Geographic Descriptiveness

South Carolina Script Helmet

University of South Carolina Adds Carolina Script Helmet Logo

“It’s football time in Tennessee.” The famous words of Vol legend John Ward have been in my head all week. The “Voice of the Vols” passed away a few months ago, but he will be on the mind of every Tennessee fan all season. In the SEC, traditions fade slowly. Before I was a Vol fan, I cheered for my parents’ alma mater, the University of South Carolina. Since before my parents’ days in Columbia, the Gamecocks have worn helmets adorning their iconic “Blocked C” logo. In 2003, USC registered the “Blocked C” logo as a trademark claiming use back [...]
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Update- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Wins Trademark Dispute

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Sturgis Motorcycle Rally had sued Walmart and Rushmore Photo and Gifts for use of the "Sturgis" trademark. I also pointed out that I seemed to be writing a lot about motorcycle clubs and trademarks. So, when I saw that a jury had reached a verdict in the case, I couldn't help but write another. Here's the update on the case, which is Part 4 in my ongoing series on bikers and trademarks. As I mentioned in my last post, Walmart and Rushmore argued that Sturgis' trademark was "geographically descriptive" and not entitled to [...]
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State of Tennessee Concedes Defeat Over Logo Flap

Last week, I reported on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s rejection of the federal trademark application for the State of Tennessee’s boring new logo. Essentially, the USPTO found that the logo was too weak to have any trademark significance. And the State of Tennessee apparently agrees. This week, the state responded to the rejection by amending the application to the Supplemental Register. What the heck is the Supplemental Register? It’s the 70-pound weakling to the Principal Register when it comes to federal trademark protection. So what’s next for the state? It can meekly accept its supplemental registration and let […]

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