The CyberLaw Trademark Debate

Posted on July 2, 2009 
Filed Under General, Law

You may have seen some criticism by others regarding the trademark application for the term “CyberLaw.” While the critics have every right to their opinion, I felt it was important to provide the full story behind the issue, as well as some relevant links to credible third-party coverage, such as this Baltimore Sun article.

CyberLaw PC applied for the trademark “CyberLaw” in December of 2007. Several bloggers criticized the application for being generic or “everyday language.” The firm responded on January 19, 2008 via the blog post “Of CyberLaw and CyberLawg.” That response has remained published since that time.

Simply stated, the firm defended its original application by noting that the application was lawfully filed with the USPTO, along with the appropriate application fee. The firm also noted that the application would have protected only those services that the firm provided. Finally, the firm pointed out that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the authority that makes such determinations, itself has previously found the mark “CyberLaw” to be protectable as recently as 2000 for virtually identical services. The mark was granted to Attorney Jonathan Rosenoer of Greenbrae, California in 1996. Mr. Rosenoer let his protection expire in 2000. These records were free and publicly available from the USPTO.

On February 21, 2008, the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about the matter. The article as it originally appeared in the newspaper is here. I encourage anyone that wants a fact-based, journalistic view of the matter to read it.

The trademark application was eventually modified in an effort to protect the firm’s logo, as opposed to the standard character mark. The firm does not assert any federal trademark rights in the standard character mark “CyberLaw.”


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