A Board Certified Patent Attorney

Archive for the ‘Advanced Trademark Issues’ Category

Florida Trademark Infringement Litigation

Florida trademark infringement lawsuits can be brought under either the Florida trademark statute (Chapter 495) or under federal law (Lanham Act) depending upon whether or not a federal trademark registration has been obtained.  If you are not sure if you or someone else has obtained a Florida trademark registration, you may want to do a search on the Florida trademark database.  Many general practitioners in Florida only occassionally see intellectual property litigation of any type, much less, Florida trademark litigation,  and are not aware of the benefits of Florida’s trademark statute. At one time, state law was seen as providing the primary venue for protection of trademarks.  All of this changed, however, when federal trademark laws were enacted by Congress.  The main federal statute is the Lanham Act and it was enacted in 1946 and amended numerous times since then.  Federal law has since provided the most extensi

HOOTERS Restaurant Chain Loses Appeal In Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Winghouse of Florida

A U.S. District Court Judge’s ruling against restaurant chain, HOOTERS, has been affirmed in a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.   Florida District Court Judge Anne C. Conway in Orlando, Florida, ruled that the “Hooters Girl” persona is “primarily functional” and therefore not entitled to trademark protection. HI Ltd. Partnership v. Winghouse of Florida, Inc. No. 6:03-cv-116 (M.D. Fla. 2004).   Trademark attorneys for Hooters claimed that the Florida based sports bar WingHouse copied too many elements from Hooters restaurant and violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.   Relying on the classic elements of trademark infringement, Hooter’s argued that Winghouse copied so many features unique to Hooters that customers would be confused into thinking the two companies were affiliated.   Hooters Girls’ outfits consist of a white shirt and orange shorts while Winghouse Girls̵

Protecting Business Names & Product Brand Identities Through Trademark Law

Inexperienced entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of properly securing rights to their business and product names during the frenzied pace of the start-up phase of their businesses. Unfortunately, mistakes at these early stages of choosing and protecting names can end up being very costly.   Trademark law provides the exclusive right to use a mark that serves to distinguish the goods of one person from another. A trademark typically includes a word, phrase, logo, design or even a combination of these. It is used to identify the source of a particular product. A service mark is similar to a trademark except that it is used to identify the source of services. Consumers identify trademarks with a particular quality of goods or services. Trademarks are valuable assets of a business and continuously increase in value as the products or services they represent gain brand recognition and consumer loyalty.   Before launching your product or service in the marketplace, it is i