DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Tag Archives: Marketers

Brilliant Trademark Advice or Baloney?

Posted in Almost Advice, Genericide, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

A few bits of trademark advice recently passed across my screen from The Marketing Blog: Turning Entrepreneurs Into Marketers — advice that I believe deserves some friendly comment and critique, leaving you to decide whether any of it rises to the level of brilliant trademark advice or sinks to the level of trademark baloney: “Trademark as you go. Don’t wait… 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

The Galleria of Retail Jewelry Store Taglines

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Goodwill, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

 On this Valentine’s Day, after enduring weeks of the same endless running of national retail jewelry chain advertising, leading up to this annually celebrated day of love and affection, I thought it might be fitting to try a few retail jewelry store taglines on for size and examine — at least from a trademark perspective — their protect-ability and likely placement on 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

When Holes in Markets Can’t Be Filled

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Product Packaging

 —David Mitchel, Vice President of Norton Mitchel Marketing Successful brands often find holes in markets that need to be filled. There are numerous examples to illustrate this point. Microsoft found a great niche in the computer software market and their success made Bill Gates one of the richest individuals on the planet. Apple’s iPod was… Continue Reading

Seth Godin Enlightens Linchpins in Minneapolis

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Trademarks

  Marketing maven, strategist, visionary, and best-selling author Seth Godin spent a day at Pantages Theater in Minneapolis last Thursday, providing much food for thought among not only the attending crowd, but those following the dialogue on Twitter too. The sushi and cupcake lunch Seth selected, and that we enjoyed, on the roof of neighboring Seven, was pretty nice too…. Continue Reading

A Longer, Unnecessary Name for the Volvo Brand?

Posted in Advertising, Audio, Branding, Fair Use, Marketing, Trademarks

Someone who is in the business of repairing Volvo brand automobiles has the right to say so, in advertising, and elsewhere — without obtaining advance permission from Volvo — provided consumers aren’t likely to understand the advertisement or communication to mean that the repair services and/or the business providing them is authorized by, affiliated with, or otherwise connected to… Continue Reading

Going Brand-Less: To Be or Not to Be a Brand?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Goodwill, Marketing, Trademarks

Apparently, if you own one of the diminishing number of retail shops that specializes in tobacco products, it doesn’t really matter if you have a brand or a distinctive name, or not. Tell them what you sell, tell them you’re open for business, and they will come, I guess. This image got me thinking about how often this marketing strategy — if… Continue Reading

Marketing Nirvana for Twitter?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

Some marketing types have said that having your brand name verbed by others is heavenly, well beyond flattery, kind of like a marketer’s Shangri-la. As you may recall, we have explored the legal implications of the verbing of brands here, here, here, and here. What about having your brand name used as a reference point in another’s advertising? If you’re the… Continue Reading

Grilling Some Barbecue Brands

Posted in Branding, Loss of Rights, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney As evidenced on these very pages over the past year or so, there does seem to be a general divide between legal types and marketing types about the desirability of descriptive trademarks and brands.  This is understandable.  There is a direct tension here.  More descriptive marks and brands carry more information to… Continue Reading

Why Marketers Don’t Give Two Hoots about Trademark Concerns‚Ñ¢

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

by James Mahoney, Creative director/writer at Razor’s Edge Communications Okay, so I’ve read a lot of whining and agita about how marketers continually drive trademark attorneys to distraction with un-trademarkable names. And how advertisers drive those same attorneys to that same distraction with potential trademark infringements. It’s time to let you in on a dirty… Continue Reading

Happy Birthday Duey!

Posted in Guest Bloggers

DuetsBlog celebrated its first birthday today, so that means Duey the squirrel is one year old. He has made a lot of friends over the past year (as have we), and he has come a long way (as have we) despite his exhaustion hording nuts (we haven’t done any of that) for the long cold winter… Continue Reading

What a Crock, Pot That Is . . .

Posted in Branding, Genericide, Infringement, Keyword Ads, Law Suits, Marketing, Search Engines, Trademarks

We’re not talking the foamed footwear Crocs® that Randall Hull wrote about in his What a Croc! post from a couple of weeks ago. Instead, we’re talking slow cookers — on this snow-capped Valentine’s Day in the Twin Cities. Every once in a while a stroll down the grocery store aisle leaves me surprised when… Continue Reading

The D-Word: What Ever You Do, Don’t “Describe” Your Brand!

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

Frequently brand owners find themselves in the position of wanting or needing to explain the thinking behind their name, mark, and/or brand. Sometimes the explanations appear publicly on product packaging, websites, catalogs, brochures, advertising, and frequently in press releases, or perhaps in statements to reporters, especially when trademark litigation concerning the brand is involved. Such explanations about the brand’s… Continue Reading

Exploring Alternative Spellings

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I recently came across a catalog for a company that sells “modular floorcovering” — probably better known as “carpet squares.”  (They actually sell more than squares, but I digress.)  The brand?  FLOR.  FLOR?  Cue kneejerk trademark attorney reaction:  “FLOR?  Are you kidding me?  I bet they had a heckuva time getting that… Continue Reading

Getting Familiar With the Basics: A Planning Primer

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

It’s the last quarter of the year, and if you haven’t done your planning for 2010, I’ve got two things to say to you: 1) you’re late (you undoubtedly know that), and 2) you’re not alone. But whether you’re in the middle of developing your 2010 plans, directing planning input from multiple sources, or reviewing… Continue Reading

Let’s Play “Truth or Consequences”: The New FTC Guides for Endorsements & Testimonials Bring Truth a Little Bit Closer

Posted in Guest Bloggers

We all would agree that “As Seen on TV” is one of the great brands of all time. The brilliant marketeers behind it recognized the extraordinary power of television – people believe as true what they see on TV. Why that is I’m sure has been the subject of enumerable studies; after all it defines who… Continue Reading

Assembly-Line Sports Marketing

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Contracts, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

In just 96 hours, John Sullivan could be hawking your products. That’s right, John Sullivan. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. No muss, no legal fuss.  Wait a minute. Who’s John Sullivan? Well, for those living under a rock, he’s the first-year starter at center for the Minnesota Vikings, and a California company named Brand Affinity Technologies has figured out how to… Continue Reading

Describe Different

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Search Engines, Trademarks

"What am I?" Every invention begs this essential question of identity. The answer is found in the product’s descriptor. A descriptor defines a thing, categorizing it, framing it, positioning it and signaling its intended future. A product that doesn’t claim to break new ground adopts its category’s standard convention. For example, a new, run-of-the-mill digital… 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

Affiliate Marketing

Posted in Advertising, Domain Names, Food, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

Trademark Infringement is a sticky subject online. Our first blog talked about Twitter and trademark infringement and today I want to address trademark infringement in relation to affiliate marketing.  Affiliate Marketing is a process that rewards a blog or website for every customer that is brought to the company (the affiliate) that blog or website… Continue Reading