The word PITTSBURGH is Geographically Descriptive of the city PITTSBURGH and Can’t Cause a Trademark to be Distinctive

The surprise in this TTAB decision is that the applicant filed the appeal at all.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld trademark attorney’s decision that the trademark PITTSBURGH GLASS WORKS was primarily geographically descriptive of a glass manufacturer with some business activities in Pittsburgh.  For more details, see TTAB Affirms Section 2(e)(2) Geographical Descriptiveness Refusal of PITTSBURGH GLASS WORKS for Glass, on the TTABlog.

The Board affirmed the PTO’s Section 2(e)(2) refusal of the mark PITTSBURGH GLASS WORKS, finding it to be primarily geographically descriptive of “glass and laminate windshield and windows for vehicles excluding aircraft.”

Why is Chipotle in a Trademark Infringement Fight with Kroger

A new trademark but somewhat strange trademark infringement suit: Chipotle filed suit against Kroger for trademark infringement.

 

Some of the relevant questions:

 

Does Kroger’s Spicy Fried Chicken actually contain chipotle seasoning in it? Or did Kroger simply decide to rebrand its spicy fried chicken with something sexier than Chester the chicken?

 

Dan Nabel has an article that contains more information.

Do Fraudulent Transfer Laws Apply To Domain Names?

Wealth Strategies Journal: Trademarks have always been an important corporate asset, but these days they can be much more so when they are also internet domain names that attract and direct customers to websites where products are sold. Thus, it follows that a business in distress or in a dispute will naturally try to protect this intellectual property from potential creditors and adverse claimants.

Such were the events in the instant cybersquatting case that primarily involved the trademark “igrip” and related webnames. This and similar trademarks were owned by a German company that was well known under this name for making cell phone holders and like accessories.
 
The primary debtor, Global Intellectual Brands LLC, sold the German company’s cell phone holders but later defaulted on its financial obligations to the German company, whereupon the German company sued Global Intellectual Brands LLC. So far, so bland.

Twittersquatter Suit Dropped

ABA Journal:   A company that sued a so-called Twittersquatter for using its name to post sarcastic tweets has dropped its legal effort.

Coventry First dropped the suit late Tuesday, according to Public Citizen’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog. Public Citizen had defended the anonymous person who used the @coventryfirst handle. (The author later changed the handle to @coventryfirstin and added disclaimers.)

Coventry First buys life insurance policies and resells them to investors who cover the premiums until the insured dies. The Twitter author had applauded early deaths (which lead to greater investor profits) in veiled criticism of the industry. Coventry First’s suit against the writer had alleged trademark infringement and violations of cybersquatting laws.

Scottsdale Club Sued For Trademark Infringement

AZCentral:  A Las Vegas casino is suing a Scottsdale nightclub in federal court after the Nevada company says the nightclub copied its trademarked logo.

The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, names Arizona-based Revolver, LLC,as a defendant.

Court documents say that Scottsdale’s Revolver Lounge is infringing on trademark rights of Revolver Saloon in the Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, owned by NP Opco, LLC. A call to Opco’s Nevada attorney wasn’t returned.

Hells Angels Sue Saks, McQueen Design Over Trademark

Bloomberg:  “The Hells Angels motorcycle group sued fashion design house Alexander McQueen and retail chain Saks Inc. for trademark infringement for selling handbags, jewelry and clothing using the club’s death-head design.”

Charity Brawl: Nonprofits Aren’t So Generous When a Name’s at Stake

Wall St. Journal:  “As the leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen For the Cure helped make “for the cure” a staple of the fund-raising vernacular.  The slogan is so popular that dozens of groups have sought to trademark names incorporating the phrase . . . . Komen . . . launching a not-so-friendly legal battle against . . . fund-raisers that it contends are poaching its name.”

See “What’s in a Name? Lessons learned from current trademark battles.”

Billions of New Tax Forms Starting 2012: 40 Million Businesses Must Send IRS a Form 1099 to Every Party They Pay $600+ a Year

CNN Money:  “The new regulations, which kick in at the start of 2012, require any taxpayer with business income to issue 1099 forms to all vendors from whom they purchased more than $600 of goods and services that year. That promises to launch a fusillade of new paperwork: An estimated 40 million taxpayers will be subject to the requirement, including 26 million who run sole proprietorships, according to a report released this week by [IRS] National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson.”  The new 1099 requirement was contained in the 2,200 plus pages of the Obamacare law.