Monday, August 29, 2005

TTABlog Flotsam and Jetsam -- Issue No. 7

After a relatively quiescent summer, we can expect the output of the TTAB to increase markedly in the months to come. Maybe the number of citable decisions for 2005, currently at seven, will even reach double digits! Meanwhile, here are a few items worth noting.

T-Stop, South Boston
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PTO Announcement re Bloated Official Gazettes: On August 26th, the PTO announced here that "issues of the Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG) that will be published during the months of August, September, and October, as well as early November, will feature an unusually large number of marks." These issues will each include some 6,000-10,000 marks. A processing backlog resulted from the PTO's move to Alexandria, Virginia, and caused the increase in TMOG size. An August 27th PTO Announcement reports that a new "search line" has been added to TESS to allow users to search any particular issue of the TMOG.

TTABlogger Minnesota-Bound: TTABlogger John L. Welch will appear on two panels at the 2005 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute, to be held on September 26 and 27 in Minneapolis (brochure here). The first will include the TTAB's Chief Judge J. David Sams and Judge Gerard F. Rogers, with Stephen R. Baird of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., serving as moderator. The topic: "Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Year in Review." [What else?]. The second panel will include notable IP bloggers Marty Schwimmer of The Trademark Blog and Eric Goldman of the Technology & Marketing Law Blog, with Mr. Baird again serving as moderator. The topic: "IP Blogs, Websites, and Technology: Three Tech-Savvy IP Experts Share Their Secrets of Success." [Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with selecting that title].

Gold Street, South Boston
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A New Gripe Site Decision: Speaking of Eric Goldman, he reports here on the latest "gripe site" decision, Lamparello v. Falwell, No. 04-2011 (4th Cir. August 24, 2005). The district court had enjoined Christopher Lamparello's from maintaining a gripe website critical of Reverend Jerry Falwell, at [note spelling]. The appellate court reversed the district court's ruling and entered judgment for Lamparello. Significantly, the higher court applied a standard multi-factor analysis analysis in finding no likelihood of confusion, and it rejected the the "initial interest confusion" doctrine. It also rejected the Reverend's ACPA claim because Reverend Falwell could not demonstrate that Lamparello had a bad faith intent to profit from using the challenged domain name. This decision, along with the 9th Circuit's decision in Bosley Medical Inst., Inc. v. Kremer, No. 04-55962 (9th Cir. April 4, 2005), represents the second major victory this year for gripe site proprietors.

Text and photos Copyright John L. Welch 2005


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