Blog

Have You Considered Ford Lately?

The October issue of the Colorado Lawyer magazine has published an article entitled “Have You Considered Ford Lately?” written by Thomas P. Howard LLC attorney James Juo about the evolving jurisprudence on specific personal jurisdiction in the U.S. Supreme Court and the Tenth Circuit’s traditional focus on causation. The U.S. Supreme Court in Ford Motor Co. rejected […]

Read More

Cliffs Notes Version of Flora-Bama

By James Juo. It is well-established that trademark law must be applied narrowly to artistic works to avoid conflict with First Amendment interests. This recently came to a head in MGFB Properties, Inc. v. ViacomCBS, Inc., No. 5:19-cv-00257 (N.D. Fla. Sept. 22, 2021), a dispute between the “regionally famous” Flora-Bama beach bar and lounge, and […]

Read More

Geographically Descriptive Parma

By James Juo. A trademark application may be refused by the USPTO on the ground that the proposed mark is primarily geographically descriptive of the identified goods, under Section 2(e)(2) of the Trademark Act (the “Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 2(e)(2).  The three-part test for geographical descriptiveness under Section 2(e)(2), absent a showing of acquired distinctiveness, […]

Read More

Proving a Weak Mark Convincingly

By James Juo. In applying for a trademark registration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) may refuse registration under Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act because of a perceived likelihood of confusion with another entity’s existing trademark registration. One argument often made to overcome such as rejection is that the marks are weak formatives […]

Read More

TTAB finds DRYPZ the phonetic equivalent of DRIPS

By James Juo. Typically, the mere misspelling of a word as a phonetic equivalent is not sufficient to change a merely descriptive term into an inherently distinctive trademark. In re Carlson, 91 USPQ2d 1198, 1200–1201 (TTAB 2009) (finding “URBANHOUZING” to be a phonetic spelling of “urban” and “housing”); In re Organik Tech. Inc., 41 USPQ2d […]

Read More