Fed. Circ. Says Houston, DC Can't Trademark Their Seals
By Kurt Orzeck
Law360, Los Angeles (October 1, 2013, 6:22 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit on Tuesday denied the city of Houston and the District of Columbia's attempts to trademark their official seals, finding they aren't exempted from federal laws preventing flags and other U.S. insignias from being trademarked because government entities qualify as trademark applicants.
Upholding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's decision to block the trademark applications, the appellate court decided the Lanham Act — the U.S.'s principal federal trademark law — focuses on the nature of the mark, not the identity of the applicant....