IP: Trademark by analogy problematic for spendology

TTAB ruling rejects argument that social media presence constitutes trademark use

Is a social media presence alone enough to create protectable trademark rights? Not so, says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

To prove trademark infringement or to win an opposition, a plaintiff or opposer must prove two things: that it used the infringed mark first, and that the defendant’s use of the mark is likely to cause confusion with its own. But proving prior use can be a tenuous argument if the instance of such use is but a social media presence, not manifestly linked to the services of an entity.

Contributing Author

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Scott Slavick

Scott Slavick is a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, where his practice focuses primarily on trademark prosecution and trademark litigation. Scott maintains all aspects...

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