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Tag Archives: Lower Case Letters

This Mac Needs a Knife Too

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Louis Armstrong first performed “Mack the Knife” in 1956, a year later McDonald’s introduced the Big Mac, and then, Bobby Darin’s version of ”Mack the Knife” became a chart-topper in 1959. So, these events were all before my time, but I’m left wondering if there was any connection between them, back in the day, or whether they were an unrelated coincidence… Continue Reading

McDonald’s Trade Dress? State Farm is There.

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

Passing by a roadside billboard recently (below is a miniature version I found in the Minneapolis skyway system), my first thought was, wow, McDonald’s is getting into the juicy lucy business: Until more focus revealed that State Farm Insurance is the one behind the ad. Look familiar? No doubt burgers and car insurance are totally different lines of business and… Continue Reading

Crushing a Perfectly Good Brand Name?

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

Remember how important it is to stay on the right side of the suggestive/descriptive line when it comes to making proper use of a brand name? We have cautioned about the danger of “taking a suggestive name, mark, or tag-line, and using it descriptively in a sentence on labels, packaging, ad copy, or the Internet,” because… Continue Reading

A Trademark Spinning Out of Control?

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

With the upcoming 2012 presidential election, this is the time during our American political cycle where spinning is almost a sport — at least an expected activity. Puns intended, as you’ll see. Over the last several years, I’ve heard my wife speak about “spinning classes” at a local health club (mind you, not at the local political party caucuses) – so, a… 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

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

lower case brands, wall of fame or shame?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Marketing, Trademarks

As promised, some time ago, here is an enormous wall sign from one of the many hallways connected to one of the many shopping areas at The Shoppes at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, showing all these retail brands in simple lower case style. No trademark notice or registration symbols either. . . . Do you suppose the entity responsible… Continue Reading

Webinar: Hot Marketing Topics with Trademark & Legal Implications

Posted in Branding, Genericide, Guest Bloggers, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a ninety-minute webinar with my good friend, frequent and eloquent guest-blogger on DuetsBlog – Aaron Keller of Capsule – complete with some friendly banter on the following: "Hot Marketing Topics with Trademark and Legal Implications." Minnesota Continuing Legal Education has generously provided a link where the webinar can be viewed in its entirety, here. As you’ll… Continue Reading

i am ben

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

The ben of today’s post is not one of the many celebrities having the name, a truncated version of any number of other product and service brands, such as Bengay, Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Franklin, Benihana, or even dear old Uncle Ben. Today we’re talking paint, and this paint brand has at least two things going on here:… Continue Reading

Rapala Taunts a Monster?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Happy Mother’s Day!  So, it’s time again to talk a little fishing billboard branding, I guess. We have enjoyed discussing Rapala billboard ads over the last couple of years, the “attracting cats” billboard, the “More hits than Google” billboard, the “Whudjagiddumon” billboard, and now the “Do you believe in monsters?” billboard. Note the upper case “G”… Continue Reading

Think Harder Concrete Campaign Targets Soft Competition

Posted in Advertising, Domain Names, Marketing

–Dan Kelly, Attorney But for seeing a billboard last week like the banner below, it would never have occurred to me that cement producers really needed to advertise, but the Portland Cement Association has impeccable timing, as it is pothole season in Minnesota, and billboards like this are up all around the pothole-ridden Twin Cities. … Continue Reading

lower case branding & visual identity

Posted in Branding

Just so you know, it about pushed me over the edge to have a blog post title with no capitalization. Not even one letter. In other words, all minuscules, no majuscules. It doesn’t seem right – to me anyway, as a trademark type. Just like the first letter in the first word of a sentence must be a… Continue Reading