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What’s Trending in Trademarks: May 2024

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Every month, Erise’s trademark attorneys review the latest developments at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in the courts, and across the corporate world to bring you the stories that you should know about:

Taylor Swift Applies for “Female Rage: The Musical” Mark

Is a Taylor Swift musical in the works? Her fans certainly think so after her legal team filed for a new trademark this month.

During her concert in Paris, Swift introduced the part of her set containing songs off her new album – “The Tortured Poets Department” – as “Female Rage: The Musical.” She also used the name of the proposed mark in an Instagram post.

While it’s no guarantee Swift will use the trademark to promote a theatrical performance, her application covers that ground. Among the many proposed uses for the mark include: “Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances; Live music concerts; (and) Live stage performances in the nature of musical and theatrical productions.”

USA Today also reported that one of Swift’s attorneys also filed in late January for the trademark “TAYLOR-CON.” Because Swift’s fans are always looking for hidden messages, that application, as well as the “Female Rage” trademark application, were both filed on a Saturday.

Bay Area Airport Battle

The City and County of San Francisco sued Bay Area neighbor Oakland last month for trademark infringement after the Port of Oakland announced plans to change the name of Metropolitan Oakland International Airport to “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport.”

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act as well as common law trademark infringement. It alleges the new Oakland airport name will cause confusion among consumers, particularly international travelers who may not speak or read English and lead travelers to purchase tickets to the wrong airport. San Francisco International Airport has operated since 1927 and is an incontestable trademark.

In its complaint, attorneys for the City and County of San Francisco noted that one airline was already using San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport on its ticket purchasing options, showing that the Oakland airport was the second choice below San Francisco International Airport when a search for “San Francisco” was performed.

“Defendant’s proposal to include “San Francisco” at the front of its new name, closely followed by the words “International Airport” is problematic,” the complaint read. Attorneys also allege the term “San Francisco” at the beginning of the Oakland airport’s proposed new name is part of a brand or trademark and not merely as a geographic indicator.  

In a response filed this month seeking a declaratory judgment, Oakland denies that the new name infringes on the San Francisco International Airport mark. Port Attorney Mary Richardson said the “San Francisco Bay” in the new Oakland airport name accurately describes its geographic location and presents the airport as an additional choice for travel into the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Said a release from the Port of Oakland: “Passengers booking flights into the region—like travelers to other major metropolitan areas throughout the world—will understand that the San Francisco Bay Area can contain more than one airport.”

Other Marks in the News

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