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2 min read

Trademark and Label Art Errors You Should Avoid

Trademark and Label Art Errors You Should Avoid

This webinar highlights the significance of avoiding trademark and label art errors. The speakers, Sherri Hugh Smith and Brandon Zelinski, shed light on the importance of trademarks and provide insights into the differences between trademarks, copyrights, and patents. 


The speakers also delve into the process of registering a trademark, emphasizing the need to avoid potential pitfalls. Zelinski outlines the advantages of federal registration, including the ability to use the coveted circle R symbol, nationwide protection, and the option to take legal action for infringement in federal court.

The speakers stress the importance of carefully considering the location and industry in which you plan to use your trademark, as this will have a direct impact on the scope of your trademark. They emphasize the need for precision when registering a trademark, as any over-inclusion or inaccuracies can potentially lead to future complications. The speakers explain the significance of trademarks in protecting your brand and highlight their value as valuable assets. They strongly advise against infringing on someone else's trademark and emphasize the importance of conducting thorough research before registering your own. Additionally, the speakers discuss the vital role of actively monitoring your trademark to ensure that no one else is using it without permission. They stress the importance of avoiding litigation, as it can be costly and unpleasant. Furthermore, they emphasize the need to protect your trademark from infringement while also ensuring that you do not infringe on others. The speakers explain that failing to enforce your trademark rights can result in the loss of those rights. During the webinar, the speakers also address various questions from the audience, including topics such as updating a trademark logo, registering a trademark that has been in use for 10 years, dealing with voluntarily abandoned trademarks, conducting trademark image searches, and the necessary requirements to support a trademark application.trademark and label art errors-1

The speakers delve into two cautionary tales that highlight the importance of conducting thorough research before choosing a trademark. They discuss the case of Russian River and Avery Brewing, which was resolved collaboratively, and also shed light on the recent name change of the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians, which has encountered trademark issues with a roller derby team that already uses the name. This serves as a reminder of the significance of avoiding potential conflicts and conducting due diligence when selecting a trademark. Additionally, the speakers touch on two other noteworthy cases: Wiley Roots Brewing Company, which complied with a request to stop using a logo that infringed on Sonic's trademark, and Stone Brewing, which is currently embroiled in a long and costly legal battle with MillerCoors over the use of the word "stone" in advertising. These examples further emphasize the importance of understanding trademark laws and protecting your brand from potential infringement issues.

The speakers also delve into two intriguing cases where trademarks intersect with copyrights:

In one instance, the North Coast Brewing Company faced a lawsuit from the estate of an artist regarding the use of a label. However, the brewery emerged victorious in the case, successfully defending their position.

Furthermore, the North Coast Brewing Company found themselves in another legal battle when the estate of Thelonious Monk sued them over the use of his likeness on a beer label. Fortunately, the two parties were able to reach a settlement, resolving the dispute amicably.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the trademark registration process, the webinar briefly outlines the necessary steps, which include conducting a thorough search, completing the registration, and addressing any office actions from the USPTO that may arise.