Trademarks and Brands

Booking.com: The Potential Paved Road to Protecting Highly Descriptive and Generic Terms Combined with Top-Level Domain Extensions

by Lee J. Eulgen and Bari L. Nathan, Guest Bloggers on Tuesday, 20 March, 2018

A word or logo can only function as a trademark if it is distinctive (i.e., capable of identifying and distinguishing the goods and services with which it is used from others’ goods and services) and, as most readers of this blog will readily recognize, a trademark’s distinctiveness ranges along a spectrum, sometimes called a hierarchy of marks. In order from least distinctive to most distinctive, the categories of distinctiveness are: generic, descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary, and fanciful. 

Marks that are suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful are deemed sufficiently distinct to automatically function as trademarks. Descriptive marks, on the other hand, are not considered inherently distinctive, and can only function as a trademark if they have obtained secondary meaning (also known as acquired distinctiveness) in the minds of consumers. Generic terms are common identifiers for a type or category of product or service (e.g., “E-MAIL” used to identify an e-mail service, or “FITNESS CENTER” used to identify fitness centers or gyms) and, as such, the law does not allow these types of terms to be protected as proprietary to one party and registered as trademarks. This treatment of generic terms is based on the principle that people and companies deserve the right to accurately identify and describe their products and services, and granting a single party an exclusive right to a generic term would unfairly impede competition. 

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Topics: domains, trademark

Corsearch New gTLD Update: .APP, .DEV, .BOATS, .TH, and More

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 15 March, 2018

This update includes news about .APP, .DEV, .BOATS, .TH, .書籍, and .BOT.

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Topics: nGTLDs, domains

Goldman Sachs Sends Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitman Sachs Trademark Infringement Notification

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 13 March, 2018

US finance company Goldman Sachs has sent a notice to an Indian company that operates Bitman Sachs, a cryptocurrency exchange, claiming that it is infringing intellectual property rights and violating trademark norms, according to The Economic Times.

Bitman Sachs LLP operated a website called Bitsachs.com. The company's founder said: “We are not using Goldman anywhere in our brand name and Sachs is a very common surname in Germany. … So I don't know how this could be an infringement of intellectual property or trademark.” 

The notification sent by Goldman Sachs to Bitman Sachs raised concern about a likelihood of confusion, stating: “The infringing mark is intended for use in connection with related services as those provided by Goldman Sachs. The infringing mark is thus clearly intended to draw an association with your cryptocurrency (business), on the one hand and… Goldman Sachs on the other hand.” 

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Topics: domains, trademark infringement

Corsearch Becomes Independent Company Following Closing of Sale to Audax Private Equity

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 5 January, 2018

Corsearch, a global trademark solutions leader, is pleased to announce the closing of its sale to Audax Private Equity, effective today. As previously reported, in October 2017, Audax Private Equity agreed to purchase Corsearch from Wolters Kluwer. Today’s closing represents the finalization of that transaction, resulting in a newly independent Corsearch company.

The move to an independent company provides Corsearch with many opportunities in an evolving industry. Corsearch will be using its new status to enrich the industry-leading offerings in trademark and domain solutions that it offers today, as well as to expand into new areas.

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Topics: Corsearch, brands, domains, trademark

Amazon Expands Domain Registrations

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 21 December, 2017

Domain Name Wire reports that Amazon has recently broadened its domain registrations to include "AmazonTube" and "Open Tube," stirring speculation that the company may be planning to compete with YouTube. The company also registered several variations of these domains, including OpenTube.biz, AmazonTube.ca, and even OpenTube.xyz. You can read more details on Domain Name Wire.

These new Amazon domain registrations come not long after Amazon Technologies registered several cryptocurrency URLs including amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com last month. Amazon also owns the domain amazonbitcoin.com, which currently redirects to the Amazon home page.

You too may be wondering exactly what Fortune asks: "What, if anything, is Amazon planning to do in the cryptocurrency space?" According to CNBC, Patrick Gauthier of Amazon Pay said last month that Amazon has no plans to accept cryptocurrency.

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Topics: domains, domain management

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The title says it all. This is a blog about trademarks and brands, expanding the expertise and resources you’ve come to expect from Corsearch. From expert research tips to the inside scoop on productivity solutions, join the conversation about trademarks and brands.

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