Oregon Trademark Registration

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Clients often inquire whether they should register their trademarks at the State or Federal level. Starting with the assumption that even small local businesses may encounter a challenge to their trademark in the future, I generally try to impress upon them the advantages of federal registration. After all, many of my clients end up being successful and seek to expand outside of Oregon’s borders. With the exponential growth of “e-commerce,” the Internet is providing opportunities for national and global expansion, even for the smallest Oregon businesses.  It is therefore important for businesses of all types and sizes to choose and protect their trademarks with care…often this can mean protection at BOTH the State and Federal level.

Here’s a quick primer on registration of a trademark in Oregon:

Trademarks are registered with the Oregon Secretary of State. There is a non-refundable fee of $50 for filing a trademark application, and the registration must be renewed every 5 years.

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Registration of a trademark with the Oregon Secretary of State creates a legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark in Oregon commerce in connection with the goods or services described in the application. (A federal registration would protect your trademark in all states where it is used.)

The Oregon Trademark Act (ORS 647) protects words, names, symbols or designs, or any combinations thereof when they are used to distinguish the source of the goods or services rendered by one party from the goods or services of another party. Marks are checked against other marks registered in Oregon, but not against corporate, fictitious, or assumed names.

Oregon trademark rights arise from actual use of the mark in commerce, i.e. there are no “intent-to-use” applications.

A mark cannot be registered until it has been used in Oregon. Oregon defines a mark being “used” when it is placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or on the tags or labels affixed thereto, or when it is used to identify the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of others, and such goods or services are sold, distributed, or rendered in Oregon.

So what are some of the main benefits of state registration over federal registration?  It’s cheaper (State – $50/class vs. Federal – $275/class) and quicker. I’ve seen turnaround of weeks, not months or years as with the USPTO. State registration can be a good remedy for a purely local entity. State registration provides an increased level of trademark protection…at least you can claim protection on your “home turf.”  However, in the long run, I’d recommend that any entity which anticipates expanding outside of Oregon, particularly via Internet “e-commerce,” should seek federal trademark registration to best protect their valuable trademark rights.

I look forward to hearing from proponents of State registration…how has an Oregon State registration uniquely benefitted either you or your clients?

Skydiving Software Company Alleges Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Violations by Former Member

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The Complaint alleges that individual defendant Cockayne, as a former member of Plaintiff’s organization, developed enterprise software for commercial skydiving operators. Upon leaving Plaintiff’s organization in January 2016, defendant Cockayne was to return all software code and hardware. However, the software code was allegedly still used in violation of a “Withdrawal” agreement and provided to Pacific Northwest Skydiving Center, one of Plaintiff’s former clients.

The Complaint alleges both Federal and Oregon trade secrets violations as well as copyright infringement of the registered source code.

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DropzoneMS, LLC v. Cockayne et al

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-02348-YY
File Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Plaintiff: DropzoneMS, LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: John Mansfield of MansfieldLaw
Defendant: Steven Cockayne, Natalie Rogers, David Thorpe, Pacific Northwest Skydiving Center
Cause: Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, Oregon Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Copyright Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Youlee Yim You

Complaint:

ROAMBUILT v. ROAM…are you confused?

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Both parties in this trademark lawsuit recently began using their respective trademarks (ROAMBUILT v. ROAM). ROAMBUILT is used in connection with “automotive parts,” primarily custom parts for Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans. ROAM is being used in connection with vehicle rental services and automobile customization services.

The parties corresponded for several months regarding the possibility of infringement and trademark coexistence. Unable to resolve the situation themselves, Plaintiff Roambuilt now seeks court intervention as they assert slight priority rights.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Roambuilt LLC v. Roam, LLC

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-02217-AC
File Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Plaintiff: Roambuilt LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Elizabeth Tedesco Milesnick of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
Defendant: Roam, LLC
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: John V. Acosta

Complaint:

Portland Artist sues Vans over Misappropriated Shoe Artwork

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Plaintiff is a visual artist residing in Portland, Oregon. In 2010, Plaintiff installed artwork at a Sole Classics shoe store in Columbus, Ohio. The work was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Plaintiff asserts that the defendant in this copyright lawsuit, Vans, Inc., has incorporated his artwork without permission into one of Vans’ 2016 limited edition shoes, the Sole Classics x Vans Vault Half Cab LX “10 Seasons” (see Exhibit D below). Plaintiff alleges that Sole Classics licensed rights to Vans that it did not possess.

Stay tuned for updates.

Nichols v. Vans, Inc.

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-02208-HZ
File Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Plaintiff: Jeremy Nichols
Plaintiff Counsel: Robert Swider, Alex Fund of Swider Haver LLP
Defendant: Vans, Inc.
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Marco A. Hernandez

Complaint:

Wholesale Garden Supply Manufacturer Sues Competitor for Trademark Infringement, Unlawful Trade Practices

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Plaintiff Sunlight Supply, Inc., based in Vancouver, Washington, sells products for indoor, hydroponic, organic and greenhouse gardening. Plaintiff is a wholesale-only business, selling its products exclusively through authorized retail dealers.

