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Inherently Distinctive Product Packaging?

Posted in Branding, International, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Social Networking, Trademarks, USPTO

Earlier this month, we asked whether [yo]gurt(lab) has an inherently distinctive interior restaurant environment?

This week, we’re focused on product packaging, and ask whether Spine Vodka has enough meat on the bones to satisfy the trademark test for an inherently distinctive product package design?

This little gem of an image surfaced in a LinkedIn discussion where I learned that all kinds of interesting package designs are being posted in Pinterest, very nice indeed.

And, as The Dieline revealed earlier, the Spine Vodka bottle was designed by Johannes Schulz, who was asked “to create a unique visual concept for a Vodka bottle with a provoking name.”

With a name like Spine Vodka, and a look like this, I’m imagining a tag-line something like “Grow a Backbone,” not “Strong as Hell,” but what do I know, as a mere trademark type?

In any event, if U.S. distribution is intended, Backbone Vodka is already taken, it appears, for distilled spirits. But, how Backbone Vodka could have received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO in the face of the earlier filed and federally-registered Backbone Bourbon for bourbon, is beyond me.

Back to the Spine Vodka example, a backbone is a spine and vice versa, right? So, what do you think, a problem for U.S. distribution, even without my imagined tag-line?