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Category Archives: Patents

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Alice In Wonderland

Posted in Patents

For those of you interested in the patent component of “the useful Arts,” the Supreme Court recently issued its decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l.  The decision was much anticipated because of the impact it was expected to have on so-called “business method” patents.  Business method patents have, since their inception, walked a fine… Continue Reading

Karl the Infringer: Parody of New Balance Sneaks Up on Lagerfeld

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Patents, Product Configurations, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

A sense of humor and a little lack of respect:  that’s what you need to make a legend survive. -Karl Lagerfeld on his “winning formula” Sometimes there is a news story that neatly weaves a bunch of DuetsBlog posts together like a Bottega Veneta shoe fabric design.  Sometimes that story comes from hard-hitting news authority… Continue Reading

Fair Use of GM’s Corvette Stingray?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Genericide, Goodwill, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

While filling up my gas tank at our local Costco last week I coudn’t resist capturing this photo of pump signage to ask our dear readers a few pointed questions: Is there any doubt that the automobile depicted in the Costco advertisement is a Corvette Stingray? If so, HiConsumption should resolve any lingering questions. How did… Continue Reading

Induction Ceremony

Posted in Patents

On April 30, 2014, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument in the case of Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies.  The question presented and to be decided is incredibly significant for future patent infringement cases: Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant may be held liable for inducing patent infringement… 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

1ST & TEN at the Super Bowl: The Brand You Probably Don’t Know You Know

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Patents, Technology, Television, Trademarks

The NFL is known as a trademark monetizing machine, and this year’s “POT BOWL” is not without its share of trademark stories.   It was recently reported that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks makes six-figures (for charity) from licensing his BEAST MODE trademark.  Both the Broncos and the Seahawks have battled with Texas… Continue Reading

The IP in Twitter’s IPO

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Genericide, Marketing, Patents, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademarks

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Wall Street is aflutter as Thursday marks the latest in social media IPOs – Twitter…and we all remember how well Facebook’s IPO went. Pricing for IPOs involves an assessment of the company’s assets (including its intellectual property portfolio), liabilities, and current and potential revenue.  As many of you savvy marketing folks… Continue Reading

With Great Power Comes Great Responsbility

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts, Patents

Recently, a Seventh Circuit Judge penned an article over at Law360 setting forth her belief that the Federal Circuit should no longer have exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals.  For those of you unfamiliar with our Federal court system, the way it works is that appeals for your federal district court are typically heard by an… 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

iPurge

Posted in Copyrights, Infringement, Patents, Trademarks

Earlier this summer, a movie called “The Purge” came out.  The premise of this relatively disturbing thriller is that for one night a year – a 12 hour period-all crime is legal.  As you can tell from the trailer below, the “legal crime” that first comes to our depraved minds is murder, assault, rape, robbery,… Continue Reading

New Challenges for So-Called “Patent Trolls”

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Infringement, Law Suits, Patents

- Sri Sankaran, Patent Attorney, Winthrop & Weinstine Recent developments in executive, legislative, and judicial branches present new challenges for patent trolls (or less pejoratively “non-practicing entities” or “assertion entities”). The White House recently outlined a series of initiatives to address the impact that patent assertion entities have on the economy.  The administration cited a… Continue Reading

Rapala Billboard Ads Continue to Engage

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Search Engines, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

It’s that time of year again. The fishing opener in Minnesota is upon us this coming Saturday, so Rapala is sporting its new billboard advertisement. Judging from USPTO trademark filings, it looks like the cutesy “Bass Friends Forever“ tagline is intended to adorn clothing items too. You will recall that we have consistently covered various iterations of the Rapala billboard… Continue Reading

Protecting Non-Functional Product Design Features Through The Entire Life Cycle: From Conception to Grave

Posted in Branding, Contracts, Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Patents, USPTO

- Jeffrey Stone, Patent Attorney, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. IP protection for product designs is typically found in a combination of one or more of the following protective mechanisms: 1. Contracts which are typically used with employees and 3rd parties to prevent loss of novelty as well as provide notice of ownership. Contractual protections such… Continue Reading

Body Shaping Manufacturers Butting Heads Over Cami Designs

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Patents

- Jeffrey Stone, Patent Attorney, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. Two previously unrelated topics, Spanx and the Real Housewives television shows, are now connected by a legal dispute that is shaping up to be a real battle of the bulge (or muffin top) with neither party seemingly interested in smoothing things over. Thanks to recent, and ongoing, design patent… Continue Reading

Hey Brand, Shh!: Is De-Branding the Next Hip Design Trend?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Trademarks

A couple months ago, Selfridges, a high-end department store based in London, launched a “No Noise” campaign.  The initiative seems rooted in the company’s history; its original store featured a “Silence Room” to allow shoppers an empty area to relax from the stimulating hustle & bustle of the retail experience.  From the site:  “As we… Continue Reading

7G Wireless: The Next Big Thing?

Posted in Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Patents, Product Configurations, Taste, Technology, Trademarks

- Brent Carlson-Lee In the past six months, I have applied for a design patent and two trademarks – all food related. When I mention this, a common response is: “I wish I were creative or knowledgeable enough to come up with an idea worthy of patenting or trademarking.” My answer is invariably: “You are!”… Continue Reading

Trademark Licensee’s Rights Remain Unsettled When Licensor Files Bankruptcy

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Patents, Trademarks

- Chris Camardello, Bankruptcy Attorney Those who license the right to use another’s brand need to pay more attention to the resulting risks when the brand owner files bankruptcy, given the uncertainty resulting from some recent legal developments.  And those interested in purchasing brands in bankruptcy should sit up straight and pay special attention too…. Continue Reading

Batmobile: The Copyright Rises

Posted in Copyrights, Infringement, Law Suits, Patents, Product Configurations

Over the weekend, I saw an article in the Hollywood Reporter (which incidentally likes to quote our very own Catlan McCurdy, like here and here) discussing the copyright dispute over the 1966 Batmobile.  Warner Brothers and its subsidiary DC Comics sued the owner of Gotham Garage for trademark and copyright infringement of the Batmobile design. … Continue Reading

If only I could be a Lego product tester…

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Famous Marks, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Trademarks

Santa brought me one of my favorite trademarked and patented products:  a LEGO® set! Yes that is Mr. Firefighter dousing the flames on the LEGO® tree while holding a cup of coffee.  The hero of my LEGOland! For a Lego geek like me, there was an intriguing story in the Wall Street Journal last week… Continue Reading