Under Armour Covers Its Butt by Objecting to ASS ARMOR Mark


In 2013, snowboarder Casey Scherr (“Scherr”) created a line of shock-absorbing athletic shorts designed to protect the tailbone, branding the line “Ass Armor.” Recently, Scherr’s company filed a trademark application for the ASS ARMOR mark, which apparently is causing pain in Under Armour’s backside. The $3 billion athletic apparel maker has responded by filing a trademark infringement lawsuit alleging the two marks are likely to cause confusion in the marketplace. Under Amour has also taken issue...
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Establishing the Ground Rules: How a Terms of Use Agreement Can Protect Your Website’s Content


A well-crafted terms of use agreement is an important component of any company’s online presence. Typically, such agreements first seek to protect the website operator’s content. Thus, within a terms of use agreement, the operator can inform users of how they may use the website and how they may not use a website. Further, if the website allows account registration, the agreement may include a termination clause, which permits the operator to terminate the account and ban the user from the site, typically at the...
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Making the Troll Pay a Toll: New Bill Aims to Reduce Frivolous Patent Litigation


Generally, patent trolls, also known as “non-practicing entities,” are entities that file and own patents without practicing the patented invention. Those entities then lie in wait until they have the opportunity to threaten lawsuits against businesses and entrepreneurs, demanding licensing fees for their patents’ use. For instance, some retailers who provide customers with free Wi-Fi internet have recently been threatened with lawsuits because an entity has alleged that such service violates their patent. The...
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Guess Wins Again


In the continuing fight between Gucci and Guess, Guess has prevailed in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in France by Gucci.  The French court found no trademark infringement, no counterfeiting, and no unfair competition.  The court denied Gucci’s request for approximately $62 million and instead ordered Gucci to pay Guess approximately $34,000.  The French court also nullified one of Gucci’s logos. This is the second victory for Guess, which also successfully defended itself in a suit brought in...
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Not Suitable for Some Audiences – Why a Beer Can’t Be Rated R


In 1987, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed for trademark protection on its rating system, seeking registration of the marks RATED G, RATED PG, RATED PG-13, and RATED R. This rating system was already strongly associated with the MPAA and variations of it had been used since the MPAA’s founding in 1922. The marks were granted without challenge, and relatively few litigations resulted.   In 2014, Minneapolis-based brewery 612Brew sought registration of “Rated R” for its newest IPA beer and...
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“Collaboration, Not Litigation” – Craft Beer Keeps Creating


In early 2004, Russian River Brewing and Avery Brewing discovered they had a problem.  Both breweries were selling a Belgian-style ale called Salvation, and both were concerned about how to resolve the conflict. Meeting in person, Vinnie Cilurzo and Adam Avery came up with a novel resolution: combine the two ales into a single product and call it “Collaboration, Not Litigation.” This creative approach avoided the costs and complications of a trademark infringement lawsuit, and the joint product has been a success...
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Happy Holidays: Funny Christmas Trademarks


In the spirit of the holidays, here is a list of a few funny Christmas-themed trademark registrations and applications currently before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.   CHRISTMAS BEERACLE — registered for “clothing, namely, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, pants, jackets, pajamas, underwear; alcoholic beverages, namely, beer” DR. CHRISTMAS –registered for “Christmas decorating services for residential homes” LUDACRISMAS –registered for “charitable...
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