Avoid Trademark Fright and Spooky Setbacks: A List of Halloween Tips, Tricks & Treats.
Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday in the United States. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend a record $10 billion this year on treats, decorations, and costumes. If you’re an entrepreneur, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database is overflowing with suggestions for you to profit from #Halloween2021.
There are 527 trademark applications and registrations filed with the USPTO that include the word “HALLOWEEN,” and there are thousands of additional applications that are linked to the holiday. Some, of course, are a little more alive than others. Solve the riddles below to discover a few of our favorites:
I’m famous as “The Stinking Rose;” vampire-slayers wear me under their clothes. What am I?
Vampires beware, THE OFFICIAL GARLIC OF HALLOWEEN registered early this year covering fresh garlic, raw garlic, and unprocessed garlic. The registrant I Love Produce, LLC made no claim to the exclusive right to use “garlic” apart from the mark as a whole to promote its Monster Garlic Brand.
What does this mean? A disclaimer of a component of a composite mark is equivalent to a statement that, no rights are being asserted in the disclaimed component standing alone (i.e. “GARLIC”), but rights are asserted in the composite (i.e. “THE OFFICIAL GARLIC OF HALLOWEEN”). Sprague Electric Co. v. Erie Resistor Corp., 101 USPQ 486, 486-87 (Comm’r Pats. 1954). All vampire slayers are free to go COCO-FOR GARLIC, as long as they don’t slap “THE OFFICIAL GARLIC OF HALLOWEEN” on a logo and call it their own. There are currently 660 trademark applications and registrations listed on the USPTO database that contain the component “GARLIC.”
I am the head of the hive; I share my name with the band who played “Bohemian Rhapsody” live. Who am I?
I’m frighteningly good in a box. Hawaiian, four cheese, pepperoni or supreme. What am I?
THE OFFICIAL PIZZA OF HALLOWEEN was filed by Nestle in 2020 and was published in the Trademark Official Gazette on September 14, 2021. I know what you’re thinking: who has the authority to grant such a noble title? Apparently, Food Giant Nestle does.
Typically, once a mark publishes for opposition, any party who believes it will be damaged by the registration of the mark may file a notice of opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board within thirty days of the publication date. Not a single notice of opposition was filed against this mark and we can expect the USPTO to move forward with its registration.
I will bring you bad luck when I cross your path in the dark; you will never hear me bark. What am I?
If you’re running out of Spooktacular outfit ideas, keep your eyes out for BLACK CAT 13. The mark was filed in September 2021 based on an intent-to-use under Section 1(b) (i.e., the applicant has not used the mark yet in commerce, but can claim in good faith that it plans to do so later).
Did you miss out on Halloween? Don’t let it get you down! The largest commercial holiday is right around the corner: Christmas. From blogmas to elf-shaped cake pops, Rockridge® can assist you in protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.
About Violaine Panasci
Violaine Panasci, LL.M., studied law at the University of Ottawa before completing an LL.M. in New York with an emphasis in food systems and sustainable supply chains. Her practice areas include agricultural technology, cannabis, copyrights, data privacy, food & beverage, regulation, sustainable supply chains, and trademarks. Read more about Violaine, connect with her, and Calendly her.
Rockridge Venture Law® is a certified B Corp law firm embracing the mantra of technology lawyers for good. Rockridge® services include corporate, intellectual property, litigation, M&A, privacy, technology, and venture capital law. Rockridge has been recognized as a B Corp Best for the World and Real Leaders Top 150 Impact Company, and has been featured by Conscious Company Magazine, Forbes, and other top media focused on industry leaders in impact and innovation.
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