This New & Noteworthy post looks at trademark oppositions filed at the Trademark Trial & Appeal board for the Week of February 23 – March 1.

Marvel & DC, Co-Owners of the SUPER HERO Mark, File Two Oppositions

Marvel & DC have been labeled trademark bullies in the past for their policing of the co-owned SUPERHERO mark for comic books, video games, action figures and more. They filed an opposition against a comic book writer’s application for DR. BLINK SUPERHERO SHRINK, claiming that it would be confusingly similar to their SUPERHERO mark. Later in the week, they filed an opposition against the mark SUPERHERO ELLIE for children’s storybooks.

Will DC & Marvel eventually face a claim that their SUPERHERO marks are generic?

2/23/2015 – Link to Proceedings 1 * 2

Owner of 5MILES Opposes CLOSE5 Mark

Some decisions to file a notice of opposition just leave you wondering, “why?” The owner of the mark 5MILES (5 Miles? Smiles?) opposed eBay’s application for CLOSE5 (again, CLOSE 5, CLOSES?) for software to access online classified ads. 5MILES claims that it owns an “original and unique two-element mark including a numerical component (5), and a distance component (miles), the combination of which connotes a meaning of being close, near, local or only a short distance away.”

2/23/2015 – Link to Proceedings

Mother’s Kitchen filed Notice of Opposition to Mother’s Milky Way Mark

The owners of the MOTHER’S KITCHEN mark for grocery services filed a Notice of Opposition against an application for MOTHER’S MILKY WAY for dietary supplements. The goods and services do not appear to be closely related, and the two marks only share one term.

2/23/2015 – Link to Proceedings

NCAA Claims Trademark Rights in the Word “Bracket”

Just in time for March Madness, the NCAA filed an opposition against a company applying for BRACK ATTACK and DON’T LET ONE TEAM BUST YOUR BRACKET for a sports app. While the Applicant’s mark is clearly geared towards March Madness, the NCAA is basing its claim on common law rights based on “images of brackets, and marks consisting of or referring to the term BRACKET.”

2/23/2015 – Link to Proceedings

Duke University, Owner of BLUE DEVILS Mark, Files Opposition to BLUE BALL CHILLER for Alcoholic Beverages

Duke University filed an opposition against the makers of BLUE BALL CHILLER, an alcoholic beverage. Duke owns a variety of marks including the word BLUE DEVILS, but does not own any alcohol-related marks. Is Duke making this weak claim based on the fact that both marks share the word BLUE? Watch out BLUE MOON and PABST BLUE RIBBON.

2/23/2015 – Link to Proceedings

Clash of the Cigarette Giants: Zippo Files Opposition Against Lorillard’s BLU Marks for E-Cigs

Zippo owner of the BLU mark for lighters and accessories filed an opposition against cigarette maker Lorillard’s BLU mark for e-cigarettes. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out – lighters are a complementary good to traditional cigarettes, but are e-cigarettes close enough?

2/26/15 – Link to Proceeding

Rugby World Cup Opposes Rugby Common; Still Thinks it Owns the Word Rugby

Owners of the RUGBY WORLD CUP marks filed an opposition against an application for RUGBY COMMON. From past oppositions, it seems that the Rugby World Cup is policing the word RUGBY, but can they really claim that their RUGBY WORLD CUP mark gives them protection to the word RUGBY?

2/27/2015 – Link to Proceeding