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    GH&C Attorneys Win Music Industry Trademark Case

    August 11, 2015

    Red Bank, NJ - August 11, 2015 - After a year-long battle, national touring and recording artist Dan Matthews and his American alternative rock band, "The Black Clouds," can finally get their name back. Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla attorneys, led by Christopher J. Marino, Esq., succeeded in cancelling a nearly identical trademark registration obtained by a competing band.

    Mr. Matthews, through the The Black Clouds, began using the mark THE BLACK CLOUDS in connection with his sound recordings and musical performances in 2004. Despite The Black Clouds well-established position in the national rock scene, sometime in 2011, a Washington D.C. rock band began using the name "BLACK CLOUDS," and on October 30, 2012 obtained a trademark registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the mark "BLACK CLOUDS." The Giordano firm filed a petition to cancel this registration with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB"). In order to short circuit the case and resolve it quickly, the firm filed a motion for summary judgment asserting a likelihood of confusion with Mr. Matthews' THE BLACK CLOUDS mark and priority over the same. Statistically, such motions are rarely successful (in 2013, the TTAB granted less than 14% of such motions). However, Giordano's motion was granted by the TTAB on July 31, 2014. A full copy of the decision can be found here.

    Mr. Matthews and The Black Clouds are a self-funded and self-produced, DIY music act. They have worked with legendary rock producers, Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Skin Yard) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), and have been touring since the band’s inception, performing at music festivals such as Bamboozle, South By Southwest (SXSW), the Uproar Festival, and CMJ, as well as alongside nationally known acts like the Pixies, Courtney Love, the Toadies and Mudhoney. The Black Clouds currently have three full-length albums, sold online through Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. In addition, they will be releasing their fourth album "After All" later this year, which was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios by Jack Endino.

    Inquiries may be made to Kurt E. Anderson and Christopher J. Marino, members of GH&C's Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Area.

    Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, located in Red Bank, NJ, is a multi-specialty law firm dedicated to providing sophisticated, complex legal services and solutions. The attorneys maintain personal relationships and gather in-depth knowledge of clients' businesses and industries to construct both sound legal advice and effective strategies to resolve business issues. With a focus on responsiveness and producing results with outstanding value to their clients' bottom line, the firm provides experienced legal representation in a wide variety of practice areas.