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Category Archives: Product Packaging

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How Many Hours of Energy Do You Need to Protect a Brand?

Posted in Branding, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

- Draeke Weseman, Weseman Law Office, PLLC The reason Bhargava has won is that he plays tough. Sitting in that cemetery are a dozen or so neon copycats with names like 6-Hour Power and 8-Hour Energy. Each has been sued, bullied or kicked off the market by Living Essentials’ lawyers. In front of each are… Continue Reading

Rubber Hits the Road: Rust-Oleum Trademark Case Leaves TTAB for Minnesota Federal Court

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Civil Procedure, Infringement, Law Suits, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Lately we’ve been discussing more and more the difference between the right to register a trademark and the right to use a trademark. In many trademark disputes the perfect forum for an amicable resolution is the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the USPTO. The TTAB can be a cost effective forum for parties to achieve… Continue Reading

Gia Nother Wine Bottle Trademark

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Infringement, International, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Combing through the USPTO’s recently approved non-verbal trademark registrations revealed this little gem with Francis Ford Coppola’s name on the label (but not claimed as part of the mark): Here is the USPTO drawing on the left, showing the claimed mark without any words or colors: So, besides claiming a broader scope of rights in… 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

Pretzel Crisps Genericness Decision Appealed

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB

A couple of months ago you will recall that the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held ”Pretzel Crisps” generic for pretzel crackers. Here are links to our previous coverage of the case: Packaging that Kills (a Trademark) Crisps = Chips = Crackers? A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Tie Goes to the Brand or Generic Name?… Continue Reading

Why “Hours of Energy Now”?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Tim, after shopping at Costco over the weekend, the reason why the 5-Hour Energy folks seem so interested in owning “Hours of Energy Now” became more apparent: Does Costco’s Kirkland brand energy drink packaging specimen demonstrate trademark use of the phrase “Hours of Energy Now!” better than those provided by the 5-Hour Energy folks?  

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

Trying Something New

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging

- Susan Hopp, Partner, 45 Degrees/Minneapolis I recently stopped at Shuang Hur Oriental Market (my go-to store for Vietnamese coffee) on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, and came away with an interesting branding experience. As I passed the fresh meat counter with pork hooves and other un-named animal parts, I was reminded that I’m not their… Continue Reading

Packaging that Kills (a Trademark)

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, TTAB

Killer packaging is a good thing. It can increase sales and establish a stronger emotional bond between the consumer and the product brand. The current packaging of Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps pretzel crackers might qualify as killer, but a long-anticipated and important trademark decision issued last Friday relied on an earlier version of the product packaging… 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

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

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

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

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

Jell-O Revival From What?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Earlier this month E.J. Schultz of AdAge wrote about Kraft’s plan to revive Jell-O: “For Kraft Foods Group, J-E-L-L-O has spelled disappointment of late. The brand — once known for fun advertising starring the likes of Jack Benny and Bill Cosby — has struggled to find its identity in recent years, while marketing reductions have… 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

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