Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IN RE CITY OF HOUSTON - Local Government Entity Cannot Register a Trademark for its Official Insignia

Another interesting case, more so because it is a case of first impression!  I would have thought this had come up at some point or another before now....  Anyway, the court upheld the decision of the TTAB that Section 2(b) of the Lanham Act prohibits the registration of these insignia.

Houston and Washington, D.C. both were attempting to register their city seals.  Both received final rejections from the TTAB and appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The court stated: "Section 2(b) prohibits registration of an "insignia of the United States, or of any State or municipality." We see nothing in this plain language that suggests a government entity such as Houston should be exempted from the reach of the prohibition."

The case is an interesting read:

Comments welcomed.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Loses UDRP Over Registration of His Name

I thought this was interesting because a famous person's name is often also a source indicator of goods and/or services.  In this case, the WIPO arbitrators acknowledged that is often true while explaining that in Mr. Dauman's case, his name does not serve as a source indicatory.  His name is well known, perhaps famous, but not a source indicator.  That is a requirement under the UDRP and therefore the UDRP complaint was denied.

You can read the decision here:

As always, comments welcome.