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The Upper Deck Laboratory Trademark Application [Brian’s TM Watch]

Hey everyone it’s attorney Brian Russ coming at you again with another episode of Brian’s Trademark Watch. Today’s trademark watch is all about sports cards, or I should say trading card companies and it specifically relates to Upper Deck. So I think if you are aware of sports cards, if you know sports cards, you know sports card history, you know that upper deck is synonymous with trademark dispute and I’m not going to go into it, I want to do a video on it, one day, a deep dive. And I really think it was the 2010 base series for upper deck was the the nadir of trademark dispute in in the sports card world. And it really was one of the reasons that pushed me to explore trademarks as an area of interest in the law, in my law practice. Anyways, today’s topic is new trademark filing from Upper Deck, The Upper Deck Laboratory. So you can see here the logo that they want to trademark, you can see it as a flask Erlenmeyer flask with the wording The Upper Deck Laboratory. Yeah, some bubbles here some bubbles down here. It’s a nice clean looking logo. And what I found interesting about this application, well there’s a lot that kind of interesting about it… You know one of the things I like to do in these videos is kind of read the tea leaves per se, trying to understand what it is that the brand or the company is intending to do with this trademark. So I’m going to toggle over to the application. So this is what the application looks like on the USPTO website. Right now it is it’s still under examination. The status is “review prior to publication completed.” So I think they’ve been given a publication date, yeah, here, on June 21, it’ll go out in the trademark official Gazette for opposition. And what I always find interesting about these trademark applications, I will try to look at the goods and services to see what they’re intending to use it for. Now you can see on all of these, it’s class one 1(b) the basis is 1(b), which means the company has not yet said that they’ve used it but they intend to use this mark. So again, the Upper Deck Laboratory, what I found interesting first was in class nine primary class, it’s all downloadable digital goods, right? Downloadable posters, downloadable postcards, digital notepads, digital signs, which I found interesting, because usually when I think about upper deck, I’m thinking about, you know, baseball cards, football cards, hockey cards, cards, trading cards. And what I find interesting here is that’s all digital matter, I understand these sports card companies, collectible companies are transitioning digital products. It’s the wave of the future so I found that interesting but combined with the other things and made me think well what is it they’re doing? I think it’s interesting. So here we look at international plastics teen, they have: printed posters, stickers, decals, printed postcards, lots of printed things, sleeves, printed card sleeves for trading cards, trading cards and in the fields of sports, gaming & entertainment, trading card accessories, I’m almost thinking maybe this is part of a bigger strategy, right? Maybe be The Upper Deck Laboratory is going to be something else and what I found most fascinating was here in international class 28, they put play mats for playing card games, trading card game accessories and the nature of game card sleeves. So I mean, usually on these you can kind of guess what they’re gonna go for. I feel like this good here, the play mat for playing card game has completely thrown me off. I’m thinking is it like a play mat for one of these games? Maybe like Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering cards, you know, like things like that. I don’t really know but I found it interesting that they went with play mats. And again, it just completely throw me off. The other thing I noticed about this trademark application, was that I’m not sure if this is an administrative error or something, but usually you don’t see this. So they had an office action issued October 27, 2021. So usually an office action you have six months to respond, statutorily you have six months to respond, or else it’s deemed abandoned. And they did not respond within the six months, six months from October 27 is April 27. For some reason Upper Deck missed the deadline. I have no idea why, they filed a petition to revive and it was granted, if you look at the petition to revive it, it’s a nothing burger. It basically just says you know, we forgot, our bad. Again, I think trading card companies are an important player in the trademark realm, definitely helped me in my understanding of trademark law. Because these guys are fighting each other constantly. But yeah, that’s it. Alright, we’ll catch you next time.

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