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Category Archives: False Advertising

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Can We Sue The Dew?

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Marketing, SoapBox

Be forewarned.  What you are about to read could very easily be characterized as a rant. Earlier this week, I was driving home from work when I heard a radio commercial for Mountain Dew Kickstart.  Similar to the above visual advertisement, the radio spot touted the perfect combination of “dew, juice, and electrolytes.”  And, with a substantially… 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

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, False Advertising, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

                A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving as a trademark for any kind of sandwich. This is true despite Subway’s claimed… Continue Reading

Costco In Hot Water Again

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

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Costco is in some hot water after being sued by Michael Kors. Michael Kors is alleging that Costco unlawfully used pictures of its luxury handbags to lure in customers when Costco did not have the authorization to actually sell the bags. The ad included an image of bags containing Michael Kors’… 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 Best DuetsBlog Post Ever

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, USPTO

–Susan Perera, Attorney You see it quite often, phrases like “The Best Car in America” or “America’s Favorite Restaurant” used in advertising.  The Trademark Office does not consider the truth of these statements when considering an application for such a trademark  (which could possibly run afoul with false advertising); instead it focuses on the laudatory… Continue Reading

FTC’s New Rules for Advertising Mobile Apps

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Almost Advice, Contracts, False Advertising, International, Technology

The Federal Trade Commission has published guidelines for advertising mobile applications. In general, the guidelines incorporate the FTC’s policies on truthful advertising and data privacy. On the advertising side, if you make objective claims about your app, then you will need proof to support your claims. The proof necessary to support objective clams is competent… Continue Reading

Malarkey: Political Storytelling

Posted in Advertising, Branding, False Advertising, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts

Vice President Joe Biden recently revived popular use of the word “malarkey” or “malarky” — a word that essentially means “nonsense.” Our DuetsBlog friend Nancy Friedman, author of the award-winning Fritinancy Blog, covered “Malarkey” as the “Word of the Week” earlier this month. So, imagine my surprise to pass by a restaurant called Malarkys in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past weekend;… Continue Reading

Cosmeceuticals – When Advertising Catches the FDA’s Eye

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Marketing

–Susan Perera, Attorney Last week on Marketplace on NPR, there was an interesting story regarding a FDA crackdown on the beauty industry, particularly on cosmetic companies who have begun to market their cosmetic products using drug-like claims.  (Marketplace audio provided below.) The FDA appears to be concerned about these “cosmeceuticals” which do more than just… Continue Reading

Marketing 101: Knowing Your Audience

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Copyrights, False Advertising, International, Marketing, Patents, Trademarks

Blake Shelton is a brilliant marketer. Whether or not country music speaks to you, for anyone who attended his concert at the Minnesota State Fair this past weekend, it would be hard to deny the chemistry he perfected with his audience. I’ve never witnessed a better concert from the perspective of the storytelling used to lure and charm the audience, while at the… Continue Reading

Specific Non-Commitment

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Marketing

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I have generally enjoyed Geico’s commercials over the years, having gone so far at one point as to actually become an auto-insurance customer (but not currently).  Geico’s commercials can be viewed on its website here, and the vast majority of them end with the same tagline–one that I have heard frequently enough… Continue Reading

I’ve Got a Beef with Kobe (Beef).

Posted in False Advertising

How many of you have experienced the purportedly divine dining experience of Kobe beef?  According to a recent article, the number is probably substantially lower than believed.  According to Forbes, the vast majority of Kobe beef is not, in fact, Kobe beef.  That’s because it is apparenlty unlawful for real Kobe beef to be imported… Continue Reading

Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Ad

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, False Advertising, Food, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

Absorbing all the television commercials in between football action on the field can be as much fun on Super Bowl Sunday as the actual game itself, at least for trademark and marketing types, especially when your favorite team isn’t even on the field. One of my personal favorites from this past weekend’s Super Bowl XLVI was the… Continue Reading

Redefining a Trademark Bully?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, False Advertising, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink discussing the trademark bullying topic, going all the way back to my original blog post from 2010: ”The Mark of a Real Trademark Bully.” Within the last several days, there has been quite a bit of online media coverage about Trademarkia’s new features that tout an ability to “Find… Continue Reading

When it Comes to Guest Blogging: Fine or Just Fine?

Posted in Branding, False Advertising, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

In many contexts of our life experience, "fine" sadly seems to have drifted toward embodying mediocrity. Consider this all too common dialogue: "How are you?" "Oh, I’m fine."  Or, perhaps, "Just fine." Translation: "O.K.," "average," "acceptable," "passable," "satisfactory," "I can’t complain," "I’ve been better," or maybe "could be much better" . . . . After all, how interested or… Continue Reading

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Thy Name is Not Corn Sugar

Posted in Advertising, Branding, False Advertising, Food, Law Suits, Marketing

–Dan Kelly, Attorney More than a year ago, I blogged about high fructose corn syrup getting a makeover.  The Corn Refiners Association has undertaken a campaign to rename high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar.”   (See SweetSurprise.com and CornSugar.com to be indoctrinated.) I recently learned that a number of sugar companies (that’s cane sugar or… Continue Reading

What Do The Words You Choose Imply?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, False Advertising, Goodwill, Marketing

The words we choose to use in commercial signage, advertising, and marketing materials mean something. That’s why we use them, to communicate a fact, an opinion, or perhaps some other message. The use of certain words, can carry implied meanings too, some intended, and perhaps some unintended. For example, yesterday Seth Godin wrote this about… Continue Reading

Mark Zuckerberg Means What?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, False Advertising, Marketing, Social Networking

This billboard ad has been running in the Twin Cities for a while now, promoting a local car dealership who is very proud of its website: Does anyone seriously believe that Mark Zuckerberg – the twenty-seven year old president, chief executive officer, and co-creator of the Facebook social networking site — is jealous of the morries.com website?… Continue Reading

“Buried Treasure” – Securing Reimbursement for Monies Expended in Past Intellectual Property Lawsuits

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Contracts, Copyrights, False Advertising, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

—David A. Gauntlett, Gauntlett & Associates   Companies looking for extra money in these tough economic times may have an answer from the past. The vast majority of insurer denial letters for intellectual property lawsuits lack merit. Therefore, companies who have litigated intellectual property cases and expended significant monies in defense and settlement may be overlooking ready… Continue Reading