Trademarking Nanotechnology: Nano-Lies & Federal Trademark Registration
AIPLA Quarterly Journal, Vol. 36, No. 2, p. 148, 2008
33 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2007 Last revised: 17 Jul 2014
Despite many unanswered health and environmental questions, nanotechnology is rapidly being incorporated into consumer products. Moreover, the popularity of products which are enhanced by nanotechnology has created a modern-day land grab for NANO-branded trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The prefix NANO is branded on everything from pants to MP3 players. Unfortunately, the popularity of NANO-enhanced products has caused many competitors to adopt the prefix even when their products do not incorporate nanotechnology. These so-called NANO-imposters, create more questions and confusion for consumers. Indeed, if they are not controlled, the progress and evaluation of nanotechnology may be significantly impeded. This paper examines some of the confusion surrounding nanotechnology, the registrability of NANO-branded trademarks, and how federal trademark registration may be used as a vehicle to ultimately keep NANO-imposters off the shelves.
Keywords: nanotechnology, federal trademark registration, trademark, deceptively misdescriptive & deceptive doctrines
JEL Classification: O34, K29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation