Sun, May. 27, 2007

Docket Review v. Privacy

CK - Washington.   Based on a pending trademark application, the applicant complained with a cease and desist demand of the improper use of the mark Moon by a third party, but later withdrew the application. In response, the target of the demand sought review of the docket at the trademark office. Over the applicant's objection, the office, and later the Federal Patent Court, granted the application.

The applicant appealed to the Federal Supreme Court, Bundesgerichtshof, arguing that the release of the files would violate privacy rights. On April 10, 2007, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, docket number I ZB 15/06.

A generalized privacy concern is insufficient for a protective order. The applicant failed to state and prove a specific interest that it would seek to protect. While privacy in the form of informational self-determination is a constitutional principle, the agency and court accurately evaluated the public interest in preventing abuse in the trademark registration process.

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