New York Intellectual Property Law Blog

Illinois Church Adds Zeros to Adidas' Legal Bills

Illinois Church Adds Zeros to Adidas Legal Bills by Iva Rukelj

We admit we are talking about Adidas a lot lately, but that is because (i) we truly love their gear, and (ii) they have really been active. After some bruising encounters with United States trademark law, Adidas SA recently found itself on the ropes again, this time at the hands of a church in Zion, Illinois. The marks in question are a study in phonics: 

ADIZERO running shoes by Adidas vs. ADD A ZERO hats by Christian Faith Fellowship. 

The USPTO Made a New Years' Resolution & It Impacts You

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The USPTO and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") joined the rest of us in attempting to improve with a New Year's resolution. However, instead of already giving up on gym membership plans, the USPTO has taken 2017 by storm with an emphasis on digital efficiency, some rule changes, and everyone's favorite, increased fees.  

Stripes: Adidas Files Notice of Opposition to Soccer Club FC Barcelona's Trademark

Stripes: Adidas Files Notice of Opposition to Soccer Club FC Barcelona's Trademark by Iva Rukelj

The most interesting grudge match in professional soccer this season isn't between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but rather the intellectual property lawyers representing Barcelona and footwear giant Adidas.

"Kit" sponsoring--sponsoring the uniforms of a team--is a highly competitive business dominated by Nike and Adidas. For example, Adidas pays top-rated Manchester United €83.5 million a season for the privilege of providing uniforms emblazoned with its three-stripe logo.

NY State Bar IP Section Annual Meeting

Bill Samuels is Program Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Meeting on January 24, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown, NYC. Topics will include IP issues in social media, data and privacy concerns, design protections, IP litigation, and damages, as well as a review of IP cases in 2016 and what to watch for in 2017. For more information or to attend, go to  

A Primer on Non-Traditional Trademarks

A Primer on Non Traditional Trademarks by Iva Rukelj

A trademark is a "source identifier." That is, a trademark generally is a word, phrase, symbol, design or a combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others, and can be used to indicate the source of goods and services. The most recognizable trademarks are usually wordmarks or logos also known as traditional trademarks.

Non-traditional trademarks include colors, motions, sounds, scents, and even shapes. Obtaining protection for non-traditional marks can be challenging, but not impossible.

Bill Samuels to Moderate NY State Bar Panel: "Trademarks, Domain Names, and Cybersquatting"

On December 6, 2016, Bill Samuels will moderate a panel for the Trademark Committee of the NY State Bar IP Section on the topic of trademarks and issues that arise on the Internet, namely domain names and cybersquatting. The panel will discuss and evaluate current practical considerations in asserting and defending cybersquatting claims. 

USPTO Issues Memorandum on Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decision

USPTO Issues Memorandum on Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decision by John Laurence

On November 2nd, the USPTO issued new guidance to Patent Examiners regarding § 101 subject matter eligibility. The memorandum (USPTO-McRO-Bascom-Memo-1.pdf) provides guidance based on Federal Circuit decisions issued since the office's most recent, May 2016, update. The memo includes guidance based on the Federal Circuit's recent decisions in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games and BASCOM Global Internet v. AT&T Mobility decisions.

Developing Requirements For Patentable Subject Matter

DevelopingRequirementsForPatentableSubjectMatter by John Laurence

In talking to clients whose patent applications involve software, it simply is not good enough to ask for as much specificity as possible to help remove the invention from the realm of an abstract idea and avoid an unpatentable subject matter rejection. Rather, it now seems that the required specificity must also be grounded in a "technical means" for implementing the software components. Of course, what this "technical means" encompasses is not necessarily easy to define.

A recent decision from the Federal Circuit in Electric Power Group, LLC v. Alstom S.A. does provide some helpful insight as to this "technical means." Case No. 2015-1778 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 1, 2016).

Brexit & Trademark Concerns

Brexit & Trademark Concerns

In a recent blog post, we discussed recent changes in the EU system.

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The UK-EU divorce-nicknamed "Brexit"- will be negotiated over the next several years.

So, what does that mean? Basically, the UK will legally separate itself to be outside the EU, most likely by way of implementing an agreement to redefine its relationship with the EU bloc. As part of the global scenario, that agreement will include addressing and consideration of EU trademark issues.