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Category Archives: Agreements

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It’s a Mouse World After All

Posted in Agreements, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Television, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Deadmau5 (\’ded-mau̇s\; a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is a popular house music artist who performs wearing a mouse-like head covering called the mau5head.   On Twitter he calls himself an “Event Driven Marketing specialist,” so I thought this was a fitting subject for the hip legal, creative and marketing folks who follow us here at DuetsBlog – although… Continue Reading

High Performance. Delivered. In 83 Days.

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

Sometimes if you blink you can miss a trademark infringement suit from beginning to end. Well, ok, that’s probably a slight exaggeration. In case you missed the news reports from June, Accenture sued rival Deloitte for trademark infringement, asserting that Deloitte’s use of the slogan HIGH PERFORMANCE.AMPLIFIED. infringed on Accenture’s prior federally-registered rights in HIGH PERFORMANCE. DELIVERED. A… Continue Reading

Seagate Technology’s $630 Million Trade Secret Win Reinstated

Posted in Agreements, Contracts, Idea Protection, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Protection of a business’s trade secrets may prove more difficult with the rise of social media and the recent debates surrounding the use of non-compete agreements. Social media, while a great tool for expanding networks, carries certain risks for businesses, such as ownership of social media accounts (including any “followers”… Continue Reading

Could Having a Tattoo Result in a Lawsuit?

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Copyrights, Fair Use, Infringement

As football season approaches, it is not surprising that star quarterbacks such as San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick are making the news. I read an article in Forbes magazine about “Questions Concerning Copyright of Athlete Tattoos has Companies Scrambling.” The impetus for the article was a Yahoo! Fantasy Sports advertisement with him in a tattoo… Continue Reading

Airing Your Kinky Trademark Laundry: Distinguishing Between Consent Agreements and Concurrent Use Agreements

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

Last week I captured a few eye-popping photographs of a delivery truck parked in downtown Minneapolis promoting Kinky Liqueur, “a delightfully fruity fusion of super premium vodka“: And my hunch — that scratching the surface of this interesting brandname would reveal a worthwhile trademark story — actually paid off. As it turns out, Kinky Liqueur didn’t have a straight shot at federal… Continue Reading

How Good Does a Good Company Have to Be?

Posted in Agreements, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media

-  James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA This week’s news is again full of the relentless legal, political, and adversarial pounding British Petroleum (BP) continues to receive as a result of its huge and disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If one takes a breath, steps back, and maybe goes to 10-12,000 feet… Continue Reading

Xbox One: Single Player Lawsuits Only

Posted in Agreements

Microsoft is dropping its new console, the Xbox One, just in time for Christmas this year.  The official unveiling occurred last month and reviews have been . . . mixed.  The most controversial aspects of the console were requirements that the console be able to access the internet once every 24 hours and that every… Continue Reading

There’s always money in the banana-based intellectual property rights…

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Copyrights, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

In its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the Rolling Stone ranked the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico at number 13 – not bad for the band’s very first album.  The album had a simple cover, some would say iconic, cover:   And get this: the banana peel was actually a… Continue Reading

Distinguishing the Fictional From the Real: Names and Brands in Television and Movies

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

We have an interesting question to answer, leading us into the holiday weekend, during which I suspect a few movies will be watched by more than a few marketing types and trademark types: “Is it trademark infringement if a fictional company or product in a movie or television drama bears the same name or brand as a real… Continue Reading

Canine Inspired Copyright Confusion?

Posted in Agreements, Contracts, Copyrights, Infringement, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademarks

When we mention confusion on DuetsBlog, we’re typically referring to the well-known likelihood of confusion test of trademark infringement. But today, we’re focused on the apparent confusion many have about the important question of: When copyright protection comes into being. If you ever have wondered whether something is or has been “copyrighted,” this post is for… Continue Reading

FTC’s New Rules for Advertising Mobile Apps

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Almost Advice, Contracts, False Advertising, International, Technology

The Federal Trade Commission has published guidelines for advertising mobile applications. In general, the guidelines incorporate the FTC’s policies on truthful advertising and data privacy. On the advertising side, if you make objective claims about your app, then you will need proof to support your claims. The proof necessary to support objective clams is competent… Continue Reading

Successful Evolution of an Unlicensed Business Model?

