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Tag Archives: Genericide Watch

What Are You Thinking, Coke Zero?

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

  The above advertising billboard is plastered all over the Twin Cities at the moment, and it got me thinking, so here I am, once again, writing about Coke Zero, remember this can? Coke obtained a favorable decision from the TTAB early last year, ruling that ZERO is not generic for a soft drink category,… Continue Reading

“Hook and Loop” Meet Chutes and Ladders

Posted in Articles, Branding, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Technology, Trademarks

Nearly everyone in the IP community is talking about the hilarious viral Velcro music video released last week. Hat tip to Patently-O, Martha, and Brett. The “behind the scenes” video is here. We’ve spoken before about nervous trademark types, behind the scenes doing their level best, and taking steps to try to avoid unwanted genericide of… Continue Reading

Are pretzel crisps crumbling into genericness?

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

Marketing types and legal types who review labels, be well advised to choose words used carefully. In other words, if you believe you own rights in Pretzel Crisps as a trademark, it’s not wise to use the number of so-called “Crisps” as the serving size, especially with no trademark notice symbol. Frito-Lay’s successful 2014 generic… Continue Reading

2017 Minnesota State Fair Comes to a Close

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

Well, it’s official, the 2017 Minnesota State Fair is almost in the books now, it came and went, without the longstanding Original Deep Fried Cheese Curds stand (notwithstanding a heroic #savethecurds campaign); it was instead replaced by Big Fat Bacon, shown above. Love the prominent use of the TM on the signage, even if it… Continue Reading

“Google” Still Not (Yet) Generic

Posted in Domain Names, Famous Marks, Genericide, Law Suits, Trademarks, USPTO

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a significant opinion on the topic of genericness, Elliott v. Google, Inc., No. 15-15809. The opinion affirmed a federal district court’s grant of summary judgment that “GOOGLE” trademark registrations (Reg. Nos. 2884502, 2806075) are not subject to cancellation for genericness. Genericness a.k.a. “genericide” occurs when… Continue Reading

Here’s to Calling the Kettle, Brand Too?

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

The teapot read my post from last week and is not only calling the kettle black, but brand too: So, we’ll have to see whether saying it’s so makes it so, after we stir the pot a bit, of course. Like the previous Virginia Brand ham example, the chip packaging above prominently incorporates the word… Continue Reading

When is a Duck a Goose, or a Ham a Brand?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

Every once in a while, the word “brand” appearing on product packaging surprises me, because my earlier understanding of the word preceding it spells generic, not brand. Just like the above. Shopping in Whole Foods this past weekend, the above shown VIRGINIA BRAND designation called out like a neon sign from behind the glass of… Continue Reading

Your Favorite App-Based Ride Service?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Before you answer the question posed in the title of this post, your initial question might be: What is an App-Based Ride Service? The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport is using a handy sign directing passengers on where to go to access their favorite one, does that help? I’m thinking the designated area in the… Continue Reading

A Missed Step in Branding Fitness Trackers?

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

I’ve been wearing one of these little guys on my wrist for almost a year now. Love it. The personal awareness it raises for me in the areas of sleep, diet, and activity, has been profound. Can’t tell you how many times folks have asked, “Is that one of those fit bits?” “Nope,” I sometimes… Continue Reading

Show, Don’t Tell . . . The Preferred Approach

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Technology, Trademarks

FUSE 2015 is off to being yet another amazing, inspiring event for brand strategy and design professionals. The keynote speaker for day one was Eric Quint, Chief Design Officer of 3M, who delivered a very interesting presentation called: “Future Forward: Beyond Design Tourism.” Little did Mr. Quint know that he set the table nicely for… Continue Reading

Samsung Boards Brandverbing Bandwagon

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Samsung appears to be the most recent brand to board the brandverbing bandwagon with its Galaxy Note 4 advertising campaign, asking the critical question: Do You Note? Samsung has federally-registered in the U.S. the trademark GALAXY NOTE for smart phones, mobile phones, and tablet computers — note the absence of a disclaimer of NOTE, meaning… Continue Reading

Googling Doesn’t Break Google Trademark

Posted in Articles, Famous Marks, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademarks

