Perhaps the biggest part of the story is the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s reason for revoking the registrations. Two of its three judges felt “these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.” Still, this doesn’t mean the trademark registrations will ultimately be cancelled (the decision could be reversed by federal judges upon appeal) and it definitely doesn’t guarantee the team is going to change its name. But after years of battling the name, it’s an important victory for Native Americans — and given increasing pressure from politicians, it could be a big step toward the name eventually being changed.

The Redskins just lost some legal protection of their name. Here’s what it means - Vox

"IRI cannot restrict Eller from using the word “Mormon” to describe his Mormon matching service as ‘Mormon Match,’ any more than Burger King® could prevent In-n-Out Burger® from including the term ‘burger’ in its name," the EFF wrote in a Texas federal court amicus brief.

Latter-day Saints claims IP rights to block “Mormon” dating site | Ars Technica

Court revives Rosetta Stone suit vs Google

A federal appeals court on Monday revived the bulk of language-software maker Rosetta Stone Inc’s trademark infringement lawsuit against Google Inc.

The opinion is the first appellate decision to address whether Google’s sale of other companies’ trademarks for sponsored links could give rise to liability for trademark infringement.

In a lawsuit filed in 2009, Rosetta Stone accused Google of committing trademark infringement by selling the language-software maker’s trademarks to third-party advertisers for use as search keywords. A Virginia district court had dismissed the case in 2010, finding that the sale of the keywords was not likely to confuse consumers.

But U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned most of the lower court’s ruling, reviving claims that Google committed direct trademark infringement and diluted the Rosetta Stone brand

» via Reuters

Facebook asserts trademark on word "book" in new user agreement

Facebook is trying to expand its trademark rights over the word “book” by adding the claim to a newly revised version of its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” the agreement all users implicitly consent to by using or accessing Facebook.

You may recall that Facebook has launched multiple lawsuits against websites incorporating the word “book” into their names. Facebook, as far as we can tell, doesn’t have a registered trademark on “book.” But trademark rights can be asserted based on use of a term, even if the trademark isn’t registered, and adding the claim to Facebook’s user agreement could boost the company’s standing in future lawsuits filed against sites that use the word.

"Unregistered marks are quite common in the US," University of Minnesota Law Professor William McGeveran told Ars. "Rights arise from use, not registration (though registration does give you some other advantages). That’s how Facebook can try to claim ‘book.’" If you see a ™ next to a name, that indicates an unregistered, claimed trademark, whereas an R in a circle signifies a registered one, McGeveran notes.

» via ars technica

Terrified of cybersquatting, businesses battle plan for more top-level domains

Now ICANN has done it—they’ve gone and made the advertising industry angry, along with an army of other trademark and intellectual property stakeholders. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is leading a petition drive asking the US Commerce Department to stop ICANN’s planned roll-out of potentially hundreds of new “generic” top-level domains (gTLDs; existing gTLDs include .com and .net), including the controversial .xxx domain for pornographic content.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Dan Jaffe, EVP of Government Relations for ANA, said that the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) had so far signed on 101 companies and associations in support of its petition—including the US Chamber of Commerce, Ford, General Electric, and Hewlett-Packard—which it initially sent to Commerce Secretary John Bryson on November 10. 

"And we’ve heard from other groups who have similar concerns, including the Council of Better Business Bureaus," he said. Jaffe said that ICANN’s plan would divert millions of dollars from companies, money that would be better spent creating jobs.

» via ars technica

It’s Not Santa’s Reindeer You Hear on the Roof, It’s Lars Johnson’s Goats

Lars Johnson is proud of his restaurant’s Swedish-meatball sandwich and pickled herring. But the signature offering at his Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant isn’t on the menu; it’s the goats grazing on the grass-covered roof.
Any other business thinking of putting goats on the roof will have Mr. Johnson’s lawyers to contend with.
Some patrons drive from afar to eat at the restaurant and see the goats that have been going up on Al Johnson’s roof since 1973. The restaurant 14 years ago trademarked the right to put goats on a roof to attract customers to a business. “The restaurant is one of the top-grossing in Wisconsin, and I’m sure the goats have helped,” says Mr. Johnson, who manages the family-owned restaurant.
So when a tourist spot 750 miles away decided to deploy a rooftop-caprine population, Mr. Johnson made a federal case of it.

» via The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required)

It’s Not Santa’s Reindeer You Hear on the Roof, It’s Lars Johnson’s Goats

Lars Johnson is proud of his restaurant’s Swedish-meatball sandwich and pickled herring. But the signature offering at his Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant isn’t on the menu; it’s the goats grazing on the grass-covered roof.

Any other business thinking of putting goats on the roof will have Mr. Johnson’s lawyers to contend with.

Some patrons drive from afar to eat at the restaurant and see the goats that have been going up on Al Johnson’s roof since 1973. The restaurant 14 years ago trademarked the right to put goats on a roof to attract customers to a business. “The restaurant is one of the top-grossing in Wisconsin, and I’m sure the goats have helped,” says Mr. Johnson, who manages the family-owned restaurant.

So when a tourist spot 750 miles away decided to deploy a rooftop-caprine population, Mr. Johnson made a federal case of it.

» via The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required)