Tuesday, December 12, 2006

USPTO announces changes to design search codes

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced modifications to design search codes, effective in early 2007. "The new design codes will be applied to all new incoming trademark applications and to currently active (live) trademark applications and registrations in USPTO’s automated trademark systems. They will not be applied to inactive (dead) registrations." In many cases designs are split into separate codes, and some symbols that are considered socially negative (drug symbols) do appear acceptable in trademarks or trade dress.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Motion picture studios should use their music trademarks, too.

I've wondered why movie studios aren't more proud of their own musical signatures. 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight (though not Fox Atomic) always starts with the famous fanfare. Warner Brothers has the wonderful Casablanca Theme to offer over the orange shot of the studio, but often omits both the music and even the studio shot to blend in with the opening director's shot of the film. Columbia has the Statue of Liberty but often omits the rising scale (TriStar always uses its fanfare). New Line often omits its downward pulling theme. Dreamworks isn't always dreamy. MGM, however, always proudly displays its cat with the lion's roar. Touchstone and Miramax don't have musical signatures at all.

I would have thought that, for branding reasons, distribution companies would always display their full trademarks as fully as possible. You would think that their own laywers (given their history of aggressiveness with copyright) would insist on that.

If "Do Ask Do Tell" became a movie distributor, the picture shows what the mark could look like.

Update: (9/7/2007)

The bill was renamed with the year "2006" and actually passed in Oct. 2006. The posting discussing this appears on June 7, 2007 (please check archives) and postings after that. Because of the "name change" I did not detect it in the search engines for a while.