This is the Redskins’ appeal of the TTAB decision cancelling their REDSKINS registrations. This is a de novo appeal to the US District court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Applicant sells KHORAN wine – KHORAN apparently is the Armenian word for ALTAR. Examiner doesn’t reject of descriptiveness but on Section 2(a) disparagement – as the Koran prohibits alcohol, Muslims will be disparaged by registration of the mark. TTABlog summarizes and links to the Board decision upholding the refusal.
A couple of initial observations: (1) the mark has allegedly been in use in the US since 2000. The record doesn’t indicate one way or another whether there has been objections to the mark. Once this case gets reported, it will be too late to obtain ‘sincere’ evidence on this point; (2) this was a (rare) augmented board of 5 panelists; (3) the Board’s “there is no proper way to spell a foreign word/what about the radio” analysis is well-settled practice, however I suspect that in this instance, Muslims may interpret KHORAN WINE differently than KORAN WINE as to whether they are being targeted (I don’t have $250,000 to test this point).
Finally, the elephant in the room: within seconds of reading what this case was about, I was reminded of the Danish cartoons, and Theo van Gogh.
Legal Satyricon: “No Separation of Church and State at the USPTO“, in discussing the BONG HITS 4 JESUS case, raising the point that it is not beyond doubt that Jesus was opposed to the use of marijuana.
WordLab: Santa’s Butt Hauled Into Court(re the travails of SANTA’S BUTT Beer).
The NCAA attempted to prevent the University of North Dakota from continuing its use of FIGHTING SIOUX as the names of its athletic teams. UND has sued the NCAA, alleging that the NCAA breached its obligations to UND in the manner in which the NCAA has applied its ‘Indian nickname’ rule. UND has succeeded at the interim relief stage
This website alleges that while there was support for changing the name, a wealthy donor (after whom a UND arena was subsequently named) demanded that the name be kept.
First shoe drops: “Drink Called ‘Cocaine’ Infuriates New York Mayor.” Background here.
Answer to anticipated email: I supose, because OPIUM perfume isn’t targeted at kids.
Answer to a different anticipated email: All I could find was one registration for GOD MADE MARIJUANA for shirts and hats, but I didn’t every single drug name.
Addendum: HT to SB for reminding me of In re Hepperle, 175 USPQ 512 (TTAB 1972), in which ACAPULCO GOLD was held to be registrable for suntan lotion.
I was approached by a RSS aggregator yesterday who wants to syndicate my news feed but I would have to sign a license indicating that my content was family friendly. I wrote back saying that everything so often I link to items like this and this. Look, I didn’t draft the ‘scandalous and immoral’ clause in 2(a) of the Lanham Act, I only blog about it.
TTAB affirms refusal of DE PUTA MADRE on scandalous/immoral grounds. Via TTABlog.
MSNBC.com: ‘Petition seeks to cancel “Redskins’ trademark‘ (a group of young Native Americans will file a petition to cancel the REDSKINS trademark of the Washington football team, seeking to avoid the laches issue that faced the group that filed the previous petition).
Some background here.