Law of Cards: Topps HUDDLE Runs into Tesco's HUDL Mark

Law of Cards: Topps HUDDLE Runs into Tesco’s HUDL Mark

I thought when Topps knocked out USA Football's HUDDLE trademark, it cleared its way to obtain HUDDLE and TOPPS HUDDLE trademark registrations.

So did the Trademark Office, because it published both HUDDLE and TOPPS HUDDLE for opposition.

Legal translation: Basically, the Trademark Office said, "You're good to go, so long as no one objects in the next 30 days."

Well, the path is no longer clear because this week a company named Tesco asked the Trademark Office for an extension of time for it to oppose Topps' HUDDLE and TOPPS HUDDLE applications.

Who the heck is Tesco? Apparently, it is a multinational grocery/general merchandise retailer headquartered in England that apparently makes and sells a seven-inch tablet called the HUDL.

I guess Tesco is the English version of a combination of Walmart and Amazon and HUDL is kind of like an British version of the Kindle.

It's also, apparently, the second largest retailer (according to some metrics) behind Walmart.

Who knew?

To help its position in opposing Topps' HUDDLE and TOPPS HUDDLE marks, Tesco recently filed a trademark application for HUDL which covers, among a ka-jillion other things:

Computer software; tablet computers; accessories and devices for use with tablet computers…computer hardware and software for controlling the operation of audio and video devices and for viewing, searching and/or playing audio, video, television, movies, photographs and other digital images, and other multimedia content; downloadable computer software; application software…computer games software; interactive computer software…computer programs for accessing, browsing and searching online databases and the Internet; electronic publications (downloadable); apps; computer application software; computer operating software; mobile digital electronic devices; handheld digital electronic devices; handheld computers; PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants)…smart phones, and personal computers through internet websites and other computer and electronic communication networks; parts and fittings for the aforesaid goods.

Legal translation: How many different ways can you say apps on tablets/smartphones?

Now, Topps' HUDDLE and TOPPS HUDDLE cover "Providing information on sports through mobile devices," so I guess there might be some kind of overlap.

Tesco hasn't filed a full-blown opposition so we don't know it's full position. Also, at this stage, it's likely reaching out to Topps to see if it can amicably resolve the matter. Tesco has until June 14 to work it out with Topps, or, to file an opposition (or, technically, to file another request for an extension of time).

So, mark your calendars to see if we have yet another battle for Huddle, which I guess would be called a "Baddle?" Get it? Battle? Huddle? Ba-ddle?

Baddle (TM Law of Cards, 2014).

Heck, everyone else in the industry is getting into trademark battles, maybe I should too.

And I guess a trademark/trading-card battle would be called a Tra-ttle, right?

Trattle (TM Law of Cards, 2014).

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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