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Priority right and trademark

For over 20 years, James Stick, an Italian citizen, has made millions of dollars in licensing fees on the StickMan, characterized as a human figure showing the head as a circle and the rest of the body as a combination of straight lines. Through his Italian company, StickMan, James Stick secured trademarks in over 50 countries; however, he never filed for trademark protection in the U.S. From 1994 to the present, Sportsman's Warehouse, the largest sports retailer in the United States, spent millions of dollars using the stick figure in its advertising. Since the stick figure is used for advertising, it is found on bags, shipping boxes, and on the store's generic brand of clothing. In 2005, James Stick filed for trademark rights to the StickMan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Two months later, Sportsman's Warehouse filed for sole trademark rights to their stick man figure. James Stick opposed the application by Sportsman's Warehouse. Analyze why trademark protection should be granted to your party and not to the other one.

Argue both sides and conclude with which you believe to be the strongest argument and the one a judge presiding over the hearing would support

Solution Preview

Let us first take the case of James Stick. James has lost his priority right in filing the trademark in USA because his priority right is applicable only within 6 months of filing his first request for such trademark. Hence, if he had filed for the trademark in USA within 6 months of filing the first request, he would have easily won this case. However, since James failed to exercise his priority right by not filing the trademark application in USA within the 6 months period, his case becomes quite ...

Solution Summary

Discusses a case related to priority right in obtaining trademark.