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Category Archives: Product Configurations

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Blue 42. Set. Trademark! I mean, Hike!

Posted in Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sound, Squirrelly Thoughts, Television, Touch, Trademarks, USPTO

Can you feel it? All around the country, fields are being groomed, stenciled, and painted. Tonight, the college football season begins with Georgia State taking on Abilene Christian in what could be a preview of one of hundreds of games that most of us don’t really care about. But like so many fans around the country, I’ll… 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

Bar Fights: Better to Be Kind or to Have Mojo?

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Trademarks

I know what you’re thinking. It’s about time that we Duets Bloggers shared our war stories on our past lives in seedy bars, taking on any unfortunate soul who might say the wrong thing at the wrong time, or just generally make us mad. After all, what else would you expect from a bunch of… Continue Reading

Owning a New Look Through Advertisements

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on the importance of “look for” advertising when a brand owner wants to legally own a non-traditional trademark like a single color, or perhaps the shape of a product, or even product packaging or containers, among other potential non-traditional marks. So, when I discovered three billboard ads within… 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

Eat More Walleye?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

It’s that time of year again, the Minnesota fishing opener is upon us this weekend, so Rapala is sporting its new billboard in the Twin Cities metro area, as shown below: “Winner, winner, walleye dinner,” is an obvious play on the far more frequently uttered “winner, winner, chicken dinner” positive outcome phrase, that apparently derives from early casino… Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

Driving Differentiation

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

- Jason Voiovich, Director of Corporate Marketing, Logic PD Co-Branding outside of the footwear industry helps create competitive space with Nike My 15-year old son is learning to drive. I guess I was more terrified by the idea of him driving than the actual practice thus far, but then again, we haven’t yet strayed from… 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

These Colors Don’t Run, They Identify Sources.

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Like most holidays, the Fourth of July is inextricably linked with childhood memories, the smell of amazing food, time with family, and yes, even brands and trademarks. While logos and brand names for marshmallows and hot dogs are seared into my memory, the most powerful symbol of this particular holiday (and maybe the most recognized image, and source-identifier in our entire… Continue Reading

Oh Ketchup…I’m Just Not That Into You: Understanding the Value of Fluid Trademarks

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

- Jason Voiovich, Director of Corporate Marketing, Logic PD Don’t get me wrong.  My two children elevate their weekly Heinz intake regimen to near Olympian discipline.  But me?  I enjoy a good dollop with pound of fries at the Lion’s Tap, but I haven’t given America’s second-favorite red condiment a second thought since John Kerry… 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

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

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

Design Patent Flexes Muscles

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Patents, Product Configurations, Technology, USPTO

- Jeffrey Stone and Brett Klein, Patent Attorneys, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. The design patent is perceived by many designers and patent attorneys as being a relatively weak and impotent patent protection mechanism as compared with the better-respected utility patent. It is typically thought that design patents are only useful in protecting against exact copies…. Continue Reading

Hershey Bar Configuration Mark Allowed

Posted in Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Late last month, Hershey Chocolate and Confectionary Corporation won an appeal at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to register the following as a configuration mark for use in connection with candy and chocolate: The decision (opinion here) is straightforward and not precedential.  It is somewhat interesting in that Hershey had already… Continue Reading

3D Printing Concerns

Posted in Infringement, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations

–Susan Perera, Attorney The tech industry has opined on the conflict between 3D printing and intellectual property for a few years, and the debate may be heating up. 3D printers allow a user to create and “print” a 3-dimensional object through the use of a digital file and a “printer” that dispenses material in successive… Continue Reading