We have fielded a lot of questions lately on the decision by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to cancel the registrations of six marks belonging to the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The decision came from the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) on June 18, 2014, after proceedings between the Redskins’ corporate owner and five Native American plaintiffs (full details from the USPTO here.) Since the USPTO released that decision, we have had several people ask us about the decision and how it affects the validity of the Redskins marks. Here are our answers to common misconceptions about the USPTO decision.
Five years ago, Apple launched its App Store, revolutionizing the way iDevice users could acquire and deploy new applications. Keeping pace, in early 2011 Amazon broke virtual ground on its Appstore for Android. Not surprisingly, Apple came calling, but not to welcome Amazon to the neighborhood. Apple accused Amazon of violating its trademark rights in the App Store name.