Stephen S. Wu-- SL: Legal Writer,, (408) 573-5737, 50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 750, San Jose, CA 95113

Minsky SLART Cancellation Proceedings Suspended

On October 2, 2008, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board suspended the proceedings instituted by Linden Research, Inc. against Richard Minsky to cancel his SLART trademark used with his art magazine. The Board’s suspension effectively stops Linden Research from doing an end run around the federal lawsuit Mr. Minsky filed against Linden Research and others in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The previous day, counsel for Mr. Minsky had filed a motion requesting the suspension, and the Board agreed that suspension was appropriate, citing a regulation permitting suspension of a Board proceeding in the event a civil suit would have a bearing on it.
Counsel for Mr. Minsky, Tamiko Franklin, contended that the civil action would resolve all the issues in the cancellation proceedings and therefore requested suspension pending the outcome of the federal suit. Linden Research opposed suspension, claiming that the issues would differ between the suit and the cancellation proceedings. Nonetheless, the Board agreed with Mr. Minsky and suspended the proceedings.

It is interesting that Mr. Minsky fought off the Lindens’ end run, but now faces the prospect of litigating a multifaceted lawsuit against multiple defendants. The increased complexity of the federal case will be a challenge, especially since Attorney Franklin is not representing Mr. Minsky in the federal suit and, in fact, Mr. Minsky does not have the assistance of counsel as an official representative in the case, although it is possible that Ms. Franklin is providing assistance behind the scenes. A cancellation proceeding might have been simpler, but it is also true that Mr. Minsky will have the opportunity to air out all of the disputes he has with the defendants at once.

The motion for suspension and the suspension appear on the Linden Research, Inc. cancellation proceedings page.