Sunday, December 08, 2002

fun with trademarks

On Friday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that they had begun to implement a new electronic filing system which would replace paper filings (USTPO press release). We also received news that a recent adoption of the Madrid Protocol by the United States, which will go into effect on November 2nd of next year, will make filing of international trademarks much easier. More from the International Trademark Association here on how this might impact upon Trademark law and practice in the US. Given this news, I thought about taking a quick look at some of the trademark action reported in the media recently.

It appears that there's a nice battle (NY Times, reg. req'd) going on in Austin, Texas, over the right to "keep Austin weird."

You've got to to cough up some bucks if you want to prepare to rumble.

If you send poetry in your emails (NY Times, reg. req'd), you better make certain that haiku isn't trademarked, or you face being labeled a spammer and an infringement case.

Selling hoagies might be expensive in Pennsylvania if you don't call them subs instead. Though, there maybe, might be, a case for prior culinary art, or possibly a generic defense.

And, across Europe, you might get away with calling yourself Santa Claus, but Father Christmas may be another matter.

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