US Armed Forces Step Up Efforts to Enforce Trademarks

USMC
As reported by the New York Times, branches of the US armed forces are increasing their efforts to enforce military trademarks.

Numerous commercial products and services not actually associated with the military make use of military logos and mottos.

These products include insignia for the “Star Fleet Marines,” sold on a Star Trek fan site, as well as Marine-logo underwear and “Leathernecks” toilet wipes.

The fan site agreed to remove the Marine logo from its products but continued to use the marine name, as seen above.  (The name “marine” is descriptive of a type of military unit and is not unique to the US Marine Corps.)

The Pentagon has responded to the use of military-related marks by having its trademark attorneys send “cease-and-desist” letters to infringers.

The Marines already hold at least 68 registered trademarks and are continuing to get more, at an increasing pace: one mark in 2003, four in 2008, and nine from 2010 to 2011.

See Also:  US Navy Tops Fortune 500 Companies in Patents

In 2013 The Marines licensed the trademark, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” for use on water bottles.

See Also: What Is A Trademark? 

Walt Disney Co. tried to register the mark “SEAL Team Six” for items including toys, videogames, snow globes, and Christmas stockings – two days after the unit’s mission to kill Osama bin Laden became public.

Disney said it was considering producing a TV series about the elite unit.

In response to Disney’s application, the Navy filed its own trademark registrations for “SEAL Team” and “Navy SEALs.”

Disney later agreed to withdraw its trademark application, “out of deference to the Navy.”

Registering military marks allows the US government to collect licensing revenues.  The Marines have collected $5.4 million in trademark licensing fees since 2009.

The Army increased its number of licenses from 120 in 2011 to 265 in 2013.

If you have questions about the use of military-related logos, symbols, or slogans, or if you are interesting in licensing government-owned intellectual property for consumer use, it’s always best to consult with an attorney to avoid potential trademark infringement.


Leech Tishman’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to the protection and monetization of your ideas and innovations. Many of our registered patent attorneys have advanced degrees enabling them to truly understand the complex technical details of your idea. Several bring engineering expertise, others molecular biology, manufacturing and business acumen to your trademark, copyright, patent prosecution and litigation and trade secret issues, both domestic and international.
Our clients range from individual inventors, authors and owners of creative works to entrepreneurial enterprises, government entities, mid-sized corporations and Global 500 companies with operations throughout North and Central America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
We have serviced a vast array of industries including automotive, cosmetics, e-commerce, electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, furniture, internet, manufacturing, networks, optics, publishing, software, technology, toys, and wireless.
We are committed to providing you with strategic counseling and personal attention throughout the entire life cycle of your project.
We are proud of our longstanding relationships with local innovation communities and enjoy working with entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to protect their ideas and good names.
Please contact us today for a free consultation at (855) UR- IDEAS or (626) 796-4000.

Disclaimer: We fully comply with all laws related to attorney marketing and this posting is considered an advertisement.

Photo Attribution: Seal of the United States Marine Corps. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Get the Facts About Patent Infringement

UNMPatent Co-Owner’s Refusal to Join Lawsuit Results in Dismissal

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a patent infringement suit for lack of standing due to the failure to join a patent co-owner as plaintiff.

The case involves a US patent for a “Method for Manufacture of Quantum Sized Periodic Structures in Si Materials.”  The invention is intended for use in connection with manufacturing semiconductors and was derived from the contributions of four people, three of whom were employed by the University of New Mexico at the time of the invention. The fourth inventor, Draper, was employed by Sandia Corp.

In 1996, the four inventors executed a joint assignment of the invention to UNM.  In 2002, UNM assigned its own interest in the initial patent, US Patent S/N 5705321 (or the ‘321 patent) and a related patent, US Patent S/N 6042998 (or the ‘998 patent) to its wholly-owned licensing arm, STC.UNM.

In 2010, STC filed suit against Intel for infringement of the ‘998 patent. Intel asserted that STC could not enforce the ‘998 patent under the terms of the terminal disclaimer, which required identical ownership of both the ‘321 and ‘998 patents. STC contended that Sandia owned the ‘998 patent by reason of an assignment by Draper. Sandia refused to join the case, preferring “to take a neutral position with respect to this matter,” and the district court granted Intel’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing.

