Cognate's Trademark Blog

Political Family Names Carry Clout

  This month’s election results were good (but not perfect) for political families. Many of the high-profile races in these elections featured prominent American political families. Florida joined the nepotistic political party by sending Democrat Gwenn Graham to Congress, defeating incumbent Republican Steve Sutherland, representing Florida’s second Congressional District. Graham’s father, Bob Graham, is the … Read more

Delinquent Corporation Wins Common Law Trademark Battle

The next federal case where common law rights were in play is much more recent than our first post. This ruling, which also deserves consideration, just came down in August and requires a little bit of background before we get into the court’s ruling. The plaintiff (Southern California Darts Association) sued the defendant, a former member … Read more

Common Law Rights Prevail in Cigar Case

I thought it’d be useful to highlight a couple of federal  cases where common law trademark rights have prevailed over federally registered trademark rights.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting summaries  of cases (along with plain English “translations”) to  highlight the fact that common law trademark rights  are legally defensible. The first case … Read more

Chinese Brands Have Begun Their Assault On The American Market

  Mark 2014 as the year the tide started to turn. The brand value tide. This year, we see a lot of talk devoted to the just-released fact from the Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report that both Apple and Google’s brands exceed 100 billion dollars in value, marking the first time any company, let alone two, has cracked that barrier. However, the role … Read more

John Wayne And Duke University In: ‘The Battle of the Dukes.’

It’s the trademark battle where both sides put up their Dukes. The family of John Wayne has been sent to the mat in their attempt to challenge the North Carolina university’s trademark use. According to this case, John Wayne Enterprises LLC v. Duke University, described in court papers by the actor’s heirs as a “family business,” … Read more