Trademark to Include “Jewelry and Watches”

Last June, Apple began registering for trademarks on the “iWatch” name in a number of countries, but since that time the company has been bolstering its trademarks on the actual company name “Apple” to also cover jewelry and watches, MacRumors has discovered.

By international agreement, trademarks are broken down into 45 different classes to organize the types of goods and services being registered for protection. Watches and other jewelry are part of Class 14, which is focused on precious metals/stones and products made from those materials. While some of Apple’s trademark on the “Apple” name have previously included some goods from Class 14, the company is now broadening and cleaning up its trademark applications in those areas. The moves come as the company is widely expected to introduce its “iWatch” smart watch as soon as later this year.

Among the recent expansions for Apple is Ecuador, where Apple filed a new trademark application in late December specifically to add protection in Class 14 for a long list of product types including jewelry and watches. Google translation of new category application for “Apple” trademark:
jewelry; watches; watches; goods in precious metals or coated therewith; cufflinks or cufflinks; keychains; timers; brooches in precious metals or coated therewith; ornaments in precious metals or coated therewith; tie pins in precious metals or coated therewith; tie clips or tie clips of precious metal or coated therewith; badges of precious metal or coated therewith; bracelets of precious metal or coated therewith; Necklaces in precious metals or coated therewith; medals in precious metals or coated therewith; short chains and ornaments in precious metals or coated therewith; buttons in precious metals or coated therewith; clip in precious metals or coated therewith; boxes of precious metal or coated therewith; decorations in precious metals or coated therewith; jewelry; sculptures and precious metals products.
Applications in other countries have followed in recent months, including a nearly identical filing in Mexico in early January that again solely focused on Class 14. Other expansions have come as part of larger filings, such as in Norway, where Apple in mid-February applied for increased protection in seven different classes including a significant list within Class 14. And just last month that effort extended to the United Kingdom, where Apple filed to broaden its protections in over a dozen classes, including Class 14 for the first time there.

While new applications to protect Apple’s use of its own name in jewelry and watches have appeared in a number of countries in recent months, the company has yet to make the move in all countries where it operates, most notably the United States where the “Apple” name is not currently covered under Class 14 at all.

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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Trademark Application



King Resolves Trademark Disputes With Two Independent Developers

Candy Crush Saga maker King has resolved its trademark disputes with the developers of two independent games, The Banner Saga and CandySwipe.

The mobile gaming giant had initially opposed Stoic’s attempt to trademark the title of its new game The Banner Saga, while the creator of a game called CandySwipe had picked a public fight with King over its “candy” trademark. In updates posted online, bothdevelopers now say the disputes have been amicably resolved.

“Stoic is pleased to have come to an agreement with King regarding Stoic’s The Banner Saga trademark, which enables both parties to protect their respective trademarks now and in the future,” Stoic community director Lance James wrote.

King spokeswoman Susannah Clark reiterated that the company had to oppose the smaller companies’ trademarks so as not to set a precedent for potential trademark battles in the future. However, she said the company has no formal policy about such hypothetical battles other than to “protect our IP and respect the IP of others.”

“The whole way along, this hasn’t been about being aggressive or taking things down,” Clark said, “Every case is different.”

No formal litigation took place, she added, and Stoic will be able to trademark “The Banner Saga” while King’s trademarks on “saga” — stemming from the sister games to Candy Crush Saga like Papa Pear Saga and Bubble Witch Saga — are unaffected. In February, the company dropped its attempt to trademark the word “candy” in the U.S., but has maintained its trademark in the E.U.

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Trademark


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A Small Irish Whiskey Brand Takes on Bacardi Over Trademark

Small businesses can easily be outgunned by large corporations in the court of law. Andre Levy, a British liquor marketer grappling with some of the world’s largest spirits conglomerates, hopes for a fairer shake in the court of public opinion.

In 2000, Levy launched a whiskey brand called Wild Geese. To Levy and his Irish wife Mairade, who live in Switzerland, the brand clearly evoked the story of 17th century Irish soldiers, known as the Wild Geese, who fled to France at the end of a war with the English. Pernod Ricard (RI:FP), the spirits company that owned Wild Turkey bourbon at the time, thought the new brand looked like a trademark violation.

Levy, like the Irish soldiers that inspired him, eventually capitulated before a more powerful opponent. In 2008, he added the phrase “Irish Soldiers and Heroes” to the name on bottles sold in the U.S., which he says sufficiently distinguished it from the other wild fowl-branded booze. He later added the tagline “Untamed,” registering the mark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 2011.

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Now Levy is grappling with another big liquor company. Last year, Bacardi sought to register the phrase “Bacardi Untameable” with the USPTO. Levy filed an objection and hopes to persuade the trademark office that Bacardi’s application, if approved, would violate his existing mark.

He worries that Bacardi will continue using its phrase, regardless of what the trademark office rules. “We would have to take Bacardi to court,” he says. “That would take years and cost substantial amounts of money.”

Bacardi spokeswoman Amy Federman says in an e-mail that the company “has nothing to add to your piece in response to the allegations.”

STORY: The Latest Tennessee Whiskey War
Levy says his company, Avalon Group, which markets whiskey, gin, and rum, had $5.25 million in sales in 2012. Bacardi, which also owns Dewar’s whisky and Grey Goose vodka in addition to its flagship rum brand, has estimated revenue in the billions.

