DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Tiffany Blofield

View my professional biography

Although my initial career path was to be one of the Supremes (not the musically talented ones with platform shoes and sequins, but rather, the nine wearing sensible shoes and pressed black robes in DC), I will likely stay in Minnesota as I have never lived anywhere else (though I have traveled across many borders, including the pond, and various state lines).

My calling to the courtroom, led me to earn my law degree from the University of Minnesota, after receiving my undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology from St. Olaf College. After law school, I quickly realized that I’m more at ease in the courtroom than in my own living room, so I became a litigator. Over the years, I have developed my own style of litigating (I’m trying to trademark it) and aggressively represent my clients whether I am protecting valuable intellectual property or tackling the interests of professional athletes. Although I am not as wacky or as flaky as Ally McBeal, litigation still holds its “entertainment value” after fifteen years in the profession. This year’s Valentine’s Day festivities are evidence (pun intended) of my passion — instead of celebrating the typical Valentine’s Day with dinner and roses, our litigation team celebrated the seventh anniversary of the then largest jury verdict in Minnesota. The verdict came after a nine year battle and, as a result, V-Day has now become known as “Verdict Day.” I’m hoping to rename more holidays soon.

Posts by Tiffany Blofield

Adam Sandler Is Not Laughing

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

A beloved childhood game is at the heart of an intellectual property dispute.  Landmark Entertainment Group, LLC (“Landmark”) sued Hasbro Studios (“Hasbro”) over the contractual and intellectual property rights in original creative works consisting of the iconic characters, locations, storyline, artwork and environmental elements that make up one of my favorite childhood games, Candy Land…. Continue Reading

The Saga Ends

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

In the last few lines of To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout tells Atticus that “he was real nice.”  Atticus responds, “[m]ost people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”  I wonder if Harper Lee can now say that about the people involved with her hometown museum.  You may recall my prior posts (here and here)… Continue Reading

FUSE 2014

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Keyword Ads, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademarks

As many of you know from Steve Baird’s post earlier this week – Ola Crapola! – we attended the FUSE 2014 Brand Strategy & Design Conference in the Windy City.   It was fun to hang out with creative design and brand people for the last couple of days. The presentation from the Voice Lead from… Continue Reading

UPDATE: Trademark Dispute Over TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Continues to Fly

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

The lawsuit that we told you about regarding a dispute over the trademark rights to the use of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD continues.  See http://www.duetsblog.com/2013/10/articles/trademarks/battle-between-harper-lee-and-her-hometown-museum-over-use-of-to-kill-a-mockingbird/.  The defendant Monroe County Heritage Museum brought a motion to dismiss.   The Court denied the motion and allowed author Harper Lee to pursue her claims. One of the many arguments… Continue Reading

Heirs’ Right of Publicity

Posted in Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts

When I read about one of the recent “right of publicity” cases, I thought back to the Eighties and “Who Shot JR?”  This is because Mary Crosby, as the character Kristin Shepard, was the one who shot JR in 1980 on the widely popular show “DALLAS.” The case Bing Crosby v. HLC Props., Ltd., No…. Continue Reading

Is Tiffany Generic?

Posted in Branding, Counterfeits, Dilution, False Advertising, Famous Marks, Genericide, Law Suits, Sight, Trademarks

Genericide kills trademark rights.  It has been alleged that “Tiffany setting,” encompassing the famous TIFFANY mark owned by Tiffany and Company (“Tiffany”), is merely a generic term for a type of engagement ring. You may recall my DuetsBlog post regarding the lawsuit that Tiffany filed on Valentine’s Day against Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”) to protect… Continue Reading

What Impact Can Social Media Have on a Trademark Dispute?

Posted in Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Social media weighs in on the dispute over use of the mark ROUBAIX in connection with bicycles.  A lawsuit was brought by Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. (“Specialized”) who owned the registration for the mark in Canada against Dan Richter.  Mr. Richter operated the Café Roubaix Bicycle Shop and sells a Café Roubaix wheel and rim. … Continue Reading

What Does it Take to Be Famous?