According to patent attorney, Laura Lloyd:

Researching all the inventors and owners of a patent before an infringement case is filed can prevent dismissals which are costly for the Plaintiff.

The district court reasoned that ownership rights must derive from inventorship, and because Draper did not co-invent any claims of the ‘998 patent (as distinct from the ‘321 patent) he had no interest in that patent to assign.

The district court explained that when a patent is co-owned, a co-owner seeking to enforce that patent must join all other co-owners as plaintiffs to establish standing. Without this joinder, a plaintiff cannot pursue a patent infringement suit. Accordingly, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal for lack of standing.

If you have questions about patent ownership, please call today for a free initial consultation: 1 (855) UR-IDEAS or (626) 796-4000.


Leech Tishman’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to the protection and monetization of your ideas and innovations. Many of our registered patent attorneys have advanced degrees enabling them to truly understand the complex technical details of your idea. Several bring engineering expertise, others molecular biology, manufacturing and business acumen to your trademark, copyright, patent prosecution and litigation and trade secret issues, both domestic and international.
Our clients range from individual inventors, authors and owners of creative works to entrepreneurial enterprises, government entities, mid-sized corporations and Global 500 companies with operations throughout North and Central America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
We have serviced a vast array of industries including automotive, cosmetics, e-commerce, electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, furniture, internet, manufacturing, networks, optics, publishing, software, technology, toys, and wireless.
We are committed to providing you with strategic counseling and personal attention throughout the entire life cycle of your project.
We are proud of our longstanding relationships with local innovation communities and enjoy working with entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to protect their ideas and good names.

Photo Attribution: “The campus of the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos branch in Los Alamos, New Mexico” by Danski14 is licensed under CC A 3.0.

Disclaimer: We fully comply with all laws related to attorney marketing and this posting is considered an advertisement.

 

Proposed Lower Fees for Trademark Registrations May Save You Money

 

trademark lawFind Out How Potential Changes to Trademark Registrations    May Affect Your Business

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing a reduction of certain trademark fees.

The proposal includes a $50.00 reduction in filing fees for trademark, certification mark, collective membership mark, and collective trademark applications filed using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) if applicants authorize email communication and file electronically throughout the process. This will be known as a TEAS Reduced Fee (RF) application.

Currently the per-class filing fees for the registration of a trademark is $375 for a paper application, $325 for electronic filing using TEAS, $275 for using TEAS Plus, and $400 per-class for renewals.

The proposal includes reducing fees for filing TEAS Plus registration applications and TEAS renewal applications of trademark registrations.  The reduction in fees for a TEAS Plus application would be $50 and a TEAS renewal by $100 and the filing fees for paper filings would not be changed.

According to the USPTO, filing through TEAS and communicating via email expedite processing of trademark applications, shorten the pendency of applications, minimize manual processing and the potential for data entry errors, and increases efficiency for both applicants and the USPTO resulting in an operating reserve.

Trademark Attorney, Laura Lloyd advises

While the proposal to reduce fees will be a benefit, I would advise clients not to wait to file a trademark in the hopes of getting a reduced filing rate because the date of filing can be crucial in future disputes.”

If approved, the new rates would take effect in 2015.

Please contact us today for a free consultation at (855) UR- IDEAS or (626) 796-4000.


 

Leech Tishman’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to the protection and monetization of your ideas and innovations. Many of our registered patent attorneys have advanced degrees enabling them to truly understand the complex technical details of your idea. Several bring engineering expertise, others molecular biology, manufacturing and business acumen to your trademark, copyright, patent prosecution and litigation and trade secret issues, both domestic and international.
Our clients range from individual inventors, authors and owners of creative works to entrepreneurial enterprises, government entities, mid-sized corporations and Global 500 companies with operations throughout North and Central America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
We have serviced a vast array of industries including automotive, cosmetics, e-commerce, electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, furniture, internet, manufacturing, networks, optics, publishing, software, technology, toys, and wireless.
We are committed to providing you with strategic counseling and personal attention throughout the entire life cycle of your project.
We are proud of our longstanding relationships with local innovation communities and enjoy working with entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to protect their ideas and good names.
Disclaimer: We fully comply with all laws related to attorney marketing and this posting is considered an advertisement.

Photo Attribution: “The south side of the James Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia” by Coolcaesar under CC-SA by 3.0.