|click to see gruesome details|
Right, you had a question. As much as the Dear Rich Staff supports the right of New Jersey county officials to hassle public access TV shows, we think the matter is moot (as the lawyers like to say) because the USPTO killed the county's trademark application last week. We have to agree with the trademark examiner who rejected the trademark application on October 18, 2010. She wrote:
Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of an insignia of a U.S. municipality. Trademark Act Section 2(b), 15 U.S.C. §1052(b); see TMEP §1204. Trademark Act Section 2(b) bars registration of marks that include the flag, coat of arms, or other insignia of the United States, any state or municipality, or any foreign nation. TMEP §1204.You can read the complete rejection here. The County had six months to respond. We guess their tickler system malfunctioned because last week the trademark application was officially pronounced as abandoned. Here's the notice of abandonment. That's $325 in taxpayer money (not to mention county counsel expenses) down the drain! And in any case, even if the County has a protectible but unregistrable trademark, the TV show use is permitted under First Amendment principles.