Our friend Professor Eric Goldman, over at his Technology and Marketing Law Blog, reported earlier this week that the Google trademark has survived a genericness attack by a fellow named David Elliot. Here is a link to Mr. Elliot’s complaint filed in Arizona federal court back in May of 2012, and here was Martha’s coverage…. 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

Anatomy of a Trademark Warning Ad

Posted in Advertising, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, USPTO

For those attending the HOW Design Live Conference in San Fransisco, you may have noticed the inside cover of HOW’s Special Issue on Interactive Design and Typography, most likely penned by a nervous trademark type:                       Nervous, I say, because these types of advertisements frequently are designed to help… Continue Reading

Putt-Putt Has No Miniature Trademark Rights

Posted in Branding, Genericide, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademarks

With all the golf coverage of the Masters Tournament and the coveted Green Jacket, this past weekend, it seemed particularly appropriate to report on a recent trademark case involving the miniature variety of golf: Putt-Putt, LLC v. 416 Constant Friendship, LLC (April 5, 2013 D. Md.). So, I learned two things this weekend, Adam Scott… Continue Reading

BAND-AID, TM Death by a Thousand Cuts?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

If you were a Band-Aid brand adhesive bandage, and you were cut, would you protect yourself? Brent, sorry I couldn’t help myself, I’m still enjoying your Louis Vuitton waffle-maker post. With that intro, let’s turn another page to the Genericide Watch category, here at DuetsBlog: In focusing attention on the first item in the list shown above, to the… Continue Reading

The Soft Underbelly of Turtles Candy: Is the U.S. Trademark at Risk of Genericide?

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

It has been a while since we’ve added another page to the Genericide Watch, so a little trip to Candyland, the Twin Cities’ local iconic and old fashioned candy shop, didn’t disappoint: I suppose that Candyland’s “Mock Turtles” sign is meant to communicate that it isn’t actually selling authentic Turtles brand pecan/caramel/chocolate candy from DeMet’s Candy Company. But, what does that imply about the Cashew Turtles, Pecan… Continue Reading

When is a ballpark frank a ball park BRAND frank?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

Do you suppose the author of this article knows that Ball Park is a federally-registered brand name and trademark, not an unprotectable generic term synonymous with hot dogs and frankfurters? The growing prevalence of lower-case brand styles and visual identity has complicated the answer to this question a bit, I suspect. Nevertheless, we should probably chalk up another example for… Continue Reading

Clap Your Hands if You Believe in Fairies (Food)

Posted in Trademarks

–Catlan McCurdy, Attorney I celebrated Christmas in Wisconsin for the first time this year, and in addition to trying new beers and gallivanting around Milwaukee, I was introduced to a delicacy I had yet to encounter in life: fairy food. Fairy food, for those non-believers, is a chocolate candy, with a sponge-like center made from… Continue Reading

When You Verb Your Trademark, You Know What?

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

Well, perhaps more than just about every trademark use guideline in existence, including those offered by the International Trademark Association (INTA) ("NEVER use a trademark as a verb"):  (television commercial link on Youtube here) Maybe because you have been following the trademark verbing dialogue here on DuetsBlog and you have learned all about Managing The Legal Risk of… Continue Reading

Onesie of a Kind?

Posted in Genericide, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I have been a parent for a little less than a year now, and I made a shocking discovery this week:  ONESIES is a registered trademark.  I found this out from a news article that Gerber Childrenswear is suing California Christiania Republic (“CCR”) for infringement of of the ONESIES mark for CCR’s “one*Z”… Continue Reading

This is How You Verb Your Brand

Posted in Branding

Recovering from a nasty bout of walking pneumonia over the last couple of days, I probably spent more time (at least, mindless time) in front of the television than the last several months combined. One thing that caught my eye during a brief and surprisingly mindful moment while I suffered was another brand to recently jump on the brandverb… Continue Reading

The Brand Name Auction: Bargain or Bust?

Posted in Guest Bloggers

Laurel Sutton, Principal of Catchword Brand Name Development Back in December, Racebrook Marketing Concepts held a Brand Name Auction during which "150 Timeless Trademarks and Domains" were offered for sale. But the auction was more bust than boom: only about 50 people showed up, with a few more bidders participating online. The prices, too, were… Continue Reading