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Category Archives: Mixed Bag of Nuts

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Lights, Camera…Now Take Action

Posted in Fair Use, Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Squirrelly Thoughts, Technology, Television

– Jason Sprenger – President, Game Changer Communications Imagine for a moment you’re back in the year 1963…the time of Mad Men, the beginning of Beatlemania, the year of the “I Have a Dream” speech.  Who’s the most trusted man in America?  You might be surprised that it wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr., or even the… Continue Reading

Service Trade Dress?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

When most people of think of trade dress protection they primarily think of a good. Generally, protecting a product’s configuration, which can never be inherently distinctive, or a product’s packaging, which can be inherently distinctive. Rarely, does trade dress for services come to mind, but trade dress protection for services is alive and well. More… Continue Reading

A Lesson In Reusing Historic Brand Names #TBT

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

-Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash Name Development The music streaming service Rhapsody just announced that they are rebranding themselves as Napster, a brand they acquired in 2011. Is bringing back this historic brand name a good idea? Let me go on record as saying I’m a huge fan of leveraging existing brand equity in historic brand… Continue Reading

Language Lessons for Leaders, Lawyers and Managers Part II: The Abusive Power, Victimization and Permanent Damage Negative Language Causes

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts

— James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA In Part I of this series, I made the point that there is way too much negative language used and that the metaphor about sticks and stones is flawed. On the contrary, words have far more power to damage and victimize personally and over longer periods of… Continue Reading

HAVANA CLUB: Where’s the Rum Gone?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

You’d probably assume no TTAB proceedings originated in 1995 remain active, but the HAVANA CLUB dispute has some serious staying power. As U.S.-Cuba relations unthaw, one particular trademark battle is also returning to the public eye: the battle between Bacardi and the Cuban government for rights to the HAVANA CLUB mark. A peek at the USPTO database… Continue Reading

Feyoncé . . . he put a ring on it

Posted in Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts

Beyoncé recently filed suit against a company for trademark infringement based on their use of the term “Feyoncé” on apparel.  They’ve even got this nice mug: It seems pretty clear what they’re going for here. There are a couple of trademark applications pending for FEYONCE and FEYONCE’. Interestingly enough, both have been issued preliminary refusals… Continue Reading

Is It a Clean Fight?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, USPTO

It is no wonder that two companies manufacturing detergents would want to use the word “clean” for their products and brand.  The Dial Corporation (“Dial”) owns the federally registered trademark PURECLEAN that it used to market its PUREX detergents.  To protects its mark, Dial sued the Procter & Gamble Company (“P&G”) to enjoin it from… Continue Reading

Heading to Orlando Later This Month?

Posted in Articles, First Amendment, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

After returning from a great set of collaborative meetings with other members of the Executive Leadership Board at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy, let’s say, we’re now looking forward to AIPLA’s Spring Meeting, located in our own Minneapolis backyard and playground. My perspectives on the potential-U.S. Supreme Court-bound First Amendment challenges to Section… Continue Reading

Is the Taste as Sweet?

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts

–James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications An upscale little bistro/bakery with two Boston-area locations serves terrific pastries and lunches. The ambiance is delightful, the service is good; and the waitstaff nicely uniformed. All in all, an enjoyably classic “sidewalk café” experience. In the blink of an eye, that all changed for me recently. An item in… Continue Reading

Adblock, Generic for Ad Blocking?

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Genericide, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox

AdBlock Plus doesn’t seem to think so. Though they apparently also do think so (more on that below). Adblock Plus was successful in registering the ADBLOCK PLUS mark. Now they’re using that registration to issue take down notices to people using Adblock in their name. That left me scratching my head. It all sounds rather… Continue Reading

LARPing with Patent Trolls

Posted in Counterfeits, Dilution, Fair Use, False Advertising, First Amendment, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Patents, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology, Trademark Bullying

Live Action Role Playing (LARP or LARPing) usually involves Renaissance Festival worthy costumes, foam medieval weapons, and an intense dedication to not breaking character.  I can’t say I’ve ever had the privilege of participating in a LARP event, but I also can’t say I’d turn down the opportunity. A different kind of battle—the intellectual property… Continue Reading

Namey McNamerson: What Happens When You Crowdsource Names

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Guest Bloggers, International, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

-Laurel Sutton Senior Strategist & Linguist at Catchword Brand Name Development If I was in charge of naming scientific research vessels, they’d all get names like Boaty McBoatface. This, in case you hadn’t heard, is the leading candidate in a crowdsourced effort to name the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council’s new polar research ship.  Fans… Continue Reading

Language Lessons for Leaders, Lawyers, and Managers: Lesson #1: Your Mother Was Wrong About One Thing

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts

–James Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA BEPS Emeritus Just for a minute, pretend you’re five years old, your mom is sharing a very charming, perhaps often repeated piece of motherly advice: “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” OK, OK. You can come back now. The… Continue Reading

The March Madness Road Trip Returns

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

It’s that wonderful time of year again, March Madness! When families, friends, and coworkers all get together to casually gamble and all throw $10 into a pool. When 12’s beat 5’s and mess up your bracket. When you lose one game and are sent packing. The few weeks when “Cinderella” is uttered most throughout the… Continue Reading

B2B Companies Are Fun and Interesting Too!

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts

– Jason Sprenger – President, Game Changer Communications Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that there’s a prevailing theory among the masses in my industry, and I’m sure it’s probably true of other professional service industries (law included) as well.  People seem to think that working with B2C companies is way more fun and interesting than working for… Continue Reading

Kylie v. Kylie

Posted in Dilution, Fashion, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks, TTAB

Kylie Minogue has filed an opposition to Kylie Jenner’s attempt to register the KYLIE mark in connection with “Advertising services, namely, promoting the brands, goods and services of others; endorsement services, namely, promoting the goods and services of others,” claiming priority and likelihood of confusion, dilution by blurring, and dilution by tarnishment. The opposition calls… Continue Reading

Social Media as a Platform for Thought Leadership: Tips and Tricks from a Marketer

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

–Shayla Thiel Stern, Ph.D., Senior Digital Strategist, Fast Horse When Steve Baird asked me to appear as part of an intellectual property law panel to discuss the use of social media as a vehicle for thought leadership, I have to admit that I was both intrigued and intimidated. After all, I know next to nothing… Continue Reading