Above the Fold

The Fox Rothschild Advertising & Trademarks Blog

I only (very briefly) fell for one April Fools’ prank this year.  Yesterday the University of Wisconsin tweeted what appeared to be a press release announcing that fans could no longer perform their “Jump Around” tradition at home football games due to concerns regarding seismic impacts.  After realizing my mistake and the fact that it was April 1, I wondered what company pranks I missed throughout the day.  It turns out there was no shortage.  Like every…
Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted in favor of a directive overhauling the European Union’s online copyright rules.  These controversial changes, following extensive lobbying and a 348-274 vote, implicate an intersection between regulators, content creators/authors, and internet companies like online platforms and news aggregators (think: social media sites, internet news sites).  The changes seek to impose liability on online platforms when users upload material that infringes on another’s copyright, a key difference from the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act,…
With the 2019 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Tournaments in full swing, most people probably aren’t thinking “hmm, I wonder if the NCAA owns any trademarks related to the Tournament?” But, maybe they should be. To date, the NCAA owns over twenty-four trademarks related to its annual Basketball Tournaments. Unsurprisingly, those trademarks include such well-known phrases as “March Madness,” “Final Four”, “Elite Eight,” and “The Big Dance.” However, many would be surprised to learn…
The USPTO is seeking to change its federal trademark laws for trademark applicants, registrants, and parties who have are domiciled outside the United States.  The proposed change would require applicants, registrants, and parties to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney for representation at the USPTO.  Additionally, U.S.-licensed attorneys representing anyone before the USPTO in trademark matters would be required to provide their bar membership information and confirm their status as an active member in good standing.  U.S.…
SCOTUS has finally resolved the copyright registration debate but in doing so has emphasized a statute of limitations issue of which we should all be aware. This post follows up on my colleague’s prior posts (and here) regarding when a copyright holder can properly file a copyright infringement lawsuit. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 411(a), “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until…. registration…
In recent years, the FTC has ramped up efforts to deter deceptive marketing practices on social media and customer review websites by issuing guidelines that apply to marketers and influencers alike and instituting enforcement actions against the guidelines’ most blatant violators.  These actions have largely placed the onus on brands and companies to ensure that any material relationships with influencers and reviewers who endorse or recommend their products or services are clearly disclosed, even if…
Yesterday the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) Commissioner announced a new plan for increased oversight over dietary supplements.  In his statement, the Commissioner noted how much the dietary supplement market has grown and how many consumers now take a dietary supplement on a regular basis, stating that “consumers need to have access to safe, well-manufactured, and appropriately labeled products.” As a reminder, the FDA does not pre-approve dietary supplements like it does new drugs; however, it does require…
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) approved Campbell Soup Company’s (“Campbell’s”) application to trademark the word “chunky.”  Campbell’s filed an application with the USPTO back in May 2018.  In its application, Campbell’s cited to “massive unsolicited media coverage of chunky,” according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.  The word “chunky” has been parodied by pop culture on various outlets, including programs like Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Daily Show.  Campbell’s has…
From beer to snacks to cars to tech, we love them all. Or, we love judging them all. Each year, we tune in to see which companies—both the old staples and the new blood—will shell out the cash for a Super Bowl ad. Throughout breaks in the game (or cheating with an online search), we intently watch for laugh-out-loud quips, emotional storylines, and cringe-worthy moments, knowing “which was your favorite?” will be an office topic…
We live in an era where news, information, and trends move very quickly. Words, phrases, or ideas that were obscure or non-existent yesterday can be the top trending story tomorrow. These overnight trends are now routinely used by opportunists in trademark applications. But trademarks are meant to be used to identify the source of and to distinguish the goods and services of one seller or provider from those of another. Indeed, as the USPTO recently reiterated, “[t]he…