Patent and Trademark Office

18 Stories

Case of the Brand That Sounds Profane Heads to Supreme Court

Erik Brunetti has long tried to get a trademark for his Fuct streetwear

(Newser) - Nearly 30 years ago, Erik Brunetti, along with skateboarder Natas Kaupas, founded a streetwear company with a name that, depending on how it's said, could sound profane. They started Fuct with no major issues, save for the trademark they tried to get for the name—one that the Patent... More »

P&G Scheme to Lure Millennials Has Folks Saying 'WTF'

Procter & Gamble files trademark applications for 4 popular acronyms: WTF, LOL, NBD, and FML

(Newser) - Acronym-heavy news reports are proliferating after a recent development regarding Procter & Gamble. Ad Age reports that the consumer-goods behemoth has put in the paperwork for the rights to use four well-known letter combinations—WTF, LOL, NBD (which stands for "no big deal"), and FML ("f--- my... More »

Dr. Dre Loses Fight With Dr. Drai, an Actual Doctor

In trademark battle, gynecologist argued that no one was likely to confuse the two

(Newser) - In a case of Dre versus Drai, the US Patent and Trademark office has handed a win to ... Drai, thus ending a three-year dispute that pitted Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) against Dr. Drai (real name Draion M. Burch). One, of course, is the rap mogul who discovered Snoop... More »

Rock Band's Court Win Bodes Well for Redskins

Federal trademarks case was decided on Monday

(Newser) - An Asian-American rock band called the Slants found itself on the winning side of a Supreme Court case Monday. The justices ruled that a 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights. The ruling is a victory for the Slants, but the case was closely watched for the... More »

Budweiser Gets 'Panties in a Bunch' over 'Queen of Beer'

'King of Beers' doesn't take kindly to other company's slogan

(Newser) - A California brewing company calling itself "The Queen of Beer" may be royally screwed now that the "King of Beers" has gotten wind of it. She Beverage Co. applied to register its queen-based slogan with the US Patent and Trademark Office last year, but Anheuser-Busch filed a notice... More »

Redskins Lose Trademark Over 'Disparaging' Name

Plaintiff applauds 'victory for Native Americans and all Americans'

(Newser) - Under federal law, trademarks can't "disparage" individuals—and on those grounds, the US Patent and Trademark Office has withdrawn the Washington Redskins' trademark registration, the Washington Post reports. The office says the six trademarks that included the name "were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times... More »

Inventor Has Been Waiting 43 Years for His Patent

Gilbert Hyatt made millions off microprocessor claim

(Newser) - It's been 43 years since Gilbert Hyatt applied for a patent on a machinery-control system, and 35 years since he sought a patent related to liquid crystal displays. It takes an average of about two years to get patent approval—but Hyatt hasn't received it on either invention,... More »

Obama Cracks Down on Patent Trolls

He'll issue executive order to try to curb abuses

(Newser) - President Obama plans to issue five executive orders today aimed at slaying, or at least curtailing, patent trolls—companies that amass a lot of patents purely for licensing and litigation purposes. Obama's orders will, among other things, ask the Patent and Trademark Office to take a harder look at... More »

New Object of Chick-fil-A's Ire: Kale T-Shirts

Trademark Office not buying Vermont guy's bid to patent 'Eat More Kale'

(Newser) - First, Chick-fil-A flapped its way into the gay marriage debate , and now the fast-food giant is again throwing down—this time with a Vermont artist who makes "Eat More Kale" T-shirts. Chick-fil-A contends that the slogan, though spelled correctly, is too close to its own “Eat Mor Chikin”... More »

Facebook Gets Closer to 'Face' Trademark

Patent office gives notice of allowance

(Newser) - Facebook is thisclose to getting its desired trademark on the word “face,” at least when it comes to online chat rooms or bulletin boards. The US Patent and Trademark Office gave the social networking giant a notice of allowance this week, Inside Facebook reports. Now, Facebook must file... More »

Patent Office Removes Marijuana Category

After getting a call from the Journal about it...

(Newser) - For three tantalizing months, the medical marijuana industry thought it had a chance to finally be recognized by a federal agency. The US Patent and Trademark Office had created a new trademark category specifically for medical marijuana, and dealers from all 14 states where the stuff is legal bombarded it... More »

Abercrombie Sues Beyoncé Over Fierce Fragrance

Retailer says it's already trademarked the name

(Newser) - Abercrombie & Fitch has filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé in a tussle over her new fragrance, named for alter ego Sasha Fierce, Women's Wear Daily reports. A&F says it has owned the Fierce trademark since 2003, and that her plan "poses a likelihood of confusion" in the big-bucks... More »

Lizzie Borden's Hometown Museum Wins Rights to Name

Fall River bed and breakfast keeps accused murderer's brand local

(Newser) - Lizzie Borden would be so proud. Merchandise bearing her name is now the exclusive property of her hometown Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Mass., the Boston Globe reports. The B&B prevailed before the US Patent and Trademark Office in securing the rights to the infamous spinster’... More »

Jackson's Legendary Lean: It's Patented

(Newser) - When Michael Jackson and his dancers leaned over at a gravity-defying angle for the “Smooth Criminal” music video, it was pretty cool. When he replicated the stunt for his live show, fans were flabbergasted. And MJ apparently thought the trick was worth protecting, ABC News reports: In 1992, he... More »

Suit Challenges Patenting of Cancer Genes

(Newser) - A group of breast cancer and ovarian cancer patients has filed suit against the Patent Office for allowing a company to patent two human genes, the Courthouse News Service reports. The plaintiffs, who also include medical organizations and the ACLU, allege that Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2... More »

D'Oh!: 17 Sounds You Know

Trademarks, can you hear them now?

(Newser) - Harley-Davidson's attempt to trademark its “Hog Call” V-twin engine sound stalled, but about 300 sounds have made the cut. Mental Floss sounds off on the 17 best-known:
  1. The first trademarked sound: NBC’s chimes, the notes G, E, C
  2. MGM’s lion’s roar
More »

Senate to Mull Patent Law That Shields Big Biz

Upstarts would get lower damage awards if bill passes

(Newser) - The Senate is planning to look at a patent bill that would limit damage awards and tip the balance of power between corporations and smaller upstarts, the New York Times reports. Backers say the bill will curb gratuitous lawsuits filed against technology giants by speculators known derisively as "patent... More »

Court Blocks New Patent Rules

Judge grants injunction for drug giant GlaxoSmithKline

(Newser) - A Federal judge has blocked the US Patent and Trademark Office from implementing tough new patent rules with a temporary injunction in a suit brought by GlaxoSmithKline. The Wall Street Journal reports the new rules would have limited the number of times patent holders may make minor changes to existing... More »

18 Stories