Friday, June 05, 2009

CAFC Hears Oral Argument in Shinnecock Smoke Shop Appeal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral argument yesterday (mp3 podcast here) in In re Shinnecock Smoke Shop, Serial Nos. 78918061 and 78918500 (September 10, 2008) [not precedential]. [TTABlogged here]. The TTAB affirmed the PTO's Section 2(a) refusal to register the two marks shown below, for cigarettes, on the ground that they falsely suggest a connection with the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

Applicant/Appellant argues that the Shinnecock Indian Nation is a sovereign government and is neither a "person" nor an "institution" under Section 45, and therefore that Section 2(a) does not apply.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.


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