Tag Archives: Intellectual Property Law

Ride The Ducks Tour Company Files Trademark Infringement Suit

Clipart Illustration of Two Yellow Geese Talking And Facing EachRide The Ducks is an amphibious tour operator with duck boat tours in Branson, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Stone Mountain Park, GA and Newport, KY.  On May 19, 2009, Ride The Ducks filed suit against Bay Quackers in federal court in the Northern District of California alleging infringement of a sound mark.

Bay Quackers is a San Francisco amphibious tour operator.  During tours, guests “quack” like a duck using a kazoo.  The suit alleges that Bay Quackers’ kazoos emit a quacking sound that is identical to a registered sound mark of Ride The Ducks, U.S. registration number 2484276, which “consists of a quacking noise made by tour guides and tour participants by use of duck call devices throughout various portions of the tours.” 

A sound mark, which is a type of trademark, identifies and distinguishes a product or service through audio means. Examples of sound marks include: (1) a series of tones or musical notes, with or without words; and (2) wording accompanied by music.  TMEP § 1202.15.  An individual or company may try to protect their sound mark by filing an application for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office electronically.   

Ride The Ducks has sought a preliminary injunction against Bay Quackers to stop using the kazoos and to have its inventory of the kazoos destroyed.      

Just Ducky Tours is a popular attraction in Pittsburgh that is similar to Ride The Ducks and Bay Quackers.  Just Ducky Tours offers an amphibious tour that travels on land and in one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers during the months of April through October and on weekends in November. 

– Katie Cooper

Patent Application Data Sheet vs. Oath or Declaration

In a recent conversation with a Pittsburgh patent lawyer, we discussed the difference between submitting information for a patent application using an application data sheet (ADS) versus submitting information using an oath or declaration.      

An application data sheet is a sheet or sheets that may be voluntarily submitted in either provisional or nonprovisional applications, which contains bibliographic data.  MPEP § 601.05.    

MPEP § 601 states the following:

If an application data sheet is used, data supplied in the application data sheet need not be provided elsewhere in the application except that the citizenship of  each inventor must be provided in the oath or declaration even if this information  is provided in the application data sheet.

If there is a discrepancy between the information submitted in an application data sheet and the information submitted elsewhere in the application, the application data sheet will control except for the naming of the inventors and the citizenship of the inventors. 

If you use an application data sheet, it must be arranged in the format specified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

– Katie Cooper

Michael Jackson’s Patented Move

Patent figure

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is hosting an exhibit displaying material from Michael Jackson’s Patent and Trademark Applications.

The exhibit will include Jackson’s U.S. Patent No. 5,255,452 for a “system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface” which he used in his “Smooth Criminal” music video. Jackson is listed as a co-inventor on the Patent. The display also shows an original signature by Jackson on the Application.

Jackson also had various Trademarks Registrations including U.S. Registration No. 1,908,209 for the mark “MICHAEL JACKSON” for use on “sound recordings; namely, pre-recorded phonograph records, audio tapes, compact discs, videotapes, and motion picture films featuring music and entertainment.” In addition to Registrations there are several Trademark Applications which include Serial Nos. 77/480,301 and 77/480,413 for “THRILLER 25 THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SELLING ALBUM OF ALL TIME,” both of which are still pending.

The exhibit opened on July 15, 2009 and will run through Labor Day of this year. It is free and open to the public.

Jackson’s manager, Frank DiLeo, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Point Breeze) and went to Central Catholic High School.