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Category Archives: Domain Names

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“Google” Still Not (Yet) Generic

Posted in Domain Names, Famous Marks, Genericide, Law Suits, Trademarks, USPTO

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a significant opinion on the topic of genericness, Elliott v. Google, Inc., No. 15-15809. The opinion affirmed a federal district court’s grant of summary judgment that “GOOGLE” trademark registrations (Reg. Nos. 2884502, 2806075) are not subject to cancellation for genericness. Genericness a.k.a. “genericide” occurs when… Continue Reading

Change Your Name Already!

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging, SoapBox

-Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash Name Development I sometimes get asked by prospective clients if they should change their name, and I help them evaluate if a change is necessary. But sometimes there are stubborn companies who persist in marketing a name that is not right. Overstock.com is a prime example of this behavior. In early… Continue Reading

And the Oscar goes to . . .

Posted in Domain Names, Law Suits, Trademarks

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning to appeal a September judgment finding that GoDaddy did not violate anti-cybersquatting laws. Part of the Academy’s claim centered around the common practice of having “parked pages” which are basically placeholders sites. The practice allows a domain owner to reserve a domain until it finds… Continue Reading

YourBrand.sucks — Unless You Act Now!

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

As the INTA Annual Meeting winds down, one memory for me that certainly stuck out was an on-site ad campaign revolving around the new “.sucks” top-level domain (“TLD”). Depending on whom you ask, it’s either ingenious or diabolical. Just outside the San Diego Convention Center, the throngs of orange lanyard-wearing conference attendees were greeted by… Continue Reading

The Pursuit of Trademark Perfection: Can “40-0” Function as a Mark?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Fashion, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademarks

As Kentucky prepares to square off with Wisconsin in the NCAA Final Four and move one step closer to an undefeated, 40-win season, the University of Kentucky has been dueling with one of its own – a fan and attorney claiming he has already secured trademark rights to “40-0.” But can such a term even… Continue Reading

What Do Gripe Sites Have to Do with SCOTUS’s B&B Hardware Decision?

Posted in Domain Names, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks, TTAB

In December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. The case addresses the level of deference to be given to decisions from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, if any. We’ve discussed the issue a number of times at DuetsBlog. I’d love to provide you with breaking news, but still… Continue Reading

Don’t Forget About Domain Names

Posted in Domain Names, Law Suits

One aspect of intellectual property law that doesn’t get as much attention as it maybe should is domain names.  For those of you internet-savvy readers out there (who I assume is most of you), you already know that domain names provide the virtual address where customers and others can hopefully find your goods and services. … Continue Reading

IKEA översittare: Bully or Baloney?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new IKEA översittare is getting a lot of attention on the internet, and… Continue Reading

Business in the Age of the New gTLDs

Posted in Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Search Engines, Technology

– Mark Skoultchi, Catchword Brand Name Development As you may have heard, the Internet is undergoing a growth spurt of unprecedented proportions. Over 1000 new global top level domains (gTLDs) are in the midst of launching, so in addition to familiar extensions like .com, .org, and .net, expect to start seeing .nyc, .company, .nike, and… 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

What Does the Suffix Say?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Domain Names, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

Ylvis, the Norwegian music/comedy duo, recently revealed the secret of the fox to more than a hundred and twenty-three million viewers on YouTube (as of this posting), answering the vexing question: What does the fox say? Not surprisingly, given this wide-spread attention, an individual apparently unconnected to Ylvis already has filed an intent-to-use trademark application for “What the Fox Say”… 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 Wharton School Goes to Trademark Court to Protect Its Business Reputation

Posted in Articles, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

Earlier this week, Joseph N. DiStefano of Philly.com reported that the University of Pennsylvania filed suit in federal district court to protect its well-known federally-registered rights in the WHARTON name and mark. (Hat tip to guest blogger Dave Taylor of Taylor Brand Group). For those who have not been paying attention to business for the past 132… Continue Reading

Dear Entrepreneur Who Needs A Name: Do Not Let Tactics Drive Your Strategy

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts

– Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash There was an article this summer in the Wall Street Journal called, “Why Startups Are Sporting Increasingly Quirky Names.” The author indicated that this trend was being driven by a “lack of short, recognizable URLs” which “prompts use of misspellings and word mash-ups” in the names of new startups. One… Continue Reading

Eh, it’s Ey?

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, International, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Ernst & Young, here is to hoping you can take a little joke about your new truncated name, EY: We’ve written a lot about the potential hazards of brand truncation here, and when one of our talented guest bloggers brings this unfortunate story to our attention, we simply couldn’t resist spilling a little digital ink from our perspective. According… 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

Inherently Distinctive Restaurant Interior?

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

We recently focused our attention on a very unique-looking, dare I say distinctive, retail store exterior design; for a quick reminder, see here. The recent craze for self-serve frozen yogurt shops — where you pay by the ounce (or perhaps, by the pound), has us focused today on a pretty darn unique interior retail environment: This is… Continue Reading

What Drives eCommerce? The Answers May Surprise You

Posted in Domain Names, Marketing, SoapBox, Social Networking

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A couple of weeks ago, Forrester Research issued a report called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012.”  The report has a great deal of interesting information, two pieces of which underscore points I have hammered here for a while.  First, the report notes that “[d]irect traffic is critical to sales:”… Continue Reading

3 Ways to Handle an Unfortunate Domain Name

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts

– Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash I was researching some potential domain names for a client recently when I came across several listings of “Worst Domain Names.” I had some fun visiting a few of these sites, and I noticed a difference in how the domain owners leveraged their “unfortunate” domain names. There seem to be… Continue Reading

Beware the Paralyzing “Whac-A-Mole” Trademark Mentality

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Trademark enforcement against infringing domains on the Internet is frequently likened to playing Whac-A-Mole. Just as soon as you eliminate one, up pops another, and another, etc. Dan’s post from last week on the most recent land rush on the Internet — with the creation of almost infinite Internet real estate — may be a warning that this comparison… Continue Reading