Trademark Law Rulings and Regulations

The USPTO unveils new manuals and guides

Here's a summary of news in trademark law in 2014.

Irreparable harm must be proven to get trademark preliminary injunction.  In a reversal of precedent, the Ninth Circuit held – in a case involving the use of the The Platters trademark (for a musical group) -- that irreparable harm must be proven in trademark cases when a party seeks injunctive relief even if the party establishes a likelihood of success on the merits.  Herb Reed Enterprises LLC v. Florida Entertainment Management Inc., Case No. 12-16868 ___ F.3d ____ (9th Cir., Dec. 2, 2013)  

New Trademark Guides and manuals.  The following manuals and guides have been updated or are new:  

  • The Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual Next Generation (IDM-NG) is available at tmidm.uspto.gov in “beta” format.
  • The Trademark Litigation Online Toolkit (www.uspto.gov/trademarks/toolkit_home.jsp), answering common questions about trademark litigation.  
  • the TEAS "Nuts and Bolts" video series (www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/TEAS_Nuts_and_Bolts.jsp), how-to videos providing information about each page of the TEAS initial application form.
  • A new examination guide, “Service Mark Specimens,” is now available on the Trademark Examination Guides page at www.uspto.gov/trademarks/resources/Trademark_Exam_Guides.jsp. The guide describes the elements of an acceptable specimen for services.  
  • A new examination guide, “Geographic Certification Marks,” is now available on the Trademark Examination Guides page atwww.uspto.gov/trademarks/resources/Trademark_Exam_Guides.jsp. On April 30, 2014, the USPTO issued the April 2014 TMEP, which incorporates USPTO trademark practice and relevant case law reported prior to April 1, 2014. The policies stated in this revision supersede any previous policies stated in prior editions, examination guides, or any other statement of USPTO policy, to the extent that there is any conflict.  
  • The Nice Classification, Tenth Edition, version 2014 (NCL 10-2014), became effective. Changes to the class headings are available atwww.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/NiceClassSchedule2014.jsp.
  • A new examination guide, “Applications for Marks Comprising gTLDs for Domain-Name Registry Operator and Registrar Services,” is now available on the Trademark Examination Guides page at www.uspto.gov/trademarks/resources/Trademark_Exam_Guides.jsp.