and customers. For these reasons, our lawyers will answer point by point the claims that have been made.

As for our ICO, we already provided early investors with the alpha version of our platform that is ready to be launched right after the public sale in November. The name blockchain.io is the legal property of Paymium and the public sale will start as planned on September 27.”


Text of Fed Circ Decision in Royal Crown v Coke in COKE ZERO Case

Royal Crown opposed various applications by Coke to register terms that included the word ZERO, on grounds of genericness (or, in the alternative, that the terms were highly descriptive and Coke had not shown a sufficient degree of secondary menaing in the term).

The court instructed the Board to consider, on remand, whether ZERO is generic because it “refers to a key aspect of at least a sub-group or type of the claimed beverage goods.”

As to secondary meaning, the more descriptive a term is, the higher the level of secondary meaning that must be shown. A highly descriptive term such as, perhaps, ZERO, is held to an ‘exacting’ standard.

TTABlog discussion here.


Text of Decision in D. Conn Motion to Dismiss re SPORTSPOD Trademark

Anthem Sports LLC v. Under the Weather, LLC, 17cv596 (D. Conn. March 6 2018)

Patent and trademark dispute relating to small tents for viewing outdoor sports. As 43(B)log points out, the judge used the term SPORTSPOD generically in the decision, which doesn’t bode well for the trademark claim.

Calling something a shoddy knockoff is an opinion and therefore not actionable under 43(a)(1)(B).

Falsely claiming to be the inventor of something is not actionable under 43(a)(1)(A) per Dastar.



For a business that sold fictional characters with extraordinary or superhuman characters, would you say that SUPERHERO is a brand  name or a common name?

Law firm files for SUPERHERO LAWYERS for legal services. Marvel and DC, co-owners of incontestable registrations for SUPERHERO, oppose. Notice of opposition, with funny drawings, reproduced below, as well as applicant’s motion to dismiss. Alas, ridiculousness tends not to be a winning argument for a motion to dismiss.  Discussion of applicant’s dog as evidence of good faith here.

Trademark blog references to the SUPER HERO trademark over the years.

HT Ron Coleman.

Notice of Opp Superhero Lawyer

Motion to Dismiss Superhero Lawyer


The Unsolved Genericide of TRAMPOLINE

I’m inclined towards the belief that genericide happens far less frequently than is believed (aspirin, escalator, zipper, yo-yo , thermos (with an asterisk) and very few others). Today’s NY Times ran an obituary of the inventor of the trampoline which makes the claim that George Nissen, added an ‘e’ to the Spanish word for diving board, trampolin, and registered the word as a trademark. Several other sources on the Internet repeat this.
I can find trademarks filed by Nissen and his company on TESS, but I can’t find a cancelled trademark for TRAMPOLINE covering ‘backyard tumblers’ owned by anyone. If you have info on the genericide of TRAMPOLINE, please share.


Seemingly Impossible Motion to Dismiss Re Genericness Allegation Against Registered Mark

Plaintiff owns registrations for, among other marks, FRAGRANCENET and FRAGRANCENET.COM. Defendant moves to dismiss based on genericness. The only record here is the pleadings. A registered trademark is entitled to a (rebuttable) presumption that it functions as a trademark. This seems to me to be an impossible 12(b)(6) grounds for dismissal, unless the motion to dismiss is combined with something else that builds a record, such as a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court notes:

In fact, at oral argument, both sides state that, based upon their research (which is consistent with the Court’s independent research), they were aware of no case ever in this Circuit where a court has, at the motion to dismiss stage, lacking an evidentiary record, dismissed a trademark claim on the grounds that a registered product or service name . . .was generic as a matter of law.”

Well, the motion still delayed the case 6 months.
Decision Fragrance Net Generic MTD



Coverage here.
Complaint Advertising.com


MOOSE TRACKS is a brand; BLUE MOON is generic

Property Intangible publishes the results of its genericness survey.


Please Take This Genericism Survey

Long-time friend of the Trademark Blog, Pam Chestek, at her new blog, Property, Intangible, has written a genericism survey that she’d like you all to take.


"Can the RNC Forbid The Use of an Elephant or "GOP" To Identify Republicans?"

nast elephant.jpg
Consumer Law & Policy Blog: “Can the RNC forbid the use of an elephant or “GOP” to identfy Republicans?“:

Although these references have been in popular use since the 1870’s, and owe more to Thomas Nast than to the Republicans themselves, back in the 1997 and 1995, respectively, the RNC trademarked the initials “GOP” and a stylized elephant showing three stars across its body. Relying on these trademarks, the RNC has been trying to suppress the use of the initials or an elephant to refer to Republicans generally, such as in the images that appear above and on the left.