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Category Archives: Infringement

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Beretta, (No) Thank You Very Much . . . .

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing

Apparently Elvis Presley was a well-known Beretta gun owner during his life, so I suppose his lips might have uttered the words “Beretta, thank you very much.” The King’s estate, however, isn’t thankful about an Elvis-themed advertising campaign designed to promote the sale of Beretta firearms. Ad Law Access reports that Elvis Presley’s Estate filed suit against Beretta for… 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

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

Is Strict Trademark Enforcement Really Possible Anymore?

Posted in Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Trademarks

- John Reinan, Senior Director, Media Relations, Fast Horse That is, assuming it ever was. But as a marketer, I often wonder what advice trademark attorneys offer to their clients on enforcement in the Internet age. Every day, I visit websites that make use of (almost certainly) unauthorized photos, logos, videos, slogans and any kind… Continue Reading

Crushing the Competition

Posted in Infringement, International, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, USPTO

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – The first time I heard the phrase “Candy Crush,” I remember thinking it was something edible. In actuality, Candy Crush (also known as “Candy Crush Saga”) is a game developed by the developer King.com, Ltd. (King) for Facebook and smartphones. I personally have never played the game but have heard… Continue Reading

Pinterest’s European Headache

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, International, Loss of Rights, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademarks

Simon Bennett, partner and Rachel Cook, associate Fox Williams LLP Social media companies are some of the biggest growth businesses out there and the very nature of their businesses is global. One of the stronger performers is Pinterest, which offers an online platform to manage images and other content on an online pinboard. As recently as October… Continue Reading

Raspberry Berate

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits

About two weeks ago, the artist (known as, then formerly known as, and now again known as) Prince filed a copyright infringement suit against 22 “accused bootleggers” (most likely fans) that had been posting links to unauthorized concert recordings.  (See story here.)  Apparently, due to the backlash from fans and, more importantly, due to the fact that… Continue Reading

And the Grammy for Most Likely to Receive a DMCA Notice Goes to…

Posted in Audio, Copyrights, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Social Media

Last Sunday was “Music’s Biggest Night,” at least according to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). I haven’t watched many Grammy Award shows, but the possibility of seeing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performing together was enough for me to tune in, at least for a few minutes. I wasn’t paying particularly close… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Can Impact Your Brand

Posted in Copyrights, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Search Engines, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology

- Debbie Laskey, MBA Have you ever spent hours working on a document for work? That’s a silly question because most of us who recognize Microsoft software and SlideShare have spent countless hours working on executive briefs, lengthy project reports, presentation decks, and much, much more. Normally, we give our work product to our supervisors… Continue Reading

Gold Digger

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Technology

Since I’m a massive contemporary hip-hop fan (okay, not really), I felt compelled to comment on the entertaining “Coinye” controversy that recently bubbled over.  For those of you not in the know, “Coinye” was apparently intended to be a virtual currency in the same vein as BitCoin. The lawsuit was brought in Federal Court in… Continue Reading

The Gold Medal Of Trademarks

Posted in Advertising, First Amendment, Infringement, Trademarks

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – It’s the season of great sporting events, with the Super Bowl and Olympics just around the corner, and with that comes a host of new advertising campaigns.  Companies should beware of infringing on Super Bowl and Olympic trademarks, however.  Both of these events have well-known trademarks that have extensive legal… Continue Reading

Coffee is for Closers, Not for Brewers

Posted in Famous Marks, Food, Genericide, Infringement, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

When life gives you a cease and desist letter, make lemonade. Or, depending on your profession, maybe some beer. That’s what Jeff Britton, owner of the Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Cottleville, Missouri chose to do after receiving a cease and desist letter on behalf of Starbucks. The owner penned a humorous response that… 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

What Impact Can Social Media Have on a Trademark Dispute?

Posted in Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Social media weighs in on the dispute over use of the mark ROUBAIX in connection with bicycles.  A lawsuit was brought by Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. (“Specialized”) who owned the registration for the mark in Canada against Dan Richter.  Mr. Richter operated the Café Roubaix Bicycle Shop and sells a Café Roubaix wheel and rim. … Continue Reading

Hanging Around Trademark Disputes

Posted in Articles, Branding, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Search Engines, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

When you hang around trademark disputes long enough you start to see patterns, at least, at the ends of the spectrum (or not). We have spilled much digital ink over allegations of “trademark bullying” — something that does occur, but in the grand scheme of all trademark enforcement matters, the instances of actual bullying and abuse seem… Continue Reading

Nuts About Nuts?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging, Trademarks

- Brent Carlson-Lee I’m a huge supporter of the growing food entrepreneur community in Minnesota, and am amazed by the number of the great products that are now on shelves in grocery stores and co-ops across the country. Bee Free Honee, an all-natural, plant-based honey substitute. Seven Sundays, an all-natural gourmet muesli. Philia Foods, a… Continue Reading

iPhooey?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Apparently iPho by Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is quite good. The logo design is eye-popping, and dare I say clever, but does it cross one of the many legal intellectual property lines? We can all agree as to the source of the “inspiration” for this visual identity, right? Our little friend… Continue Reading

LogoThief to the Rescue

Posted in Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Sight, Trademarks

  There is a brand new exposer of potential intellectual property violations on the scene, meet LogoThief: “We exist to name and shame logo thieves and all others who plagiarise the work of logo designers.” Here is what prompted the start of the website just last week: “We started this website because we are sick of… Continue Reading

Had Your Charbucks This Morning?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Annie Clark and her husband, Jim, own a mom-and-pop shop called Black Bear Micro Roastery in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire.  Black Bear introduced its Charbucks blend in 1997, which is a dark roast coffee.  In 2001, Black Bear was sued in federal district court in New York by Starbucks. Starbucks argued… Continue Reading