The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released a report entitled “Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents.” The study examines trends and characteristics of among women inventors granted U.S. patents between 1976 and 2016. As with past reports on the subject of women inventors, it points out that women still make up a small minority of the patented inventors. It does highlight potential ways women can spur innovation and economic growth here in the U.S.
Many will fondly recall the glass-topped Mold-A-Rama machines found at museums, zoos and arcades. These machines inject melted plastic into two molds, which are then combined to create dolphins, dinosaurs and other toys while young customers eagerly watch. The family-owned Mold-A-Rama, based in Illinois, has now filed a trademark infringement suit against an Atlanta-based collector who refitted old machines with modern technology while using the Mold-A-Rama name.
Many will no doubt remember the geeky Carlton character from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. While actor Alfonso Ribeiro (who played Carlton) still enjoys the fruits of his labors thanks to residuals of a show that starred Will Smith, Ribeiro has now filed a suit against Fortnite creators Epic Games for copying the Carlton Dance. The actor also claims he is now in the process of copywriting the dance.
The Girl Scouts of America have filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Boy Scouts of America. The Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) allege that there is brand confusion now that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is admitting girls, which is a practice they began in 2017. Both organizations have traditionally been afforded distinct trademark protections under the law in view of the prior gender split, but now it appears BSA's widened admittance policies have upset that peaceful coexistence.
The family of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly lost their appeal Monday to block the use of the Schlafly name by Saint Louis Brewery, LLC, which brews under the Schlafly name.
President Trump will be remembered for many things, but his use of Twitter has been an effective and groundbreaking approach to connecting with constituents and the wider world. He recently took to Twitter to announce the imminent arrival of sanctions against Iran. He did this with his own parody of Game of Thrones: using the line "Sanctions are Coming" in a font similar to the one used by the acclaimed show. There was also a picture of him with an almost Dothraki-like scowl.
President Trump was recently able to sign the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which is seen as the biggest update to copyright law in decades. It is also a rare bipartisan bill that received unanimous approval in the Senate and the House.
Dunkin' Donuts is a beloved treat or everyday fix for many. In efforts to keep up with the times, the 70-year-old company is moving forward by " from its name and plans to emphasize its coffee and healthier or at least less sugary edibles. While the company took pains to say it would still sell donuts, the loss of donuts in the name does provide some trademark food for thought.
“Virginia is for Lovers.” Most people associate this phrase with the well-known advertising campaign to attract tourists to visit the state of Virginia. In May, the Virginia Tourism Corp., the state’s tourism agency, sued Recovered Gold LLC in federal court for trademark dilution and infringement for using the phrase “Virginia is for Gun Lovers” on retail merchandise, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
At our law firm, we help people and companies protect their brands through trademark registration, licensing and enforcement. People usually think of trademarks for company and product names, slogans, logos, designs, phrases or symbols that are distinctive and associated with the promotion of goods or services.