Last October, Panini filed a slew of trademark applications on terms like INNOVATION, INTRIGUE, PEN PALS, STATUS, CRUSADE, MASKS, GOLDEN AGE, GOLD STANDARD and CLEAR VISION. A short five months later and the Trademark Office just published these trademarks for opposition.
Legal translation: Panini is about to get trademark registrations for these marks. If you are in the industry and don't want Panini to own these terms as trademarks on trading cards, you might want to file an opposition within the next 30 days.
In predicting whether anyone will file an opposition, the most intriguing term to me is not INTRIGUE. It's MASKS.
Because In the Game has trading cards entitled THE MASK and Upper Deck has MASK COLLECTION cards. If Panini should somehow obtain a registered trademark on MASKS, it could potentially block others from using the words MASKS or even MASK as trademarks on trading cards. And yes, the future of THE MASK and MASK COLLECTION cards would be uncertain.
Also, Upper Deck is now the exclusive licensee for NHL cards and it behooves it to keep as many hockey terms free for its use, whereas Panini no longer has an NHL license following 2013-14. So it might not put up much of a fight to keep a hockey mark.
Given this, MASKS appears challengeable to me, and I would expect someone (cough, Upper Deck, cough) might just try.
Check back in about a month to see if I'm right, or to see if anyone challenges any of Panini's other marks. Otherwise, Panini's collection of intellectual property will soon grow considerably.
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