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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi there, my name is J.D. Houvener I’m the Managing Partner here at Bold IP Law Firm, and it’s my pleasure to be here with you today to introduce our Bold Blog about trademarks and the interesting TV show you might have heard of, SpongeBob SquarePants, shown by Nickelodeon or by Viacom. They’re in a trademark dispute, and they have been for the past couple of years with their restaurant that is trying to open up in Texas called the Krusty Krab. So more on that in just a minute.

A brief introduction about the law firm: we are an intellectual property boutique law firm. We focus on patent law, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law. We work with individual inventors, artists, and creators, as well as businesses, and help them think about how they’re going to move their products or services into the marketplace to ensure they get a big return on the investment they’re making with us.

I want to introduce on our website, BoldIP.com. We’re giving away our blog; it’s all about patent law called “Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents.” It’s a really short read but has really powerful information about what you, the inventor, might need to know before you sit down with a patent attorney. I’ve collected over the years all the different questions and compiled all the answers for you in this book, and so we’re giving it away for free at BoldIP.com. Also, on our website, you can book your free 30-minute consultation with one of our analysts or patent attorneys to get the scoop.

Without further ado, let’s jump into this blog article. So you can see here, and by the way, we’re at BoldIP.com, and we’re under the News tab, the Bold Blog. This is about SpongeBob SquarePants versus the Krusty Krab restaurant. That’s a fun topic. One of our interns, David Mears, put this together, as I encourage you to take a look. He’s done a great job putting together the case notes, the histories, and the procedural background and some really neat analysis all about trademark blog.

As you read through this article, what you’ll see is that there’s a very interesting approach the Federal Circuit took, not only looking at what the TV show that you might know of as SpongeBob SquarePants and how they’ve positioned certain brands and certain titles such as the Krusty Krab within their cartoon series and how it’s been given a secondary meaning in the marketplace. Even though, as you might have guessed, a Cartoon Network show and the audience and the customers are very different than the customers of the restaurant. Traditionally, one would think there would be no consumer confusion, which is one of the major elements to proving trademark infringement. However, the court said here that the cast as a mark is so strong that it really persists in other markets, and because it’s so well known, it is protectable. In this case, the court ruled in favor of Viacom, which is the owner of Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants, that they actually are going to be able to prevent the federal registration by a company trying to open up a restaurant in Texas called the Krusty Krab. The owner of that company, by the way, is Isaiah Our Capital Investments. As you’ll read this article, you’ll see what that means; you’ll get a feel for trademark law. What David does is he puts through basically all the different facts that the courts use to bolster their final decision in favor of Viacom.

Well again, I hope you go visit our Bold Blog again at BoldIP.com under the News tab, Bold Blog, and feel free to put your comments and leave notes on social media. We hope to hear from you soon. Have a wonderful day and go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/