Trademarks for Entrepreneurs

The Why and How of Frivolous Trademarks

What’s behind the rise in trademark applications? Some blame China, but I think there’s more to it. And why and how are so many questionable trademarks registered? At the heart of it, trademarks should protect consumers from counterfeit products; instead, trademark trolling and questionable trademarks limit competition and innovation. Why are so many questionable applications … Read more

Trademark Letter of Protest Challenges: Grandma Definition’s Failure to Function

Hey, class, let’s pretend we’re filing a Letter of Protest for a phrase that fails to function! “SAY WHAAAA???!!!” Relax, sweetie, this won’t hurt, I promise. Let’s back up and talk about the Legal Basis for your Letter of Protest. The Secret Legal Basis When I first tried to file a Letter of Protest against … Read more

Make America Gullible Again

“Make America Grateful Again” is a registered trademark for hats and T-shirts (SN87587829). As if a typical consumer seeing products bearing this “mark” (decorating shirts in large print across the center of the chest) would be gullible enough to think it’s a “brand” and not a satirical political slogan. Please. TM applications for “grateful” and … Read more

Trademark Letter of Protest Evidence Checklist

This post contains “best practice guidelines” for submitting a trademark Letter of Protest to support a refusal. Pat Protester worked directly with USPTO to develop the trademark Letter of Protest evidence guidelines in this post. (Dave Cadoff has an excellent post on How to File Letters of Protest Against Frivolous Trademarks at Merch Informer, showing … Read more

UPDATE: Trademark Letter of Protest Examples: Class 035

FRIVOLOUS TRADEMARKS:  IC 35 Letter of Protest update:  My Dog Mom Letter of Protest was dismissed in part and denied in part:  1) a “failure-to-function — widely used message” refusal was already issued, so my protest on that basis is moot (irrelevant);  2) my “premature claim of use in commerce” objection is denied — a … Read more

Trademark Failure to Function Example: Widespread Use (#MAGICNUMBER108)

Love it! Here’s a great example of a term’s failure to function without widespread use on goods. This is a big deal, because in the Merch By Amazon fight against questionable trademarks, USPTO has typically denied Letters of Protest that did not include evidence of many competing products. But widespread use in the marketplace is … Read more