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Category Archives: AlphaWatch

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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

Get to Know Mr. C, But Where Are His Eyes?

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Earlier this year Tiffany and I had a chance to learn about Procter & Gamble’s creative efforts in bringing Mr. Clean to life at the FUSE Conference in Chicago. Little did we know at the time, that a brand truncation might be in the works, and that there could be reason for an addition to the Alpha Watch here… Continue Reading

Super (Bowl) Sunday, Ads Coming Soon

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Marketing, Trademarks

Looks like the V Bar at The Venetian Resort, Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, is having some sort of function on “Super Sunday” – February 3rd (that date sounds familiar): Here’s a question for those responsible for clearing the ad shown above: Why bother with attempting to invite imagination (especially when the visual aspects require none) by using constrained… Continue Reading

University of California Flushes New Logo

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademarks

So, last Friday we covered this story: Critics Flush New University of California Logo. Now, we can report that the next morning, the Los Angeles Times wrote this story: Maligned UC Logo Shelved; “Time to Move On,” Officials Say. Putting aside any possible questions about cause and effect, is there a difference between flushing a… Continue Reading

Bits and Pieces of Brands = Trademarks

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

  D + What = Diet Coke? Let’s file this brand truncation example under the AlphaWatch category, even though there is some other stuff going on here too. The rendition of the distinctive Diet Coke soft drink can to the left really popped for me, at the point of sale, positioned on a shelf behind the clear-glass door of… Continue Reading

M Means: Mystery or Multitude?

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Trademarks

Welcome to another addition of AlphaWatch: What do you suppose the “M” is supposed to mean in M Burger? Looks like a mystery to me, based on the lack of any brand ”story” on the website. Perhaps “M” stands for the “multitude” of unrelated third parties providing restaurant services that use single letter “M” branding?

Visa Branding: A Combined Alpha & Brand Verbing Alert

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

We have been following the truncation trend to single-letter branding symbols for some time now. Visa appears to be heading in this direction with the relatively new V logo:                                                                              Based on trademark filings at the USPTO, it appears Visa began using this single-letter V logo by itself back in 2008 with the launch of a… Continue Reading

Excuse Me, There’s Some Ketchup on Your Miracle Whip Bottle

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Today, another chapter of AlphaWatch.  I saw an arresting display of Miracle Whip dressing at my local grocery store a couple of weeks ago.  Certain members of my household cannot stand the stuff, so we don’t generally buy it, and I had been blissfully unaware of the most recent label: I will grudgingly… Continue Reading

AlphaWatch on the Streets of San Francisco

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

Something like 8,000 trademark attorneys are wandering loose on the streets of San Francisco for the International Trademark Association’s annual meeting. Once again, the main attraction was "Meet the Bloggers" — this edition happened to be "Meet the Bloggers VII" — where a record crowd crammed into Swig Bar a few hours ago, from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Thanks Marty, John, and Ron for another great event!… Continue Reading

Sed Quid in Infernos Dicet?

Posted in AlphaWatch

–Dan Kelly, Attorney It has been some time since we have visited AlphaWatch, and today we turn our attention to an ad I spied on ESPN’s website this week: This takes me back to law school and a Latin phrase common in legal parlance, res ipsa loquitur, which is commonly translated, “the thing speaks for itself.” … Continue Reading

GeeWhiz: Another Edition of Trademark AlphaWatch

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

In this edition of AlphaWatch, it appears another major brand owner is flirting with truncation and wants to be g too (of course, not to be confused with G2 or even G for that matter), despite the fact that the products associated with each brand might be considered complementary (assuming you’re looking to break a sweat): So,… Continue Reading

Exposing Two-Face Brands

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

I’m not talking about brands that say one thing and do another. I’m not talking about brands that don’t live up to their promise. I’m literally talking about brands with two faces. One face may be confident, complicated, technical, professional, and/or formal. Let’s call him, Stephen. The other face might be friendly, simple, approachable, engaging, and/or informal… Continue Reading

Question Mark Brands?

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, TTAB

A couple of months ago I blogged about Branding Exclamations! Before that I blogged about Increasingly Intense Ellipsis Branding . . . . Now, it appears I must revisit the subject of punctuation mark branding given Cadbury Adams’ new Mega Mystery Stride brand gum, prominently featuring a question mark logo on the packaging where the S logo normally appears. The… Continue Reading

G Doesn’t Grasp Successful Marketing

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks

In November, I wrote about how Gatorade’s 2009 re-branding as G has been a complete failure. G was an ill-conceived approach to slowing sales in 2007 and 2008. It damaged brand equity, confused consumers and didn’t reverse the trend of falling unit sales. In the final paragraph of my last blog, I noted that PepsiCo… Continue Reading

Gatorade-Powerade False Advertising Case Resolved, For Now

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, AlphaWatch, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Law Suits, Marketing, Truncation

       You may recall the Gatorade v. Powerade false advertising lawsuit filed by a Pepsico entity (Stokely-Van Camp, Inc.) against rival The Coca-Cola Company back in April, discussed here (with a copy of the complaint). You also may recall how G scored an F in the courtroom, back in August, losing a hotly contested motion for… Continue Reading

What’s G? For Gatorade, G is Gruesome

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

Gatorade’s efforts to re-brand as “G” have been a dismal failure. It seems as if the brand management staff at Gatorade consumed a few too many cold beverages while making this decision, and I’m not referring to refrigerated Gatorades. The history of the G re-brand has its roots in 2007. Unit sales were flat in… Continue Reading

Serving Up More Alphabet Soup at W’s XYZ?

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

  One of Minneapolis’ most recent hotel additions, Aloft Hotel, branded as a "hip" hotel and a "vision" of Starwood’s W, apparently features the WXYZ Bar. Or is it XYZ? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure if Starwood or W have made up their minds yet either (as there appears to be different font, size, and spacing between the W and the lower case… Continue Reading

Alpha Watch: Li’l “a” Goes to the “e” Market

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

The single-letter branding and trademark truncation trend continues. Can you name the retailer selling online gift cards sent by e-mail, using no other identification besides the li’l "a" shown here? Does this li’l "a" logo with a radish inside help? How about these, do they help?   Well, just so you know, it’s not this retailer: 

Single Letter Chewing Gum Brands: A Lasting Flavor or Just B S?

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Marketing, Trademarks

                 My recent family road trip through the heartland had me spending more time than usual pumping gas and shopping in convenience stores, so a few chewing gum brands "gone single letter" caught my eye. As you may recall, I already have reported on Single Letter Envy in Hotel Branding…. Continue Reading

G gets an F in the Courtroom: The Gatorade v. Powerade Case

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Food, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

              VS.            Almost four months ago now, I blogged about the filing of the Gatorade v. Powerade false advertising and trademark dilution lawsuit, here. At the time, some called Gatorade’s false advertising claims "dubious" and others chided Gatorade for biting Powerade’s bait to file suit. Advertising Age has now reported about the… Continue Reading