In addition to his formal objection, Levy launched a website that asks visitors to rally lawmakers and bartenders to his cause. His tone is blustery: “Bacardi’s actions are a danger to all entrepreneurs and to Irish heritage,” the website says.

Defending a trademark in court is expensive and complex, even for trademark holders that have slam-dunk cases, says Terence Church, an intellectual property lawyer at Brown, Church & Gee, a San Francisco Bay Area law firm. The law favors the company that uses the mark first in cases where a competing mark could confuse consumers. ”The problem is that smaller companies rarely have the resources” to prove such cases in a court of law, he says.

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Trademark


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Trademark – Shawne Merriman suing Nike

Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is suing Nike over the use of the “Lights Out” brand he made famous during his playing days.

Merriman’s Lights Out Holdings, LLC filed a suit in a California court alleging that, “Nike entered into negotiations with Merriman for a LIGHTS OUT line of apparel. Negotiations between Merriman and Nike were unsuccessful but, according to the complaint, “after these discussions Nike decided to use the LIGHTS OUT clothing brand anyway,” according to a press release.

“I earned my ‘Lights Out’ nickname in high school when I knocked out four opposing players in one football game,” Merriman said in a statement. “I made things official by securing the federal rights to my LIGHTS OUT trademark and have been using it ever since. I am suing Nike as a last resort, not only to protect my brand, but to protect other athletes who are trying to develop a brand after their professional career, like myself.”

Merriman is seeking “statutory damages of up to $2 million per content mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale or distribution.”

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Trademark



misusing its trademark – SAIL encashes bank guarantees of re-rollers

Over more than a year, SAIL has been receiving tip-offs that spurious steel products bearing its trademark have flooded markets across the country. Such products, comprising mainly of TMT rebars and structural items, not only violate provisions of the Trademark Act, 1999 but also pose a risk to the public.

“Following credible inputs, we formed crack teams which visited various locations and have filed about 4-5 FIRs so far for misusing the SAIL brand. Our company has also begun encashing bank guarantees of the company’s agent Raipur-based SKS Ispat. We caution errant re-rollers to refrain from producing spurious products bearing SAIL’s trademarks,” SAIL’s director commercial Vinod Kumar said.

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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in News about Intellectual Property



Google Glass Battle At The Trademark Office

Google wants the word “Glass.” The company is trying to trademark the word written in the simple style it uses for its marketing of the innovative device. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sees things a little differently, reports the Wall Street Journal. The corporation isn’t satisfied with trademarking “Google Glass,” which it successfully did. It wants less. It wants “Glass.”

The examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office think there are possibilities that Google’s desired trademark could be confused with previous trademarks like TELEGLASS,GLASS3D, Glass, Write On Glass, glassbox, and iGlasses. The refusal letter said, “The applicant’s mark is similar to the registrants’ marks. The marks all share the common feature GLASS and create the same overall commercial impression.” It noted some similarities between Google’s device and the already registered products which share the word.

In an unintentional display of snark, the trademark office examiner even defined the word “glass” for Google in the refusal letter. The letter quoted Collins English Dictionary‘s definition… Perhaps they included the definition because if you google the word “glass,” you will find Google Glass. The office explained that because the trademark that the company wanted was describing a feature of the device (that part of it will be made of glass), by its very definition, it is merely a descriptive word and not eligible for a trademark.

The letter did explain that the company could respond to the trademark refusal and provide a counter-argument.

So, Google responded. Actually, it responded with a whopping 1,928-page argument for the trademark office to examine. Certainly, they didn’t expect Google’s lawyers to just accept the refusal.

Anne Peck and Katie Krajeck, from Cooley LLP, are two of Google’s trademark attorneys. According to the Wall Street Journal, “About 1,900 pages of the letter are just clips of articles about Google Glass.” The attorneys said that there was no way that consumers would be confused by Google’s trademark given how much media attention Google Glass has gotten lately. Furthermore, they scoffed at the idea that the word “Glass” was merely descriptive of the product stating that neither the frame nor the display components of the devices consist of glass at all. Google is not nearly that archaic. Their devices’ components are made of titanium and plastic.

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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in News about Intellectual Property



Trademark warning for China traders

An intellectual property expert has some advice for New Zealand companies looking to register their trademark in China – get in early.

Hijacking of brand names is common in the world’s second-biggest economy and Anton Blijlevens, a partner with Auckland-based IP law specialists AJ Park, said a “trademark squatting” industry had sprung up there. The practice involves overseas brand names being registered in China and big payments demanded from the original owners of the trademark when they want to enter the Chinese market.

In China, as well as other parts of the world like South America, the first person to file a trademark is recognised as its rightful owner, said Blijlevens.

Christchurch food manufacturer Cookie Time and Auckland-based household products brand Ecostore are both facing lengthy battles to reclaim their trademarks in the Asian superpower.

Apple had to pay US$60 million ($69 million) in 2012 to Shenzhen-based firm Proview Technology which had registered the iPad trademark and was demanding that stocks of the popular tablet computer be removed from Chinese retailers.

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Posted by on April 5, 2014 in News about Intellectual Property


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