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Category Archives: SoapBox

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The C-word and IP Rights

Posted in Almost Advice, Copyrights, Counterfeits, International, Loss of Rights, Patents, SoapBox, Trademarks

No, not that c-word. The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights involves a plethora of c-words:  copying, counterfeit, copyright, cease-and-desist, CIPO (the Canadian IP Office).   But the one I am referring to today is China. As the world becomes more interconnected and the global economic impact of China has significantly increased, intellectual property… Continue Reading

Trademark Disparagement Kills the R-Word

Posted in Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

My father-daughter time was wonderful in London when the news hit about the USPTO ordering cancellation of the six ”Washington Redskins” trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans. Thanks for your patience in waiting for my perspective on the subject — you know I’m thrilled if you know me well, if you know of my involvement in the… Continue Reading

(Just) the Right to Register a Trademark

Posted in Articles, Branding, Civil Procedure, Infringement, Law Suits, SoapBox, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Every so often there is a moment when trademark types, marketing types and brand owners need to pay close attention to where the law could be headed. Today, I’m sounding the alarm. If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to follow the advice it recently sought and received from the U.S. Solicitor General (SG) of the Department of Justice, those of… Continue Reading

Can We Sue The Dew?

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Marketing, SoapBox

Be forewarned.  What you are about to read could very easily be characterized as a rant. Earlier this week, I was driving home from work when I heard a radio commercial for Mountain Dew Kickstart.  Similar to the above visual advertisement, the radio spot touted the perfect combination of “dew, juice, and electrolytes.”  And, with a substantially… Continue Reading

What A Daughter Learned From Her Dad About Working in a “Mad Men” World

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Squirrelly Thoughts

Today is Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which I thought was a lost day but apparently has been re-branded to the more gender-neutral “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”  Upon discovering that I happened to select this day for one of my blogposts during the year my dad retires, this post seemed… Continue Reading

Banksy, I Thought We Were Friends

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

I have blogged before about one of my favorite graffiti artists, Banksy. Recently there has been some buzz in the ad world about another provocative work attributed to him. It involves a well-known bottle and trademark that Steve has been posting about frequently over the past several weeks. Normally I would post an image of it here, but… Continue Reading

NY ♥ TM

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Idea Protection, Infringement, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Last week I stopped at a local wine and beer store to pick up a bottle of wine to bring to a friend’s dinner party (but also couldn’t resist purchasing a 4-pack of Surly’s Bitter Brewer. I had never seen it before, but highly recommend it). As I walked back to my car I noticed a pile of… Continue Reading

Uncomfortable Medical Advertisements

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, SoapBox

The colonoscopy has been the butt of jokes among medical procedures for a long time, but it is actually no laughing matter, as the Minnesota Department of Health’s Sage Scopes graphic billboard campaign reveals: Perhaps the thinking behind the uncomfortable spectacle ads is to put aside embarrassment of the topic with an in-your-face campaign designed to shock Minnesotans… Continue Reading

The Road Rules

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademarks

I’m a car aficionado, but in my opinion and without mincing words, car commercials are boring.  With few exceptions like the Young Vader ad from VW from the Super Bowl a few years ago, car commercials are stale and, more than any other genre, lack what I consider to be the “umami” of ads –… Continue Reading

Copyright Protection for Clothing Designs Unlikely to Pass in 2013

Posted in Copyrights, SoapBox

–Catlan McCurdy, Attorney Copycat dress from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (left) and Alexander McQueen dress (right) Warner Brothers certainly could have afforded to buy an authentic Alexander McQueen rather than copying. As the year draws to an end and newly elected members of Congress celebrate over mimosas this morning, I thought we’d check… Continue Reading

What Drives eCommerce? The Answers May Surprise You

Posted in Domain Names, Marketing, SoapBox, Social Networking

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A couple of weeks ago, Forrester Research issued a report called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012.”  The report has a great deal of interesting information, two pieces of which underscore points I have hammered here for a while.  First, the report notes that “[d]irect traffic is critical to sales:”… Continue Reading

Where Did Spam Get Its Name?

Posted in SoapBox, Squirrelly Thoughts

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I’m speaking of the e-mail variety of spam.  I had occasion recently to ask some tech-savvy folks if they knew the origin of the word “spam” as applied to voluminous, unwanted e-mail.  Most did not. I am aware that a few stories have been floated on the etymology of spam as applied… Continue Reading

Does the Trademark Office Need a Trademark Attorney?

Posted in Counterfeits, Infringement, SoapBox, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A few times each year, clients will call or write and inquire about some official-looking correspondence they’ve received about a trademark registration or application.  That happened this week, and here’s the top portion of the official-looking correspondence (redacted): You can see the full page here.  If you read the fine print, this… Continue Reading

Redefining a Trademark Bully?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, False Advertising, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink discussing the trademark bullying topic, going all the way back to my original blog post from 2010: ”The Mark of a Real Trademark Bully.” Within the last several days, there has been quite a bit of online media coverage about Trademarkia’s new features that tout an ability to “Find… Continue Reading

The World is Full of Scam Artists

Posted in Counterfeits, Infringement, SoapBox

–Dan Kelly, Attorney On a regular basis, we receive inquiries from clients about IP-related solicitations that they receive from third parties relating to things like renewing trademark registrations and domain names.  Typical solicitations are one-pagers with a patina of legitimacy, referencing a particular IP asset, the owner, then usually ending with the punch line of requesting… Continue Reading

“Powerful” Rebranding at International Trademark Association?

Posted in Branding, Marketing, SoapBox, Social Networking, Squirrelly Thoughts

–Dan Kelly, Attorney The International Trademark Association, known as INTA, unveiled a new website yesterday with some new branding and features.  (Presser here, INTA Bulletin announcement here.)  I like the overall design of the website itself.  If you ignore the flipping blocks (which can be difficult), the site has a fairly clean and simple appearance. … Continue Reading

A Study On Omitted-Letter Domain Name Typos

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Loss of Rights, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney In the past on these pages, I have been hard on Apple Inc. for apparent missteps in securing trademark rights to some of its more well-known products (iPhone, iPad).  Last week, Apple landed a victory on the domain name front, winning a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure (“UDRP”) decision for the… Continue Reading

J.D. Waffler: The Art of Taking a Position

Posted in SoapBox, Trademarks

Would it surprise you to learn that not all trademark types are created equal? I didn’t think so. Like any profession, some of the professionals are better and more gifted than others. A few are much better. And, if bell curves have any application here, a few are much worse too. In the inaugural post for DuetsBlog,… Continue Reading