DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Category Archives: False Advertising

Subscribe to False Advertising RSS Feed

Orwellian Enforcement of Orwellian Copyright?

Posted in Advertising, Copyrights, False Advertising, Infringement, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Technology

George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 would describe this situation as “doubleplusungood.” Josh Hadley, an internet radio host and a self-described “harsh film critic with no sense of subtlety or tact,” recently met the ire of Orwell’s estate when he used CafePress to create a t-shirt design with the text “1984 Is Already Here” emblazoned over tattered movie posters…. Continue Reading

Will Purple Reign, as a Color Trademark?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Counterfeits, Dilution, False Advertising, Famous Marks, FDA Approval, International, Law Suits, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

Today, we’re not talking about that Purple Rain, that Color Purple, or those Purple People Eaters, and we’re especially not talking today about Purple Gloves, Purple Bags, Purple Jackets, Purple Candy Wrappers, or Purple Tags, no today, we’re talking about “The Purple Pill,” a/k/a Today’s Purple Pill — AstraZeneca’s blockbuster Nexium brand acid reflux medication…. Continue Reading

Tastes Like Chicken, Not a Copyright

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, False Advertising, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Taste, Trademarks, USPTO

A common refrain: “There must be a way to protect this idea, either by trademark or copyright.” Regrettably, in many instances, the answer is “none of the above.” Take, for example, the humble chicken sandwich. Late last week, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a granted motion to dismiss with a holding… Continue Reading

Absolut Apologies, Comparisons, Truncations

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, False Advertising, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

It has been a while since a billboard campaign has caught my interest and attention, but the currently running Absolut Goes Dark ads are an exception worth noting: Isn’t it interesting — at least in this context — how the simple references to Jack, Johnnie, and Jim, draw an obvious comparison to the distilled spirits… Continue Reading

Top Ten Questions About Rapala Minnocchio

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

In typical DuetsBlog tradition, here is Rapala’s 2015 billboard for the fishing opener, albeit a few weeks late: I’ll have to admit, I like the telescoped Minnocchio word, and the consistent graphic display from past years, but my head is feeling pretty wooden at the moment, so I need your help, because I’m totally stumped… Continue Reading

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