Trademarks

Public outcry may be able to keep offensive trademarks at bay

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
While Monday’s decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that barred the federal government from asserting which names are offensive has been viewed as a victory for the Washington Redskins, a high school in northern Indiana may provide an example of what the eight justices were trying to accomplish.
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Justices say law on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional

June 19, 2017
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks, ruling in favor of an Asian-American rock band called the Slants and giving a major boost to the Washington Redskins in their separate legal fight over the team name.
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Judge won’t bifurcate ‘Texas’ steakhouses’ trademark trial

June 5, 2017
Dave Stafford
A federal judge refused to order separate trials on liability and damages for a Merrillville-based steakhouse chain accused of copying the trade dress and trademarks of a larger Texas-themed competitor.
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Michigan company's highway sign trademark ruled not harmful

April 26, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal judge has rejected an argument from state officials that a northern Michigan company's trademark of the highway sign M-22 violates federal law.
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Texas Roadhouse brands Indiana chain a trademark rustler, lassos favorable rulings

April 19, 2017
Dave Stafford
Texas Roadhouse has a prime beef with Texas Corral restaurants, claiming in a federal lawsuit that from their look and feel to their logos and building designs, the smaller Indiana-based chain is all hat, no cattle.
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Coachella isn't all that chill about its brand

April 11, 2017
 Bloomberg News
As the multi-weekend music festival has grown to 600,000 attendees paying hundreds of dollars each, the event’s owners have also grown more protective of its identity.
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Fishers fitness firm sanctioned for violating injunction

April 5, 2017
IL Staff
A Fishers fitness business must pay a $1,000 penalty for violating a court order in a franchise dispute.
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Asian-American band fights trademark law's disparagement standard before SCOTUS

December 14, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Any rock band worth its volume is anti-establishment. However, a Chinatown dance rock ensemble is kicking up the volume by actively fighting the status quo and, as a result, could topple a key section of a 70-year-old trademark registration statute and possibly the entire U.S. trademark system.
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Michael Jordan wins China trademark court ruling after yearslong case

December 8, 2016
 Associated Press
Basketball legend Michael Jordan now owns his Chinese name, after China's highest court sided with him Thursday following a yearslong legal battle over a trademark dispute.
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Splenda owner sues Dunkin' Donuts over knockoff sweetener

November 10, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
The Carmel-based company that owns the Splenda sweetener brand says Dunkin’ Donuts is deceiving customers into thinking its donut shops offer Splenda when they actually offer a Chinese-made knockoff product.
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Ex-South Texas College of Law in Houston changing name again

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney says a downtown Houston law school will change its name again to end a federal trademark lawsuit filed by the University of Houston System.
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USA Track & Field counsel discusses Olympic trademarks, doping rules with law students

October 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The most important legal consideration of the Olympic Games is the protection of intellectual property – specifically, the protection of the trademarked five Olympic rings.
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What’s in a name? Litigation, if it’s Square Donuts

July 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge last week kept alive a lawsuit filed by a northern Indiana maker and seller of Square Donuts against Square Donuts Inc., the Terre Haute-based company that sells its trademarked treats mostly across the four corners of southern Indiana.
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IU Maurer's Center for IP Research seeks promising clients for clinic

July 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Launched in January 2015, the intellectual property clinic is part of the law school’s Center for Intellectual Property Research. It has offered pro bono legal services to more than 80 inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses with roughly half the work related to patents.
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Apple loses fight to keep 'iPhone' label off Chinese wallets

May 4, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Apple Inc. lost its fight to keep the “iPhone” name exclusive to its products with a Beijing court deciding a little-known accessories maker can use the label for a range of wallets and purses.
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Davee: Initial trademark considerations when advising clients

April 20, 2016
When helping the client form their business, there are several items that should be discussed early on, particularly if the client has any desire to pursue federal trademark registration.
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Bagel company sues gas station over trademark infringement

March 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Great American Bagel Enterprises Inc. has filed suit in federal court against The Great American Eagle after Great American Eagle recycled an old sign of the bagel company and used it on the front of its store.
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2 Indiana bakeries feud over 4-sided doughnuts

March 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Two Indiana bakeries share a love for four-sided doughnuts, but one of them believes there is room for only one square doughnut-maker.
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Texas A&M, Colts settle '12th Man' trademark suit

February 18, 2016
 Associated Press
Texas A&M University says it has reached a settlement agreement with the Indianapolis Colts in the school's federal lawsuit it says was meant to protect its "12th Man" trademark from infringement.
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Bacardi protests renewal of Cuba's rum trademark in the US

February 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Bacardi wants to know more about a recent U.S. government decision allowing Cuba to sell its Havana Club rum in America when the U.S. trade embargo ends.
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2 recent cases in federal court showcase trademark treachery

December 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A steel giant’s trade name was used to misrepresent business deals with the intent to procure millions of dollars worth of machinery and financing, and an Amish-country spice maker alleges a local rival is ripping off its registered trademark. These two recent cases in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana illustrate the difficulties in policing registered marks on intellectual property, but the cases also show the means of recovery at rights holders’ disposal when their IP marks are violated.
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Texas A&M sues NFL's Colts for '12th Man' trademark offense

November 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Texas A&M University filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the NFL's Indianapolis Colts that university officials say is meant to protect their 12th Man trademark.
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Redskins: US has registered plenty of 'offensive' trademarks

November 4, 2015
 Associated Press
As the Washington Redskins defend their federal trademark registration, they argue in court papers that the government has registered plenty of companies with offensive names.
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Matchmaking service unveiled for Indiana inventors and IP attorneys

September 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana University Maurer School of Law is getting into the matchmaking business.The school’s Center for Intellectual Property Research has opened a patent hub which will connect inventors with IP attorneys willing to do pro bono work.
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Judge seats accused Best Chairs trademark infringer in Indiana

August 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
Online merchants who have sold more than $6 million worth of chairs with names that allegedly infringe on a longtime Indiana manufacturer’s trademarks will have to answer the claims in federal court in Evansville, a judge ruled Tuesday.
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