I’m partial to conundrums, I admit. Which makes this find doubly interesting, as on the surface it looks like a clever and playful take on retail fashion branding and trademarks. Perhaps there is more to it than that? The case in point is a fascinating example because the most obvious expression of the retail experience is antithetical to most; the brand itself. It’s unabashedly FAKE. No joke, that’s the name! And to prove its veracity there is even an ersatz superscript circle-F at the top-left of the logo (antithetically smart, eh? And soooo NOT top-right!) According to the meagre publicity I was able to find, the concept here was to offer a counter culture aesthetic/style to a young and urban male generation; one that elicits strong reactions. Many of their clothing products are satirical knockoffs that mock a variety of luxe brands. There are signs that denote FAKE is “faux real” and a “marque de confiance” (a trusted brand). It’s very creative, to be sure. Subversive, even. What you also need to know is that the entire concept and reality of the establishment has been backed to some degree by a mysterious group called The Medium, a self titled multi-media artist […]
Here’s a example of a frequent error that pro se applicants make (those that file their own applications rather than filing through a correspondent-attorney or firm): Assuming that they can bank on their familial name to register a mark that may otherwise conflict one or more existing registrations. In this example, TESLA POWER for DC generators (in class 7) was filed in April 2015 by owner DARIUS TESLOVICH, only to be refused by the examiner citing registrations TESLA and TESLA. Notwithstanding whether Mr. Teslovich conducted even the most basic clearance search, it’s safe to assume that any IP attorney would have advised against filing this application, isn’t it? Similarly, what if the name in question was Applovitch or Applebaum, wanting to file an application for computers, mobile devices, or even baked goods? Wouldn’t the same obstacles to registration be presented to the applicant? Or, is it theoretically possible that in this case the applicant has a viable application (perhaps even co-exisitence)? If so, applicant clearly needs representation to advance his cause. Any takers? By the way, Towergate can provide pro se refusal data or similar notifications to interested firms that might wish to actively pursue such opportunities with and on behalf of pro se applicants.
Here’s a new feature-post that we will be regularly posting. We’ll highlight refusals that the USPTO trademark examiner has made, illustrating why they did so. Today’s episode: Who is David C. I.* and why should UBER TECHNOLOGIES thank him? Registered mark UBERCAB (in classes in 9, 38, 39, 42) was cited to refuse the application HANGUBER (class 39). The goods of the proposed mark are described as “Providing taxi transport for people who are incapable of driving safely due to alcohol consumption by driving the intoxicated person and their vehicle to a destination”. You can see where this is going. But you’ve got to give some creative points to the applicant for the nice play on words they’ve proposed, suggesting hangover in their name. The examiner states “In this case, the following factors are the most relevant: similarity of the marks, similarity and nature of the goods and/or services, and similarity of the trade channels of the goods and/or services.” Further, “The respective goods and services need only be “related in some manner and/or if the circumstances surrounding their marketing [be] such that they could give rise to the mistaken belief that [the goods and/or services] emanate from the same […]