DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Tag Archives: Color Trademarks

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

But, What About the Legal Implications of Color Selections in Brand Strategy?

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Dilution, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

Yesterday Thomson Dawson of the Blake Project published an interesting blog post on the Branding Strategy Insider called “The Importance of Color in Branding Strategy.” It is an important read for both marketing types and trademark types, both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say. How color impacts and induces certain responses in the… Continue Reading

When Less is More: Bits and Pieces of Brands

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, Truncation

There is no point to spending money on advertising if those experiencing it don’t understand who’s communicating about what brand, right? So, as drivers quickly pass by this attractive roadside billboard sign, how do they know who put out the ad? There must be a brand signature, right? Certainly there can be no signature or source-identifying quality in the… 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

Microsoft’s Brand Refresh Cements Color Trend?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Over the years, we have documented a number of branding trends, from blue ovals, to the 3D trend, to our AlphaWatch. With its recently announced new logo, Microsoft appears to be bucking all trends. Without further ado, here it is: Did you catch that? I know. Blink and you miss it. Look, I will freely confess my bias: I… Continue Reading

Successful Evolution of an Unlicensed Business Model?

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, Truncation

Brand owners and managers may wonder, is a trademark license required when another’s unregistered color scheme is used? Depending on the facts, it may very well be. About four years ago brand owners scored a major victory in LSU v. Smack Apparel, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to the existence and successful enforcement of… Continue Reading

Seeing Orange in the Construction Space

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

Little did I know when I was writing What’s in an Orange-Colored Home Improvement Business Name? — that two days later, orange-color marks would be asserted in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in Minnesota federal district court over competing building construction services: Cedar Valley Exteriors, Inc. v. JNS Builders LLC. A copy of the complaint… Continue Reading

B-Dubs’ Yellow Protected

Posted in Agreements, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks

–Susan Perera, Attorney Last week Jim Hammerand at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported on locally based Buffalo Wild Wings (also known as “B-Dubs”) ending its lawsuit against Buffalo Wings & Rings, the suit had included claims of trademark and trade dress infringement. It appears that under the terms of the settlement agreement, Buffalo Wings… Continue Reading

The Great Chocolate War

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks

—Jason Voiovich, author of the “State of the Brand” & Vice-President of Marketing for AbleNet, Inc. It sounds like something I’d get wrong in a game of "Trivial Pursuit". Name the belated military attempt of King William I to restore his position as monarch over the Belgians. I might have guessed the delicious-sounding "great chocolate… Continue Reading

Color Marks & One Company’s Long Haul to Color Mark Protection

Posted in Famous Marks, Non-Traditional Trademarks

–Susan Perera, Attorney I was surprised to see the six registrations pictured above for color marks come out of the USPTO this month.   And I bet that most of you can identify the owner of these marks without even checking the registrations. (If you must, registrations: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Although… Continue Reading

When the Color Black Functions, But Not as a Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, TTAB

Now that kids are back to school and summer is coming to a close, this billboard advertisement has disappeared from I-94 just outside of downtown Minneapolis. Before it vanished from the roadside, however, I thought to capture it to tell a little trademark tale here, one from years past, but one that remains relevant, important, and applicable to trademark claims involving the color black.  As… Continue Reading

“Sit Down Michigan State,” A Collegiate Trade Dress Tale

Posted in Branding, Trademarks

            That’s what I called out to this guy at the College World Series in Omaha last week, after "down in front," received no reaction. That’s right, "Sit Down Michigan State," obtained the desired result, but not without a somewhat funny look back. When he turned around I realized the funny look wasn’t simply a reaction to interrupting his… Continue Reading

Uniform Look-For Advertising?

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

Spring is in the air (at least here in Minneapolis) and so are some fresh examples of look-for advertising that actually avoid the use of those straitjacket words. As we have discussed before, look-for advertising is a powerful tool in developing non-traditional trademark rights in subject matter such as single color marks. Dan discussed it here, in… 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

Rolling Out the Red Carpet — More On Branding Athletic Turf & Trademarks

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

In December, you may recall, I blogged about Boise State’s federal registration of the color blue as applied to athletic field turf, known to many as Smurf Turf. At the time, I wondered out loud whether Boise State’s success in the U.S. Trademark Office might lead others to follow along this trademark path? Hat tip again to Brad… Continue Reading

Surface Level Branding Runs Deep on This Athletic Field

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

To sports fans of this university, December has been a big month because their beloved team finished the 2009 regular football season undefeated (13-0) once again, winning yet another post-season BCS bowl game bid. Next month will be even bigger news if their WAC team happens to defeat TCU in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. To trademark types, however, the biggest news of… Continue Reading

More On The Fordless Blue Oval

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

What do you think, is Overstock.com selling bling with the Fordless blue oval logo? As you may recall from my post back in September, Ford Motor Company is attempting to register the below shown non-verbal logo as a trademark for a variety of goods in Int’l Class 12: And, as you may recall from Dan’s I See Blue Ovals post… Continue Reading

Does Your Eye Spy A Canary?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

A couple of weeks ago I posted an Accountemps billboard advertisement that prominently features what appears to be a 3M Post-it brand removable adhesive note, and I asked whether it constitutes fair use, and whether 3M’s permission is necessary to run the advertisement, since 3M owns a federal trademark registration for the color "canary yellow" in connection with these notes…. Continue Reading

Fair Use of 3M’s Post-It Note?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

This billboard ad has appeared in various locations around the Twin Cities for some time now.  Each time I saw it, I wondered whether it would be the last, given how vigilant 3M is in protecting its various trademarks and other intellectual property. This time, I had a camera handy to capture it. Now it’s time for some questions. Is there any… Continue Reading