Bullying was a popular issue in 2017. While its main relevance was in schools, there was another form of bullying that took place, in the field of trademarks.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a government agency and a branch in the U.S. Department of Commerce. The primary role of the USPTO is to register trademarks and grant patents for the protection of inventions. Once a trademark application is approved, the USPTO publishes it to the Official Gazette (OG). The main function of the OG is to provide notice to the public that the USPTO plans to issue registrations for new trademarks. According to the USPTO, “any party who believes it would be harmed by the registration may file an objection within that 30-day period with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.” In the trademark world, this process is called an ‘opposition’.
As one would imagine, many oppositions are filed against new trademarks. The following are a list of reasons why a party would file an opposition:
- The mark is primarily merely a surname (last name);
- The mark is “disparaging”;
- The mark is “scandalous”;
- The mark would dilute the opposer’s “famous” mark;
- The mark is generic for the Applicant’s goods and/or services;
- The mark is merely descriptive of its goods and/or services;
- The mark is functional for its goods and services;
- The mark falsely suggests a connection with the opposer.
Keep in mind that the list above is non-exhaustive, and this brings up the issue of bullying. Many parties file oppositions because they are in fear that the new trademark may take away business or adversely affect them in some other way. Is this fear justified? In some cases, yes. Is it wrong to file oppositions? No. Do some companies/individuals file oppositions with the sole intention of destroying a trademark registration. Absolutely.
It is now time to highlight the victims of opposition.. More specifically, the top 25 biggest victims of 2017. A quick look into the top 3 victims can be found immediately below, alongside the remaining list of the top 25 biggest victims of opposition in 2017.
- Joshua F. Morell
Joshua F. Morell has attempted to attain trademarks for various goods in the field of clothing. Unfortunately many of his registrations have been opposed by various companies, including professional sports teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and the Detroit Tigers.
Click on following link to see all the opposed trademarks of Joshua F. Morell
- Faraday&future Inc.
Faraday&future Inc. has attempted to gain various trademarks for concept cars and various vehicle prototypes and parts. Sadly, there are ten oppositions pending all coming from two companies. It seems like Faraday&future Inc. simply cannot catch a break.
Click on the following link to find out more about Faraday&future Inc. and who their two bullies are.
- LG Electronics Inc.
LG Electronics Inc. has attempted to attain several trademarks in the area of electronics. The following are some of the goods that LG Electronics have attempted to get trademarks for: computer software, electric vacuum cleaners, smartphones, watches , television receivers, and television projectors. This goes to show that even a huge company like LG Electronics Inc. can get bullied through oppositions.
Click on the following link to see all of the oppositions pending against LG Electronics new trademark registrations.
Here are the rest of the top 25 biggest victims of opposition in 2017:
- JOSHUA F. MORELL
- FARADAY&FUTURE INC.
- LG ELECTRONICS INC.
- COG MARKETERS, LTD.
- JOSHUA F MORELL
- 47 / 72 INC.
- SUPER BAKERY INC.
- AMUSEMENT ART, LLC
- LAGREE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
- LIU GUANG GUO
- RUNZHEIMER INTERNATIONAL LTD.
- SPHERO, INC.
- TURN AND BANK HOLDINGS, INC.
- FOAMTEC INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD.
- SECRET OF THE ISLANDS, INC.
- UNITED FOOD & COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO & CLC TIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO & CLC
- WORX INTELLECTUAL HOLDINGS, LLC
- AMAZON TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
- CA VENTURES HOLDINGS, LLC
- CAPTURE THE LEAGUE LLC
- CD&R VECTOR TOPCO, INC.
- GEBRÜDER LOEPFE AG
- HOME DEPOT PRODUCT AUTHORITY, LLC
- INTRA-CELLULAR THERAPIES, INC.
- KIND CONSCIENCE, INC.
Jaric Erike is a 3L at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law. Jaric previously attended Loyola Marymount University where he earned his undergraduate degree in Finance, with a concentration in Business Law. When Jaric is not studying or working, he enjoys playing basketball and watching movies.