It’s August in New Orleans, and everybody is getting excited that autumn is finally here! Yes, the leaves are still green and the thermometer still routinely hits triple digits but… football is in the air. The first high school jamborees took place last weekend. College football starts up this week, including the historic season-opener for LSU against Wisconsin at venerable Lambeau Filed. And, of course, the Saints are breaking training camp ahead of what will hopefully be another Super Bowl season!
Yes, we at IPC are big football fans, so we get excited when a football story overlaps with our practice area. Last week, the Oakland Raiders filed trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, across several goods and services classifications, including education and entertainment services, clothing, mobile applications, football helmets, trading cards, jewelry, and play figures.
In case you’re thinking you missed the press release that the Raiders have relocated, you haven’t. Despite rumors in the news and discussions within the league, the NFL has not confirmed any move for the Raiders. But that hasn’t stopped the South Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which is currently reviewing plans to build a domed stadium in Las Vegas that would house the Raiders. It also hasn’t stopped the Raiders from filing an “intent to use” trademark application in anticipation of rolling out the team’s new brand. Similarly, the San Diego Chargers filed applications with the PTO in January to register the marks, LA CHARGERS and LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, despite continuing with plans for a yet-to-be-approved new stadium in San Diego.
There are two significant take-aways from this story. First, a business need not wait until it starts using a trademark in order to protect it. At IPC, we are here to help you with early development and protection of your brand before you start using it. That way, when your brand hits the market, you can rest easier knowing that your IP rights are protected.
Second, monitoring activity at the USPTO within your industry may often lead to news that is not yet public. IPC's lawyers assist clients with monitoring patent, trademark and copyright filings within specific industries or by specific competitors. One can often obtain valuable information about the next product or the next brand to hit the market -- before it hits the market.