Ms Kristen Ruisi

Kristen Ruisi


Intellectual Property

Trademark Modernisation Act: addressing the realities of trademark law
USA | 15 February 2021

Congress recently enacted the Trademark Modernisation Act (TMA) 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. The TMA amends the Trademark Act 1946 – also known as the 'Lanham Act' – and makes significant changes to trademark law by clarifying the burden for trademark owners seeking injunctive relief and providing new mechanisms for challenging applications and registrations on non-use grounds.

Time is of the essence to avoid trademark fee increases set for 2021
USA | 30 November 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently enacted a rule that increases numerous fees for filing trademark applications, maintaining trademark registrations and filing oppositions and cancellations before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Brand owners considering filing new trademark applications, and those with upcoming deadlines, should proceed with filings now to avoid incurring the increased government fees that will take effect on 2 January 2021.

Seeing green post-Election Day 2020: state trademarks for cannabis goods and services
USA | 23 November 2020

Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota have voted to legalise recreational marijuana use for individuals aged 21 years and older and Mississippi has voted to allow prescribed medical marijuana for people with certain conditions. While the specific regulatory frameworks concerning cannabis in these states have yet to be determined, companies involved in the cannabis industry should begin thinking now about what requirements exist to secure trademark rights for cannabis-related goods and services.

Amazon launches new Counterfeit Crimes Unit
USA | 26 October 2020

Despite the implementation of several programmes in recent years, the traffic of counterfeit goods remains a problem for Amazon. As such, it recently announced the launch of a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit in an effort to stifle the trade of counterfeit goods on its international marketplace. The unit is a global team that will use Amazon's own internal data, third-party payment service providers and on-the-ground assets to identify bad actors and bring them to justice.

Approaching 420: cannabis trademark scene one year on from USPTO examination guidelines
USA | 19 October 2020

Products involving CBD and hemp seeds have been flooding the US market and businesses are seeking to protect their brands in connection with products in this emerging market, given the legalisation of various forms of marijuana in individual states. Where federal or state registration is not legally obtainable with regard to various goods or services, users may be able to obtain common law rights to cannabis-related trademarks if they are in use.

Hard pill to swallow: TTAB denies trademark application for dietary and nutritional supplements involving CBD
USA | 20 July 2020

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently affirmed a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decision denying the application of a mark for hemp oil extracts sold as an integral component of dietary and nutritional supplements. In its decision, the USPTO had reasoned that the applicant's goods, which contained cannabidiol, were illegal under federal law – specifically, the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and the Controlled Substances Act.