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Category Archives: Branding

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Has Brand Jordan Stepped Out of Bounds?

Posted in Branding, Fashion, Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, TTAB

- Draeke Weseman, Weseman Law Office, PLLC In 1984, Nike needed an NBA superstar. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird wore Converse brand basketball shoes, as did most of the other major NBA stars. Adding to the pressure, Nike sales were in general decline as Reebok was dominating the broader fitness shoe market with its white… Continue Reading

Calling Non-Traditional Trademarks By Name

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Things that are worth talking about need names. Good, distinctive names are best. As you may recall, last year we wrote this about non-verbal logos needing names: “Marketing types, when brand owners operate in the world of non-verbal logos, isn’t spreading the news by word of mouth more difficult without a word to bring the image… Continue Reading

Why “Hours of Energy Now”?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Tim, after shopping at Costco over the weekend, the reason why the 5-Hour Energy folks seem so interested in owning “Hours of Energy Now” became more apparent: Does Costco’s Kirkland brand energy drink packaging specimen demonstrate trademark use of the phrase “Hours of Energy Now!” better than those provided by the 5-Hour Energy folks?  

Hours of Energy, But No Trademark Registration

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

The energy drink businesses is big, big business. From Red Bull and Monster to that strange 35 ounce purple can that you saw in a gas station once, consumers love energy drinks. Along with Red Bull and Monster, 5-Hour Energy is one of the most successful and recognizable brands. Innovation Ventures, LLC, the owner of the… 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

Ola Crapola!

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

Crapola sounds like something worth saying on the way to Chicago, after discovering the size of your PowerPoint file is too large to get through the recipient’s firewall, and then realizing the USB flash drive containing your inspiring presentation to FUSE conference attendees remains on your desk back in Minneapolis. Perhaps an even stronger word might be appropriate, if… Continue Reading

Anticipation . . . But, Heinz is Not Keeping Melinda’s Habanero Ketchup Waiting

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Last month Heinz, a brand “synonymous with ketchup throughout the world,” and a seller of “650 million bottles of Heinz ketchup each year,” brought a federal trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in Texas to enforce exclusive rights in the “famous” Heinz bottle design against Melinda’s Habanero Ketchup brand. Here is the Complaint and Exhibits A, B, C,… Continue Reading

Twilight Trademark Trial Now on Horizon

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

Another father-daughter trip to Bath & Body Works (BBW) this past weekend revealed that his and her Twilight Woods personal body care products are still available for sale: Still, because ten days ago, the federal district court in the Southern District of New York rejected BBW’s attempt to have the trademark infringement and dilution claims –… Continue Reading

Trying Something New

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging

- Susan Hopp, Partner, 45 Degrees/Minneapolis I recently stopped at Shuang Hur Oriental Market (my go-to store for Vietnamese coffee) on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, and came away with an interesting branding experience. As I passed the fresh meat counter with pork hooves and other un-named animal parts, I was reminded that I’m not their… Continue Reading

Droning On and On, About A Trademark?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Months after Amazon’s recent media ploy, drones continue to capture news headlines. Hours ago, an AP story ran, suggesting that the Federal Aviation Administration’s present ban on commercial drones will result in global competitors flying right by the U.S., leaving us in their economic dust, as other countries around the globe embrace the commercial use of drones…. Continue Reading

Oz The Saying Goes…

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Loss of Rights, Television, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

There’s no place like home. Just be careful where and how you say it. It is common knowledge among lawyers that copyright protection does not normally extend to titles, words, or short phrases. Movies, politicians, and our family and friends constantly quote books, movies, and famous politicians, actors, and others. From a trademark perspective, we see famous quotes… Continue Reading

Packaging that Kills (a Trademark)

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB

Killer packaging is a good thing. It can increase sales and establish a stronger emotional bond between the consumer and the product brand. The current packaging of Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps pretzel crackers might qualify as killer, but a long-anticipated and important trademark decision issued last Friday relied on an earlier version of the product packaging… Continue Reading

Err Jordan?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Law Suits

As some of you may know, I commonly write posts on “personal branding” involving sports figures and other celebrities.  (See here, here, here, here, and here).  Well, last week, a Seventh Circuit decision came down involving perhaps the most significant personal brand owner of all–Michael Jordan.  The Court’s summary was as follows: This trademark and right of publicity dispute… 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

Ice Bar or V Bar on Ice?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Infringement, Trademarks

On my last trip to Las Vegas, I captured these photos at the so-called ”Ice Bar” located in the Golden Nugget in downtown Vegas (for my digital scrapbook of trademark storytelling): So, I couldn’t resist, and I asked the bartender whether this “V Bar” is related to the ”V Bar“ located at the Venetian on the strip – remember this… Continue Reading

Single Color Trademark Developments

Posted in Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Over the past five years, we have spilled a lot of black digital ink discussing trademark ownership of single colors. Color continues to be an important aspect of branding and differentiation in a variety of markets, including many you’d expect, and some you might not. Christian Louboutin’s red color trademark helps to illustrate the importance of single color… Continue Reading

Who’s Number One? Shoot for Engagement Over All Else – Lessons from Local Television News

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Television

It’s February — and that means it’s time for local television stations across the nation to get out their measuring sticks.  Here in Minneapolis, and on this day, that notion carries a double meaning.  For one, the local weather forecasts are calling for maybe a foot of snow and blizzard winds after that — so… 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

Inventing a Generic Category Name

Posted in Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

MillerCoors is currently running this Lite Beer ad, promoting the limited edition original can, and taking credit for inventing the light beer category, way back in 1973. It is a great reminder that despite Miller’s determined and long-protracted litigation over its attempt to own the word LITE as a trademark for beer, in the end, it was… 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