Defendant has allegedly violated Plaintiff’s trademarks rights in its TITAN, GROW WITH US and WHEN YOU’RE GARDENING WITH THE GODS, THING JUST GROW BETTER! registered trademarks.

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Sunlight Supply, Inc. v. Cirrus Systems, Inc.

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-02201
File Date: Monday, November 21, 2016
Plaintiff: Sunlight Supply, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: David P. Cooper, Owen W. Dukelow, Desmond J. Kidney of Kolisch Hartwell, P.C.
Defendant: Cirrus Systems, Inc.
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Unlawful Business, Trade Practices
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Michael H. Simon

Complaint:

Rogue sues Photographer/Videographer for Copyright Infringement

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Plaintiff Oregon Brewing Company (a.k.a. Rogue) is suing its past photographer/videographer, asserting 39 separate instances of copyright infringement. The Defendant allegedly used photographs and short films he had created (but which were owned by Rogue pursuant to an Employment Agreement, see Exhibit 1) on his personal website. Additionally, Defendant submitted the 39 works for registration with the Registrar of Copyrights.

Oregon Brewing Company v. Blair

Court Case Number3:16-cv-02130-HZ
File Date: Monday, November 7, 2016
Plaintiff: Oregon Brewing Company
Plaintiff Counsel: Andrew D. Glascock of Hiefield Foster & Glascock, LLP
Defendant: Benjamin R. Blair
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Marco A. Hernandez

Complaint:

Exhibit 1:

West Burnside Vape Spot files trademark lawsuit against SE Division VapeSpot

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Since 2013, Plaintiff has operated a Portland vape shop/lounge on West Burnside Street called Vape Spot.

In August 2016, Plaintiff became aware that Defendant had opened a VapeSpot on SE Division Street. Daily instances of confusion and an unsolicited call from Captain Amsterdam regarding Kratom – a product apparently being investigated by the FDA -led to this trademark lawsuit.

Smoke Free, LLC v. Vapespot, LLC

Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-02060-AA
File Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Plaintiff: Smoke Free, LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Aurelia Erickson of McGaughey Erickson
Defendant: Vapespot, LLC
Cause: False Designation of Origin, Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, State Trademark Dilution, Injury to Business Reputation, Unjust Enrichment
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Ann L. Aiken

Complaint:

 

Endeavour Capital files trademark lawsuit against mining fund

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Plaintiff seeks to protect its registered ENDEAVOUR and ENDEAVOUR CAPITAL trademarks (used in connection with investment services) from Defendant’s use of the name “Endeavor Capital Mining Fund.”

DVSM, L.L.C. v. Endeavour Capital Mining Fund L.P.

Court Case Number3:16-cv-01985-SI
File Date: Thursday, October 14, 2016
Plaintiff: DVSM, L.L.C.
Plaintiff Counsel: Jon P. Stride, Eric Beach of Tonkon Torp LLC
Defendant: Endeavour Capital Mining Fund L.P.
Cause: Trademark Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Michael H. Simon

Complaint:

Flea Product Manufacturer sued over Unauthorized Use of Certification Mark

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Plaintiff uses the certification mark OMRI in connection with its independent review of materials and processes to determine their suitability for producing, processing and handling organic food and fiber.

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-15-45-amThe Defendants unsuccessfully applied to Plaintiff for use of the certification mark in connection with a product called “Flea Away DE.” Despite a refusal by Plaintiff, the Defendants used Plaintiff’s certification mark on their product.

Failure by Defendant to comply with numerous cease-and-desist communications prompted this lawsuit. Stay tuned for updates.

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Organic Materials Review Institute v. Flea Away, Inc. et al

Court Case Number6:16-cv-01931-MC
File Date: Monday, October 3, 2016
Plaintiff: Organic Material Review Institute
Plaintiff Counsel: Frank C. Gibson of Hutchinson Cox
Defendant: Flea Away, Inc., Simon Bowles, Lilian Bowles
Cause: Trademark Infringement
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Michael J. McShane

Complaint:

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BARISTA SERIES files False Designation of Origin Lawsuit against BARISTA BLEND

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Since 2008, Plaintiff has produced a line of dairy alternative beverages (for use with coffee, tea, etc.) under the BARISTA SERIES trademark.

Defendant distributes a similar non-dairy alternative under the trademark BARISTA BLEND. However, Plaintiff noticed in 2015 that Defendant’s product also bore the BARISTA SERIES trademark (see Exhibit B).

Apparently unable to resolve their dispute over the last year, this lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against Defendant’s use of BARISTA SERIES.

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Pacific Foods of Oregon Inc. v. Califia Farms, Inc.

Court Case Number3:16-cv-01752-SB
File Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016
Plaintiff: Pacific Foods of Oregon Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Scott E. Davis of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
Defendant: Califia Farms, LLC
Cause: False Designation of Origin, Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Stacie F. Beckerman

Complaint: