Wednesday, March 15, 2006

TTABlog Flotsam and Jetsam: Issue No. 9

The Board's flow of decisions dropped to a mere trickle in the last few weeks, and so, while awaiting further fireworks over the proposed TTAB Rule Changes, we might as well empty out the "things-to-blog" folder.


"Meet The Bloggers" 2006: Preliminary planning has begun for the second annual "Meet the Bloggers" event -- i.e., Marty Schwimmer and I have tentatively agreed on Sunday night after the INTA reception. Now we just have to find a venue in Toronto, appoint a decorations committee, and send out the invitations. Any suggestions regarding possible locations would be greatly appreciated.

Douglas W. Lytle article: Loyal TTABlog reader Doug Lytle, of the San Diego law firm of Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne, has made available his recent article entitled "A 'TIP' for Responding to Trademark Infringement," published in the December 2005 issue of The Intellectual Property Strategist. Doug advises that advanced planning will help lay the groundwork for an effective response to an infringement of your client's trademark.

Doug Lytle

Trademark Use article: Professor Margreth Barrett of the University of California Hastings College of Law discusses the role of the "trademark use" requirement in Internet-related infringement cases, in "Internet Trademark Suits and the Demise of 'Trademark Use'," 39 U. C. Davis L. Rev. 371 (2006).

Beth Chapman: Former TTAB Judge Beth Chapman has joined the Alexandria, Virginia firm of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt P.C., as "Of Counsel." She recently posted her "Discussion Points for TTAB Proposed Rules" at the Oblon Spivak TTAB-Rules blog.

Beth Chapman

Trademark Dilution Revision Act passed by Senate: The Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 (H.R. 683) was passed by the Senate on March 8, 2006, as reported here. The bill stands in this form after an "Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by Senate." Concerns raised by a number of organizations, including the American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (here), moved the Senate to restore the exception for "non-commercial use" of a mark that had been missing from the original House version. [March 8, 2006 Congressional Record entry here.]

The legislation would provide a likelihood of dilution standard, set forth definitions of "famous mark," "blurring," and "tarnishment," and clarify that a mark need not be inherently distinctive to qualify for protection, that tarnishment is actionable, and that fame only in a "niche market" is not covered.

The bill now proceeds to a conference committee of Senators and Representatives to work out differences betweeen the House and Senate versions.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2006.


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