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, Truncation

Brand owners and managers may wonder, is a trademark license required when another’s unregistered color scheme is used? Depending on the facts, it may very well be. About four years ago brand owners scored a major victory in LSU v. Smack Apparel, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to the existence and successful enforcement of… Continue Reading

B-Dubs’ Yellow Protected

Posted in Agreements, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks

–Susan Perera, Attorney Last week Jim Hammerand at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported on locally based Buffalo Wild Wings (also known as “B-Dubs”) ending its lawsuit against Buffalo Wings & Rings, the suit had included claims of trademark and trade dress infringement. It appears that under the terms of the settlement agreement, Buffalo Wings… Continue Reading

Putting the Shoe on the Other Tootsie

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There was a time when a certain kind of small business owner – strapped for cash — with a meager promotional budget, easily could be tempted to adopt a “clever” name, as a “short-cut,” to “play off” a well-known, iconic brand, but in the end, he or she probably was convinced by counsel that doing so would be… Continue Reading

“Buried Treasure” – Securing Reimbursement for Monies Expended in Past Intellectual Property Lawsuits

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Contracts, Copyrights, False Advertising, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

—David A. Gauntlett, Gauntlett & Associates   Companies looking for extra money in these tough economic times may have an answer from the past. The vast majority of insurer denial letters for intellectual property lawsuits lack merit. Therefore, companies who have litigated intellectual property cases and expended significant monies in defense and settlement may be overlooking ready… Continue Reading

Tattoos & Hangovers: The Headache of Competing IP Rights

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Copyrights, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

A month ago the hot news was the federal copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill against Warner Brothers Entertainment, and Whitmill’s attempt to block the Memorial Day release of the highly anticipated blockbuster sequel movie The Hangover Part II, based on the film maker’s unauthorized reproduction and/or derivative of the tattoo… Continue Reading

License With Care

Posted in Agreements, Contracts, Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights

–Dan Kelly, Attorney The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued a pair of opinions fleshing out a principle in copyright law known as the “first sale doctrine.”  The principle traces its roots to the 1908 Supreme Court opinion of Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus.  It is currently enshrined in statute and provides in basic part, “the… Continue Reading

Life-Line to the Lifeblood

Posted in Agreements, Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Law Suits

—Joy Newborg, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. New ideas are the lifeblood of Hollywood and television, as executives are scrounging to find the next wildly popular Avatar or “Friends.” However, there is a little evil known around the industry as idea theft, where a person believes that their idea has been used but they were not… Continue Reading

PING Golf Plays Nice, Profits from Trademark Deal with Apple

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

  —Andrew Miller, Intern, Fast Horse Inc. In terms of name recognition, PING is to golf what Louisville Slugger is to baseball, so you’re right if you found it odd Apple would name its new music-based social network, of all things, Ping. Apple is no stranger to trademark litigation after wrangling with Cisco (“iPhone”) and… Continue Reading

Unlawful Tarnishment of Chevron’s Shining Texaco Star?

Posted in Agreements, Contracts, Dilution, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

An interesting trademark case recently was filed in federal district court in Minnesota, Chevron Intellectual Property LLC et al v. MDW Equity Partners, LLC, a pdf copy of the complaint here. As beleaguered BP‘s once valuable goodwill and reputation continues to flounder in the court of public opinion with the tragic gulf oil spill and disaster (by the way, how… Continue Reading

Having Your Head in the Clouds May Not Be Such a Bad Thing After All

Posted in Agreements, Almost Advice, Contracts

Cloud computing is a service that uses the Internet and central remote servers to maintain data and software applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use software applications without installation and access to their personal files at any computer with Internet access. Simple examples of cloud computing include Yahoo email or Gmail. It is an option… Continue Reading