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Tag Archives: Acquired Distinctiveness

Bottega Veneta Unties a Trademark Knot

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

It is easy for some to get all tied up in knots at the USPTO when facing challenging grounds for refusal against federal registration of a claimed non-traditional trademark. Not Bottega Veneta. Last week the Swiss-owned fashion house and luxury brand was able to persuade the USPTO to approve for publication the three dimensional knot… Continue Reading

Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Coca-Cola just announced it is introducing Coke Zero in India, which will make it the sub-brand’s 149th market in the world, a truly remarkable reach. As the popular Coke Zero brand is approaching its tenth anniversary in the U.S., it seems like a good time to explore Coca-Cola’s trademark position in COKE ZERO and COCA-COLA… 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

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

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, False Advertising, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

                A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving as a trademark for any kind of sandwich. This is true despite Subway’s claimed… Continue Reading

There’s always money in the banana-based intellectual property rights…

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Copyrights, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

In its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the Rolling Stone ranked the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico at number 13 – not bad for the band’s very first album.  The album had a simple cover, some would say iconic, cover:   And get this: the banana peel was actually a… 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

Bordering on Logos (Again)

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Technology, Trademarks

By now, you must know, I’m a sucker for billboard ads. I really love to notice, study, comment on, and critique them, especially when there is an opportunity for some trademark storytelling. This one for the Hampton Inn & Suites brand does not disappoint. It appears that an IP holding company for Hilton, HLT Domestic… Continue Reading

Louboutin & Lessons Learned

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Keyword Ads, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Search Engines, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

As promised, here are some further thoughts, lessons learned, and remaining unanswered questions concerning the recent and long-anticipated decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc. Lessons Learned for Marketing Types: Single color trademarks may be owned, registered, and protected when they are distinctive and… Continue Reading

Grab Some Buds and Pop a Red Top (or Tab)?

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Given how much we know you enjoy the subject of non-traditional trademark protection, here is a recent one from Anheuser-Busch: The description of the mark reads: “The mark consists of a design feature of product packaging, namely, a red colored tab on a can, which features a crown design that is transparent. The dotted lines… Continue Reading

Dilbert Advocates Trademark Shape Depletion Theory

Posted in Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Trademarks

Remember the days when the color depletion theory justified courts and the U.S. Trademark Office in denying any federal trademark protection for single colors, per se? This was the status of the trademark law for many decades, at least until the Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit disagreed in 1985 (In re Owens Corning Fiberglas… Continue Reading

Samuel Adams Better Beer Glass . . . No Trademark For You?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

If the "Soup Nazi" were employed as a Trademark Examining Attorney at the USPTO, he might be heard crabbing at the makers of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, were they to attempt to register or claim as a trademark the shape of their "new" beer glass from 2007, now almost four years old: "No trademark for you!" ("Best… Continue Reading

Shot in the Dark – the PPK Design Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Counterfeits, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Television, Trademarks, TTAB

—Karen Brennan, Winthrop & Weinstine I found Fig. 1 (from what I am sure was a very valuable patent, although I could not locate it) to be very fitting for this post.  After three and half years, four Office Actions, a Petition to the Director and finally an appeal, our client’s product configuration mark for the… Continue Reading

Tripartite Branding Trouble: The Name is Suk?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Goodwill, Marketing, Trademarks

"The name is Bond, James Bond," said Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig, among others, countless times in film, as part of the famous 007 series. An ideal name for a secret agent. A name and line not easily forgotten, as brands and taglines should be. And then, there are some names you’d like to forget, but can’t, especially if… Continue Reading

Wanted: Experienced Trademark Attorney?

Posted in Trademarks

A couple of days ago, I promised to try and make the case for why the State of Minnesota ought to hire an experienced trademark attorney. OK, so I’m a day late, but you can decide if I’m a dollar short too. By the way, it was the federal trademark registration record for the below mark… Continue Reading

It’s Official, Duets Marks Federally Registered

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

Lest you missed the prior (absence of) fanfare from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we thought you should know (now you have not only constructive notice, but actual notice and knowledge of these valuable and important rights) that we are the proud parents (for those of you who personalize your company’s or client’s trademarks as… Continue Reading

Color Trademarks, Red Knobs, and Secondary Meaning

Posted in Branding, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

More on single color trademarks today. Eighteen months ago, Wolf Appliance obtained a federal trademark registration in connection with "a red knob or knobs" of "domestic gas and electric cooking appliances, namely, ranges, dual-fuel ranges, cooktops, and barbeque grills." Wolf put its registration to the test a couple of weeks ago in a federal trademark infringement… Continue Reading

Another Marketing Pitfall: How to Crush a Smashing Brand Name & Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

Last week we blogged about the dreaded D-Word and how some marketers unwittingly undermine trademark rights in a brand name by explaining that the name "describes" or is "descriptive" of the goods or services sold under the brand. We also have blogged about the danger of "taking a suggestive name, mark, or tag-line, and using it descriptively in… Continue Reading