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Category Archives: Almost Advice

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Has Jurisdiction Been Taken for Granted

Posted in Almost Advice

Will the US Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler A.G. v. Bauman affect where a plaintiff can sue a defendant for trademark infringement? In general, plaintiff’s prefer to sue defendants in their backyard. Specific jurisdiction could be based on a defendant’s “minimum contacts” with a state so long as the claim asserted relates to those activities… Continue Reading

What A Daughter Learned From Her Dad About Working in a “Mad Men” World

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Squirrelly Thoughts

Today is Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which I thought was a lost day but apparently has been re-branded to the more gender-neutral “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”  Upon discovering that I happened to select this day for one of my blogposts during the year my dad retires, this post seemed… Continue Reading

The Branding Outside My Window – Anything But Obnoxious and Obtrusive

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Television

I love living in Minneapolis. The quotient for savvy and sophisticated branding is high – an opinion reinforced every time I glance out my office window. Today, I have two examples of fantastic marketing in the public square. One has been around for quite some time, the other is brand new. One explicitly identifies the… Continue Reading

Bungle in the Beer Tapper Jungle?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

The Sports Bar in the Mirage Resort & Casino, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is currently sporting a pretty interesting collection of tap beers, from left to right: Bud Light, Goose Island Honker’s Ale, Stella Artois, Heineken, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Shock Top, Newcastle, Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Goose Island Indian Pale Ale, and Michelob Ultra. What really caught… Continue Reading

PAPER in a Digital Age

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

On the cusp of its 10 year anniversary, Facebook announced the “Facebook Paper” app – a combination of social networking and content feed that seems strikingly similar to one of my favorite apps Flipboard, with some of the Facebook features included in the app.  While there may be a patent dispute on the horizon there,… Continue Reading

When Intent Matters in Trademark Matters

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Counterfeits, Domain Names, Fair Use, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

One of the unfortunate aspects of trademark practice is the permission that exists in the law to challenge the motives and intentions of people. Unfortunate, because this permission is frequently abused, especially by less experienced trademark counsel, or perhaps when the strength of a case doesn’t seem like enough without injecting an unhealthy dose of emotion into… Continue Reading

Updated Data-Security Standards for Credit-Card Transactions

Posted in Almost Advice

New security standards are scheduled to be released by the PCI Security Standards Council on November 7th. The updated standards are expected to require companies to protect credit-card terminals from physical tampering and compile an inventory of system components (e.g., servers) that comply with the standards. Companies will also be required to evaluate evolving malware… Continue Reading

Where Everybody Knows Your Name(s)

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Television, Trademarks

Who would you expect to find sitting at the end of the bar in this recently re-named Minneapolis sports bar, formerly known as Halek’s Bar? What if you were to queue a very familiar tune to these lyrics, would that help? Yeah, I was thinking of these guys too: But, what if these guys have nothing to do with… Continue Reading

The R-Word, Postponing the Inevitable

Posted in Almost Advice, AlphaWatch, Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

As many anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) decision in Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., a trademark cancellation action seeking to revoke six federal service mark registrations containing the R-Word (issued between 1967 and 1990), the pressure is mounting for the NFL team located near our Nation’s Capital to stop postponing the inevitable: A name change. Change… Continue Reading

Villains: Knowing the Most, But Caring the Least

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Infringement, Trademark Bullying

- Derek Allen, Attorney – I just finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear the Black Hat, a book that deals with what we mean when we call someone a villain.  By covering examples as diverse as Joe Paterno, Bernhard Goetz, O.J. Simpson, N.W.A., and Chevy Chase, the ultimate conclusion of the book is that a villain is someone who “knows the most, but… Continue Reading

Will the D.C. Circuit Deliver the Final Blow to Net Neutrality

Posted in Almost Advice

In 2008, the FCC determined that Comcast wrongfully slowed down the BitTorrent website to keep other Web traffic flowing. In 2010, the D.C. Circuit ruled in Comcast’s favor and held that the FCC cannot regulate how networks function. Nevertheless, the FCC issued new net-neutrality regulations later that year. Verizon challenged the FCC’s 2010 net-neutrality regulations…. Continue Reading

