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Category Archives: Goodwill

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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

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

Seeking Forgiveness: Time to Set a Much Higher Standard

Posted in Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts

-  James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA Much as I admire Dov Seidman, the founder of LRN, his recent call for an “apology ceasefire” is precisely what self-forgiving, mistake-prone, could-care-less-about-victims executives are looking for: an officially sanctioned get-off-the-hook excuse. The very things that make us recoil at some of the silly, foolish, naïve and… Continue Reading

Selling Ice to Eskimos

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Goodwill, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Squirrelly Thoughts, Television

It’s easy to make a sports car look good. Or a vacation on a white sand beach. But what about things that the average person hates to buy? Watch the commercial below and let’s reconvene in 90 seconds:   Yes, that’s John C. Reily narrating (of Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, and Gangs of New York… Continue Reading

The True Meaning of C [hristmas]

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Yes, it has finally arrived: the end of December. Whether you’re someone who views the day as bitter sweet, dreading the day when the dirty looks from your neighbors force you to finally take down your decorations in February, or whether you were ready for it all to be the over the very moment you… Continue Reading

The Champagne of Trademark Disputes

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Food, Genericide, Goodwill, Infringement, International, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

Wine connoisseurs have been pairing food with their wines for  centuries (okay, I’m guessing here, but it is probably a long time), paying close attention to all of the subtleties of the flavor, hints of oak, acidity, and other features. With the explosion of craft beers in the United States, we can now do the… Continue Reading

If You Ignore Thanksgiving, Your Brand May Suffer

Posted in Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking

- Debbie Laskey, MBA Do you use Thanksgiving to thank your customers and, in the process, build your brand equity and awareness? If not, you’re missing a big opportunity. With November in full swing, don’t make the mistake of focusing only on revenue from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and after-Christmas sales. Instead, add a component… Continue Reading

A Pair of Cheesehead Trademarks to Grate?

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

As a frustrated and bored Minnesota Vikings fan, Monday Night Football last evening caught my attention with the division battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. In case you missed it, the Packers lost to the Bears, despite the Packers typical home field advantage at the legendary Lambeau Field. As much as the plentiful Packers… Continue Reading

Breaking Bad News for Breaking Bad Fans

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Television, Trademarks

When I was eight I had a perfect plan to create a multi-million dollar business: a company that sold pet turtle kits that came with miniature nunchucks, swords, and ninja costumes. Back then though it was more difficult to tap into Angel networks and, although great friends, my core group of investors unfortunately turned out to… Continue Reading

Does this Pink clash with my Pink?

Posted in Dilution, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

Since May of 2013, a legal battle has been brewing between two fashion industry giants: Victoria’s Secret and Thomas Pink (owned by Louis Vuitton). Below are pictures of storefronts for the two companies: Thomas Pink began as a U.K. company and is known for its menswear, primarily shirts, ties, and other dress clothes. Thomas Pink… Continue Reading

This Ain’t Your Dad’s Hamburger Helper…

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Goodwill, Marketing, Social Media, Trademarks

Brace yourselves everybody, I have some bad news: Hamburger Helper is no more. But wait! Don’t jump yet, friend. Thanks to the General Mills marketing department, and fueled by a loss of market share to new competition from Kraft, Hamburger Helper has been reborn. Let me introduce to the new and improved brand: Helper. General Mills, owner of… Continue Reading

How Good Does a Good Company Have to Be?

Posted in Agreements, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media

-  James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA This week’s news is again full of the relentless legal, political, and adversarial pounding British Petroleum (BP) continues to receive as a result of its huge and disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If one takes a breath, steps back, and maybe goes to 10-12,000 feet… Continue Reading

The psychology of referrals: 3 reasons people advocate for brands

Posted in Advertising, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology

Matt Kucharski, Executive Vice President, Padilla Speer Beardsley I’m not really the kind of guy to recommend brands on social media, which is a bit ironic because that’s the ultimate goal of every marketer – to turn your customers into advocates. But that all changed the day I discovered Dollar Shave Club, an e-commerce business… Continue Reading

Red Solo Cup Inspiration?

Posted in Audio, Branding, Dilution, Goodwill, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

Marketing types, it may well be obvious to some, but it is always important to consider the source of inspiration for the branding and marketing of the products and services you promote. At least for those who follow country singer Toby Keith, with a Costco retail end-cap display like this, it’s hard not to assume where the… Continue Reading

Goodwill Inflation?

Posted in Goodwill, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Meet my trusty GE Electronic Digital FM/AM Clock Radio, Model No. 7-4624: I don’t know if I can pinpoint it exactly, but this puppy has been with me for somewhere along the lines of twenty-eight years. It has been with me through junior high, high school, college, teaching, law school, lawyerdom, marriage,… Continue Reading

Tiger Traded for Candy?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

Recently capturing this Accenture billboard in the Minneapolis airport, I couldn’t help but be struck by how far the Accenture brand has moved from its previously prized spokesperson and celebrity Tiger Woods, apparently just in time for Tiger’s recent rebound on the golf course — I’ll refrain from calling it a comeback. I’m not sure where his… Continue Reading

Can a Domain Name Amplify Trademark Confusion?

Posted in Domain Names, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney There has been at least one interesting trademark-related story in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh flap.  Health insurance company Humana Inc. and its subsidiary Concentra Health Services, Inc. sued Preval Group, LLC for an injunction against Preval’s use of CONCENTRA in connection with a “memory pill.” Humana raised the issue of… Continue Reading

A Capote Christmas

Posted in Goodwill

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Last year, I posted a passage from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to put us in a right mood for Christmas Day.  This year, I give you some images from Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”: Of the ingredients that go into our fruitcakes, whiskey is the most expensive, as well as the hardest… Continue Reading

Putting the Shoe on the Other Tootsie

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There was a time when a certain kind of small business owner – strapped for cash — with a meager promotional budget, easily could be tempted to adopt a “clever” name, as a “short-cut,” to “play off” a well-known, iconic brand, but in the end, he or she probably was convinced by counsel that doing so would be… 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