DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Martha Engel

View my professional biography

Although my interest in gadgetry and my aptitude for math eventually led me to become an engineer, my ad executive father and artistically gifted mother fostered an appreciation for the creative from a young age. Through trips to the art museum and many afternoons spent at the ad agency, I developed an interest in design and an understanding of the value of a strong brand. But, for reasons even I am still trying to understand, I always wanted to be a lawyer, an aspiration first realized the Halloween I insisted on wearing a blazer and carrying a briefcase full of contracts and legal pads in one hand and a plastic pumpkin for candy in the other. Whatever the reason, I feel incredibly fortunate that my job allows me to be an engineer, a creative, and a lawyer simultaneously.

When I'm not in the office, I spend time enjoying the outdoors, playing board games with my family, reading books and car magazines, and tackling new recipes.

Posts by Martha Engel

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

Burger With a Side of Fashion – Moschino spoofs McDonald’s

Posted in Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, Trademarks

You may have previously read my post about apparel companies spoofing luxury fashion brands, but in Milan, one luxury fashion brand spoofed brands perhaps a little more familiar to the average Joe or Jane. Moschino’s capsule collection, “Fast Fashion – Next Day After The Runway,” drew some criticism  for its treatment of some of these… Continue Reading

There is only one Lord of the (Olympic) Rings…but then there was Sochi

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, International, Marketing, Social Media, Television, Trademarks

There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will.  And he does not share power.  – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings As we have posted about more than a few times on DuetsBlog over the years (like here and here), the OLYMPICS trademark and the Olympic Rings… Continue Reading

?DNERT DA WEN A SDRAWKCAB GNIOG SI

Posted in Advertising, Branding

Despite watching a lot of Olympics coverage, no I haven’t picked up Russian or another Eastern European language yet.  Translation:  is going backwards a new ad trend? I have been noticing a surprising trend towards using backwards video play.  Take for instance these examples: TD Ameritrade ad featuring Olympic speed skater  J.R. Celski (Goodby Silverstein… 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

1ST & TEN at the Super Bowl: The Brand You Probably Don’t Know You Know

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Patents, Technology, Television, Trademarks

The NFL is known as a trademark monetizing machine, and this year’s “POT BOWL” is not without its share of trademark stories.   It was recently reported that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks makes six-figures (for charity) from licensing his BEAST MODE trademark.  Both the Broncos and the Seahawks have battled with Texas… Continue Reading

I <3 Ur Emoticon, But Does It Indicate Source :-/

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Social Media, Trademarks

In a world where communications are shared in a space of less than 140 characters, emoticons are often a part of the lexicon for most texters, tweeters, gamers, and smartphone screen tappers.  I have an app, Emoji, that turns my phone’s keyboard into a glorious emoticon playground.  Facebook even lets you add an emoticon to… Continue Reading

The IP in Twitter’s IPO

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Genericide, Marketing, Patents, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademarks

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Wall Street is aflutter as Thursday marks the latest in social media IPOs – Twitter…and we all remember how well Facebook’s IPO went. Pricing for IPOs involves an assessment of the company’s assets (including its intellectual property portfolio), liabilities, and current and potential revenue.  As many of you savvy marketing folks… Continue Reading

Copying the Place for Fun in Our Life – the Mall of America

Posted in Copyrights, International, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

Once again, a story from China suggests that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  First, it was copying Apple stores.  Now, it’s copying an entire mall – and the most well-known American mall of all at that, the Mall of America.   Well, at least the logo and creative.  The Chinese mall appears to still… 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

Leaning In on SATURDAY: The Trademark Gender Gap

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits

Tim’s post last week on the dispute between Victoria’s Secret PINK (a women’s lingerie and loungewear line) & Thomas Pink (predominantly known for its menswear line) reminded me of a Women’s Wear Daily article that I read regarding a trademark dispute involving Kate Spade New York’s new KATE SPADE SATURDAY brand, a more casual womenswear… Continue Reading

Infomercials: So was HAIR BLENDER taken?

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

One of the best things about television is terrible (or terribly hilarious) infomercials showcasing American ingenuity. Behold, one of the latest …The Air Curler®. Seriously?  Would anyone ever think to put their hair into a blender? There’s actually an issued patent for the device. But WAIT…there’s more!  Much to my initial surprise, as I alluded… Continue Reading

Smart ad for Smart car

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

They happen relatively rarely, but I actually saw a car ad spot recently that, while somewhat risky, I found to be very creative and effective.  The spot by BBDO Berlin is called “Offroad,” and it features the Smart Fortwo car.  Check out the English version here. I have never given Smart cars much credit.   Anytime… Continue Reading

Banksy, I Thought We Were Friends

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Idea Protection, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Squirrelly Thoughts

I have blogged before about one of my favorite graffiti artists, Banksy. Recently there has been some buzz in the ad world about another provocative work attributed to him. It involves a well-known bottle and trademark that Steve has been posting about frequently over the past several weeks. Normally I would post an image of it here, but… Continue Reading