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Archive for the ‘IP Select’ Category

A Tale of Two Farm Boys

by Bruce Jobse

“Thumb’s Up” to the CAFC for last month’s precedential ruling in Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc. v. FF Acquisition, LLC. The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law and, hopefully, add some clarity to our decision-making processes with their respective rulings.  Well, we think the CAFC recently did just that when, rather than considering all thirteen factors of the traditional DuPont test for likelihood of confusion between two trademarks, the Court held that the issue of confusion can be determined solely by considering the visual similarities or dissimilarities of the respective marks.  At issue, on this appeal, was the likelihood of confusion between the two farm boy design marks indicated below:

Applicant’s applied-for farm boy mark

Opposer’s registered farm boy mark

Would you be confused that each of these marks identifies the same source of goods or services?  What specific visual items are different in each mark? You be the judge (an appellate judge, of course).  Read the rest of this entry »

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March Madness and Patents

by Bruce Jobse

Yes, it’s that time of spring when the thoughts of men (and women) of all ages turn to one thing…March Madness!!  Who would have imagined that when the first basketball game was played in December 1891 that James Naismith’s solution for seasonal youth boredom would generate an avalanche of inventions and innovations.  According to the US Patent Office database, some 1337 patents issuing since 1971 include the term “basketball” in at least one of their respective patent claims. These inventions range from athletic footwear, basketballs, backboards, scoreboards, basketball net and rim designs, and telescoping and pivoting pole designs to hundreds of basketball novelty items, including our favorite, last week’s newly issued U.S. Design Patent D612189, directed to a basketball goal shaped popcorn maker in which the popcorn emerges from an opening in the backboard and falls through the net for further dispensing. Hold the butter; we don’t want to lose our grip on the ball!!

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