Supplemental Register

Puppy with a participation trophy

The Supplemental Register – The Consolation Prize of the Trademark World

The "participation trophy" is supposedly a hallmark of youth sports these days. It's often cited as a reason for our young people getting "soft" in a world where only winning and losing matters. My kids are 12 and 9 and play many sports (sometimes it feels like all of them). I've yet to see a single participation trophy in the real world. Maybe the trophy is just a myth, a useful wedge issue for culture warriors. Anyways, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has its own version of a participation trophy. It's called the "Supplemental Register". It's a consolation prize [...]
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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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