Building a Smarter Counterfeit Strategy

Posted in Almost Advice, Counterfeits, International, Trademarks, USPTO

When I have watched the ad below around some savvy marketing and supply-chain management folks, the reactions have been generally been in the  “wow – that’s really cool” vain.   IBM seems to really be doing something right with its ability to help companies prevent counterfeit product, and clearly it’s important enough to its customers… Continue Reading

Trademark Clearance Opinions Webinar

Posted in Almost Advice, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Infringement, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Teaming up with Susan Upton Douglass of the Fross Zelnick firm is always fun, so don’t miss our upcoming webinar on September 11, 2013. It is entitled “Structuring Trademark Clearance Opinions: Assessing Search Results to Identify Infringements, Overcoming Clearance Challenges, and Preparing Opinions to Reduce Legal Risks,” and it is offered by Strafford Publications. We’ve… Continue Reading

The Budweiser Bowtie Can Shape Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Launched a few months ago, it’s called the bowtie can, because it appears to emulate Budweiser’s well-known bowtie brand icon, but the formal description of the Anheuser-Busch beer can at the USPTO is a bit more clumsy and technical: “The mark consists of packaging for the goods, namely, beverage package for the goods consisting of a three dimensional shape of a… Continue Reading

Privacy and Mobile Applications

Posted in Almost Advice

If you develop or have a mobile application and think the limited space of mobile devices gives you a pass on privacy disclosures, think again. The Federal Trade Commission – the nation’s Chief Privacy Agency – believes it is incumbent upon you to also be transparent with your app’s data collection. The FTC’s concern stems… Continue Reading

But, What About the Legal Implications of Color Selections in Brand Strategy?

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Dilution, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

Yesterday Thomson Dawson of the Blake Project published an interesting blog post on the Branding Strategy Insider called “The Importance of Color in Branding Strategy.” It is an important read for both marketing types and trademark types, both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say. How color impacts and induces certain responses in the… Continue Reading

Privacy Compliance = Transparency

Posted in Almost Advice

Do you think that asking for a person’s zip code could ever result in a privacy violation? If your answer is no and you are collecting information from a resident of the District of Columbia, think again. A lawsuit was recently filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia accusing of… Continue Reading

The World Through the Eyes of the Trademark Office

Posted in Almost Advice

Recently, the Eighth Circuit reaffirmed that a District Court is not bound by the decisions made by the Trademark Office. This holding has often lead to comments about the wisdom of addressing trademark disputes at the Trademark Office in the first instance. However, not all decisions from the Trademark Office are appealed to a District… Continue Reading

Nutty News: Dear Biggest Fan, Here’s a Cease-and-Desist Letter

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Food, Social Media, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

You have to be one big fan of a company or product to establish a World {What-You-Cannot-Live-Without} Day.  Well, a sticky situation with the well-known hazelnut spread Nutella may have you rethinking your public affection. Back in 2007, Sarah Rosso (Nutella Fan) established World Nutella Day to celebrate her affection for Nutella.  Within the past… Continue Reading

Budgeting for Litigation

Posted in Almost Advice

Now, more than ever, businesses are confined by their budgets. Long gone are the days of the blank check for many business expenses, and that includes litigation. If businesses need to live by budgets, so to should the law firms live by the budgets they set for, among other things, litigation. It is true that… Continue Reading

You Owe Me One Hundred Million Dollars

Posted in Almost Advice

The threat of monetary damages in trademark infringement cases is something that is often asserted, but not necessarily a well understood concept. Some trademark owners mistake their federal trademark registration as a lottery ticket. Generally, this is not the case. The primary goals of the Lanham Act are to achieve equity between the parties, and… Continue Reading