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Category Archives: Non-Traditional Trademarks

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Calling Non-Traditional Trademarks By Name

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Things that are worth talking about need names. Good, distinctive names are best. As you may recall, last year we wrote this about non-verbal logos needing names: “Marketing types, when brand owners operate in the world of non-verbal logos, isn’t spreading the news by word of mouth more difficult without a word to bring the image… Continue Reading

It’s a Mouse World After All

Posted in Agreements, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Television, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Deadmau5 (\’ded-mau̇s\; a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is a popular house music artist who performs wearing a mouse-like head covering called the mau5head.   On Twitter he calls himself an “Event Driven Marketing specialist,” so I thought this was a fitting subject for the hip legal, creative and marketing folks who follow us here at DuetsBlog – although… 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

Droning On and On, About A Trademark?

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

Months after Amazon’s recent media ploy, drones continue to capture news headlines. Hours ago, an AP story ran, suggesting that the Federal Aviation Administration’s present ban on commercial drones will result in global competitors flying right by the U.S., leaving us in their economic dust, as other countries around the globe embrace the commercial use of drones…. Continue Reading

Single Color Trademark Developments

Posted in Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Over the past five years, we have spilled a lot of black digital ink discussing trademark ownership of single colors. Color continues to be an important aspect of branding and differentiation in a variety of markets, including many you’d expect, and some you might not. Christian Louboutin’s red color trademark helps to illustrate the importance of single color… Continue Reading

Bungle in the Beer Tapper Jungle?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

The Sports Bar in the Mirage Resort & Casino, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is currently sporting a pretty interesting collection of tap beers, from left to right: Bud Light, Goose Island Honker’s Ale, Stella Artois, Heineken, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Shock Top, Newcastle, Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Goose Island Indian Pale Ale, and Michelob Ultra. What really caught… Continue Reading

I <3 Ur Emoticon, But Does It Indicate Source :-/

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Social Media, Trademarks

In a world where communications are shared in a space of less than 140 characters, emoticons are often a part of the lexicon for most texters, tweeters, gamers, and smartphone screen tappers.  I have an app, Emoji, that turns my phone’s keyboard into a glorious emoticon playground.  Facebook even lets you add an emoticon to… Continue Reading

From the Land Down Under

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks

I come bearing breaking legal news from the Land Down Under, specifically, New Zealand.  It appears that Coca-Cola recently suffered a small setback in its quest for world domination.  Those of you familiar with non-traditional trademarks likely know that Coca-Cola has enjoyed a relatively long history of protection regarding its “contour bottle” shape.  But New Zealand’s high… Continue Reading

Touch Trademark Update

Posted in Articles, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Touch, Trademarks, USPTO

‘Tis the Season for billboard ads like this, sorry Nancy. Anyway, it reminded me of a very early post of mine on touch trademarks, here on DuetsBlog. That early blog post noted Diageo’s federally-registered purple bag non-traditional trademark, and that a third party had slipped in at the USPTO to federally register a velvet touch… Continue Reading

Look for the Red Kettle This Holiday Season?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

My iPhone captured this Salvation Army ad posted on a Minneapolis bus that I was following this morning in snowy and very slow traffic. Given how prominently the Red Kettle has become in Salvation Army advertisements, no doubt, you know where my mind goes, straight to non-traditional trademark protection for the shape and appearance of… Continue Reading

Tonight We Tanqueray a Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Genericide, International, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

                  Diageo, the Tanqueray brand owner is currently running billboard ads in the Twin Cities as part of its “Tonight We Tanqueray” ad campaign. A couple of years back when the campaign first was announced, Diageo explained it this way: “One of the world’s most awarded gins, Tanqueray London Dry… Continue Reading

Grading Distinctive Vodka Bottle Trademarks

Posted in Articles, Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Last week, Works Design Group highlighted five vodka bottle designs to love. No doubt, a nice collection of very creative work. This stacked ice cube design is my favorite from their set: The skull bottle design shown below also made Works’ top five, and it is certainly eye-popping. It was created by John Alexander, Dan Aykroyd’s co-founder of… 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

Google’s Latest Trademark Bugaboo?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Search Engines, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Fame tends to attract attention, and imitation, especially unwanted imitation from, well, even pests. The Google trademark appears to have obtained such a high degree of fame that no third party can include the word “Google” in its mark without having a problem, regardless of what the third party happens to be selling. Ron, can you say, right in gross?… Continue Reading

“The Slants”: Offensive or Cultural Satire?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, USPTO

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – A band comprised of Asian-Americans from Portland, Oregon has been trying to trademark its name, “The Slants,” for years,  but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied the registration on the grounds that the word has a racially charged connotation and is offensive.  The founder of the band, 32-year-old… Continue Reading

Copying the Place for Fun in Our Life – the Mall of America

Posted in Copyrights, International, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

Once again, a story from China suggests that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  First, it was copying Apple stores.  Now, it’s copying an entire mall – and the most well-known American mall of all at that, the Mall of America.   Well, at least the logo and creative.  The Chinese mall appears to still… Continue Reading

The Color Purple and the future of color trade marks in the UK

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Guest Bloggers, International, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Simon Bennett and Rachel Cook Fox Williams LLP Chocolate giants Nestle and Cadbury have been trading blows in the UK and European Courts for several years. This latest round in front of the UK Court of Appeal related to Cadbury’s application to register the color purple (to be specific Pantone 2685C) for the packaging of… Continue Reading

Enjoy Coca-Cola (Advertising and Slogans)

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Repetition can be a beautiful thing, especially when it’s about The Real Thing: This electronic billboard advertisement is another good example of Coca-Cola advertising that leaves certain aspects of the brand icons to the imagination, this one discloses only the middle portion of the famous contour bottle shape trademark. And, speaking of repetition, remember these Coca-Cola gems from… Continue Reading

The Budweiser Bowtie Can Shape Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Launched a few months ago, it’s called the bowtie can, because it appears to emulate Budweiser’s well-known bowtie brand icon, but the formal description of the Anheuser-Busch beer can at the USPTO is a bit more clumsy and technical: “The mark consists of packaging for the goods, namely, beverage package for the goods consisting of a three dimensional shape of a… Continue Reading

Will Tire Tread Trademarks Gain Traction?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Sight, Technology, Television, Trademarks, USPTO

Here is to sharing a photo I took using my iPad on a recent Canadian fishing trip, and yes, there is a trademark story here to share as well, not just a beautiful sunset positioned behind this ATV tire. In my purchase of automobile tires over the years, one of the key selling points has been traction — especially with… Continue Reading

Coca-Cola Open for Co-Branding?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Trademarks

By now you know how much I love the Coca-Cola brand and advertising, and this beautiful gem of a billboard is no exception: What I’m left wondering is whether consumers might view this as a co-branding campaign between Coca-Cola and Ford, and whether Coca-Cola felt the need to obtain permission from Ford to depict the back… Continue Reading