We just concluded our oral argument before the US Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial & Appeal Board in a very crowded courtroom. Apparently this case has generated a good deal of interest in the US Patent and Trademark office. This is the last administrative step, following the USPTO'shere.
David Yerushalmi, co-founder and senior counsel to the American Freedom Law Center, argued before the TTAB on our behalf today. There was something special about today's argument, not simply because the "senior attorney" for the USPTO's office, who handled the examination and rejection, appeared as the USPTO's attorney of record (not the examining attorney of record, as is typical), and not simply because the room was packed with USPTO employees in the audience. The oral argument was special because the USPTO had no real legal or factual arguments, but instead made reference to vague and scary "geopolitical concerns and realities" of Islam and such "loaded terms" as "Stop the Islamization of America."
At the conclusion of the oral argument, the chief judge commended our legal counsel on an "extremely well argued" hearing.
Truth is, most of these administrative appeals are rubber stamps which the applicant, AFDI, must then appeal to the federal circuit. You can bet we are ready.
The irony of all this is the sharia compliant rejection of our trademark application illustrates the chilling fallout of the"islamization of America."
But, as my able legal counsel noted, "If this process is not entirely rigged, even if only rigged a bit in favor of the USPTO, we win hands down. The USPTO has the burden when claiming 'disparagement' to make a real factual record. In this case, all the USPTO brought to bear were unfounded assertions and vague references to hurt feelings. Under the binding case law, this just doesn't cut it."
UPDATE: Just for knowing, this was our panel:
Peter W. Cataldo: Appointed to TTAB in 2006; Prior Professional Experience: Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Education: B.A., Canisius College; J.D., Albany Law School. He was chief judge.
Jyll Taylor: Appointed to TTAB in 2006; Prior Professional Experience: TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Trademark Examining Attorney; Education: B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; J.D., Howard University School of Law.
Karen Kuhlke: Appointed to TTAB in 2005; Prior Professional Experience: Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, D.C.; Education: B.A., University of Kansas; M.A., Columbia University; J.D., Georgetown University.
Let us see how they treat our precious freedoms and unalienable rights.
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