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.

 

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Tomato? Tomahto? Is There One Right Way to Pronounce a Trademark?

Tomato Trademark PronunciationFederal Circuit Says No When Trademark is Not a Recognized Word

The case arose out of a dispute between StonCor and Specialty Coatings, competitors in the market for “epoxy coatings used on concrete floors.”

In 1992, StonCor registered the mark STONSHIELD with the US Patent and Trademark Office in connection with “floors and flooring systems comprised of epoxy resins . . . for use in industrial and institutional applications,” among other products.

In 2008, Specialty Coatings applied to register the trademark “ARMORSTONE” in connection with “[e]poxy coating for use on concrete industrial floors,” among other products. StonCor opposed registration of the ARMORSTONE mark on six grounds.  Among other things, it argued that:

  • The USPTO should not allow registration of the ARMORSTONE mark because consumers would likely confuse it with STONSHIELD when used in connection with epoxy floor products.
  • ARMORSTONE is not eligible for registration because the mark is merely descriptive.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) analyzed the likelihood of confusion based on thirteen factors, the relevant ones being:

  • The similarity or dissimilarity of the marks in their entireties as to appearance, sound, connotation and commercial impression, and
  • The number and nature of similar marks in use on similar goods.

With regard to the first factor, the TTAB considered how consumers would pronounce “STONSHIELD.”

StonCor presented evidence that “ston” would be pronounced like “stone.”

However, the TTAB reasoned that the spelling of the word and “ordinary rules of English” dictated that the word would be pronounced with a short “o” as in “on.”

Taking this and other factors into consideration, the TTAB found there was no likelihood of confusion.

See Also:  Monetize Your Ideas — Trademarks

StonCor appealed.

The Federal Circuit found that the TTAB had erred by failing to credit StonCor’s evidence that consumer would pronounce “STON” as “stone”:

Where a trademark is not a recognized word and the weight of the evidence suggests that potential consumers would pronounce the mark in a particular way, it is error for the Board to ignore this evidence entirely and supply its own pronunciation.

However, the court concluded that this was harmless error and that other factors supported the TTAB’s conclusions.   The Federal Circuit held that there is no single correct way to pronounce a trademark that is not a recognized word.

If you have questions about your whether your trademarks would be considered confusingly similar to a competitor’s, contact our office for a free initial consultation.


Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for the most current intellectual property news.

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:  “Flash-lit Macro Tomatoes” by The Ewan is licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic.

Trade Secrets: Toyota Says Former Contractor Took Data Hostage

toyota car factory

Toyota Motor Credit Corp. sued an IT contractor for stealing confidential information and “holding it for ransom” for $700,000.

Toyota claims that Herman Christensen, a former employee of Toyota’s IT vendor HCL America Inc., took Toyota’s trade secrets and other confidential information after he was fired by HCL.

Christensen allegedly refuses to return the information unless he either gets his job back or is paid the $700,000.

Christensen worked onsite at two Toyota datacenters in Arizona, as an employee of HCL. He had access to Toyota’s networks and servers, as well as administrator-level logins and passwords.

According to Toyota’s complaint,

Christensen signed a noncompete/non-solicitation agreement in which he agreed to protect HCL’s and [Toyota’s] confidential trade secret information by not disclosing it and only using it in the course of his duties for HCL. Christensen further agreed that he would not retain any confidential or trade secret information after he left HCL.

The complaint says that before Christensen was fired he took confidential Toyota information and stored it on a USB memory stick.

Trade Secret Attorney, Laura Lloyd says,

A good trade secret protection program should include employee education to stress measures taken to keep trade secrets confidential.

After he was fired, he allegedly called an executive at Toyota and told him that he had been wrongfully terminated. When the executive said that he could do nothing to help, Christensen noted that he still had Toyota’s confidential information.

When HCL contacted Christensen and demanded return of the information, Christensen demanded in return that he be guaranteed employment until age 67 or be compensated with damages for the “lost” period of employment.

Toyota asked the court to order Christensen to return the information immediately. The company also asked the court to award damages and attorney’s fees.

If you are concerned about an employee leaving your company with valuable trade secrets or want to be sure you have the maximum trade secret protections in place, call us today for a free initial consultation.

Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for the most current intellectual property news.

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: “Toyota Car Factory, Burnaston, Derby” by Mike Smith is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence.