DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law
  • Randall Hull

    Well, from a branding perspective, the “increasingly intense ellipsis” is a decorative element and it would be difficult to defend as a critical component of the “brand vernacular”. There are similar dot patterns in the marketplace that weaken the uniqueness of this design.
    I’m not a trademark lawyer, but from my perspective, the ellipsis element does not, on its own, meet the three criteria of trademark function. It is dependent on context — without the MasterCard and/or PayPass marks, it lacks clear distinction.
    Your question about “look-for advertising” is appropriate. It would help consumers understand that what would appear as “ornamentation” on its own, does have meaning and association.