Advertising slogans can be a precious thing. Attorney Melissa A. Wilson has sued San Antonio attorney Heather C. Tessmer in federal court for the use of the slogan, “Ever Argue with a Woman?” Ms. Wilson has used a similar slogan. “Ever Argued with a Woman?” in Florida. Ms. Wilson says she has used the slogan San Antonio since 2007. Ms. Wilson received a trademark registration for the slogan in 2014. Ms. Tessmer, however, says she has used the slogan since 2012. State bar records show the Texas bar issued a registration certificate to Tessmer in 2018.
The U.S. Trademark Office records show it initially issued a registration for “Argue” in 2009 to a third law firm in Buffalo, New York. In 2012, Wilson asked the Trademark office to rescind that registration. She later reached a settlement with the Buffalo law firm, to allow Wilson to use the phrase. But, that registration was canceled in 2015.
Ms. Tessmer appears to be relying on the defense that she has rights to use the phrase in Texas. Since, she started using the phrase without notice that Wilson was using a similar phrase. But, that may not fly. I am no patent lawyer, but am very doubtful that lack of notice for trademark infringement makes a difference. See San Antonio Express News report here.