Posted in Famous Marks, Trademarks, TTAB

Trademark law provides additional protection for famous trademarks.  We have all heard of the famous trademarks COCA-COLA, KODAK, and WIMBLEDON.  Although many trademark owners try, it is very difficult to achieve famous status.  You may recall my post in June, “Are You Famous Enough?”, where the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) rejected the… Continue Reading

Battle Between Harper Lee and her Hometown Museum over Use of “To Kill A Mockingbird”

Posted in Law Suits, Trademarks

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. —Harper Lee,  To Kill a Mockingbird Time will tell if this quote applies to author Nelle Harper Lee’s (“Ms. Lee’s”) battles with her hometown museum—the  Monroe County Heritage Museum (the “Museum”) over use… Continue Reading

Walking into a Trademark Dispute

Posted in Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

The latest shoe dispute involves AirWair International Ltd. (“AirWair”), who manufactures the Dr. Martens shoe brand, and an alleged knock-off being sold by Cels Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Chinese Laundry (“Chinese Laundry”) under the “Dirtiy Laundry” mark and brand.  You may have read about other trademark disputes involving Louboutin shoes at DuetsBlog here and here. Although… 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

Are You Famous Enough?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

If you are Samuel R. Mott, founder of Mott’s LLP, apparently the answer is no.  Mott’s LLP filed applications to register “MOTT’S” for “baby foods” and “packaged combinations consisting of fresh fruit.”  (Serial Nos. 85/374,805 & 85/436,615) The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) refused to register the marks set forth in these applications… Continue Reading

My Namesake Sues To Protect Its Famous Mark

Posted in Branding, Counterfeits, Dilution, False Advertising, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Sight, Trademarks

Coincidentally (or perhaps by design), Tiffany and Company (“Tiffany”) filed suit on Valentine’s Day against Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”) to protect its trademark with respect to engagement rings.  We know from our prior post regarding Tiffany’s amicus brief filed in support of Christian Louboutin that Tiffany actively protects its brand. If you are like me,… Continue Reading

The Louboutin Color Trademark Controversy Continues

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

While watching Lena Dunham stumble in her 6-inch Louboutin red-soled heels during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast, our comments revolved around the fact that her dress was so long, she should have worn slippers instead of stilettos.  We believed that Ms. Dunham should have waited to wear the Louboutin shoes until she was wearing… Continue Reading

Mixed Chicks Scores Big

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Product Packaging, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

It’s not every day that a small company stands up for itself against a multi-billion dollar company in court, and manages to obtain a large verdict in the process, but this is precisely the Cinderella story that played out in a trademark and trade dress infringement case in California recently.  When Mixed Chicks, LLC (“Mixed Chicks”) sued Sally… Continue Reading

P. Diddy Has Something to Sing About

Posted in Trademarks

Sean Combs (also known as P. Diddy or just plain Diddy) is on a roll. His record with Usher entitled DIRTY MONEY was a hit and was nominated for a 2011 MTV Europe Music Award: “Best World Stage.” In connection therewith, P. Diddy sought to register the mark DIDDY-DIRTY MONEY for many categories ranging from… Continue Reading

Shoe Designer Kicks Out Its Counterclaims

Posted in Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

DuetsBlog has taken an interest in the Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent case venued in the Southern District of New York.  I, along with my colleague Steve Baird, have previously written about this important color trademark case, which was remanded from the Second Circuit (here, here, here and here). Last week, Yves Saint Laurent (“YSL”)… Continue Reading

Will the Fashion Industry Be Given Another Gift?

Posted in Copyrights, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

The fashion industry has been in the news lately with respect to intellectual property issues.  There was the recent landmark Second Circuit decision reversing the district court’s extreme curtailing of color trademarks in the fashion industry. Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc., 11-3303-cv (September 5, 2012).  Specifically, the Second Circuit declined to… Continue Reading

Expanding into Vegetarian Products Lands Starbucks in Hot Water

Posted in Law Suits, Trademarks

Starbucks acquired the organic juice maker Evolution Fresh Inc. (“Evolution Fresh”). After doing so, Starbucks devised a business plan to expand both the type of products offered and expansion into restaurants. Specifically, Evolution Fresh began selling various food products, including vegetarian and vegan foods, along with juices at restaurants. Starbucks also launched a new logo… Continue Reading