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Tag Archives: Nominative Fair Use

Making Fair Use of the Super Bowl Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune continued the growing drum beat of understandable excitement for Super Bowl LII, as it steadily approaches U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The article also plays the typical NFL-enabling drum beat of caution against local businesses that might see fit to fairly and truthfully reference the Super Bowl in some… Continue Reading

Nominative Fair Use of Ride-Share Logos?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademarks

Earlier this year, we contemplated a suitable, accurate, and efficient generic name for the service category created by the highly-disruptive Uber brand: App-Based Ride Service. A visit to Chicago this past weekend, left me thinking that Ride-Share Service or Ride Sharing are suitable alternatives, that appear to be gaining some traction, as seen here: The… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Weighs in on Nominative Fair Use

Posted in Fair Use

The federal courts of appeals have split as to how to apply the doctrine of nominative fair use in trademark infringement cases. Last week, the Second Circuit endorsed the nominative fair use factors used by the Ninth and Third Circuits. At the same time, however, the court rejected the manner in which the Ninth and… Continue Reading

iPhone 6, Can You Say Nominative Fair Use?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Marketing, Technology, Trademarks

We cover a lot of topics related to nominative fair use of trademarks, see here, here, and here for some of those discussions. Does the example below on product packaging from J. Crew qualify for fair use of the iPhone 6 mark? The International Trademark Association would say so: “In general, the following uses are… Continue Reading

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Infringement.

Posted in Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Infringement, Social Media, Trademarks

We’re not talking pizza, we’re talking burgers. Not just any burgers, either, we’re talking In-N-Out burgers. As any California transplant will tell you, no other burger from any other restaurant comes close. In-N-Out has more than just burgers; it also has French fries, shakes, and drinks. They also have a drive-thru if you don’t want… Continue Reading

The NFL’s Super Bowl Trademark Nonsense

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Marketing, SoapBox, Television, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before: Insuring a Great Super Bowl Trademark Fight Fair Use of Super Bowl Trademark? Super (Bowl) Sunday, Ads Coming Soon Advertisers — fearful of NFL legal action… Continue Reading

IKEA översittare: Bully or Baloney?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new IKEA översittare is getting a lot of attention on the internet, and… Continue Reading

Fair Use of GM’s Corvette Stingray?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Genericide, Goodwill, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

While filling up my gas tank at our local Costco last week I coudn’t resist capturing this photo of pump signage to ask our dear readers a few pointed questions: Is there any doubt that the automobile depicted in the Costco advertisement is a Corvette Stingray? If so, HiConsumption should resolve any lingering questions. How did… Continue Reading

Another Nominative Fair Use Example?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademarks

Twitter seems to be going strong, despite early questions about whether it would ever shed the notion of being a waste of time, as evidenced by this currently running billboard ad: To the extent this billboard looks familiar (admittedly a more diminutive glass here), you might recall my questions about it three years ago: Marketing Nirvana… 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

Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Ad

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, False Advertising, Food, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

Absorbing all the television commercials in between football action on the field can be as much fun on Super Bowl Sunday as the actual game itself, at least for trademark and marketing types, especially when your favorite team isn’t even on the field. One of my personal favorites from this past weekend’s Super Bowl XLVI was the… Continue Reading

Insuring a Great Super Bowl Trademark Fight

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

So, tomorrow is the big day, the big game, or whatever else other intimidated advertisers might call it. I just want to find the best deal on a flat screen television today! But, more to Mike Masnick’s point on Techdirt about the NFL’s reputation as a “trademark bully,” and his challenge to advertisers — “It’s the Super Bowl…. Continue Reading

Parking Lot Lures & Twins Brand Bait?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Guys and gals on the street waiving orange flags aren’t the only parking lot lures in Twins Territory: We’ve talked before about how some of those doing business or advertising in close proximity to Minneapolis’ brand new Target Field — home to the Minnesota Twins — appear to see advantage in using the Twins name (and now logo, and/or trade… Continue Reading

The Meaning of “Readily Identified” in Trademark Nominative Fair Use

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

We’ve talked a lot about the nominative fair use of trademarks. Remember the Cars.com billboard that used the Minnesota Twins name as brand bait? We had some discussion in the comments, where I said this about the Cars.com ad: Although the billboard doesn’t use the Twins script or logo, I still believe the stronger argument… Continue Reading

Fair Logo, Fair Use & Fair Politics? The Minnesota State Fair’s Trademark-on-a-Stick

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

The newest fare at the Minnesota State Fair is not Camel-on-a-Stick, Buffalo-on-a-Stick, or any other kind of Food-on-a-Stick, but rather, Trademark-on-a-Stick. Earlier this week, the Minnesota State Fair (owned and operated by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, a Minnesota State Agency) was hot to skewer the unauthorized use of its nearly three-decade-old and more recently trademarked logo, by incumbent Republican U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, in a political ad… Continue Reading

Nominative Fair Use of Trademarks in Domain Names

Posted in Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in the case of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. v. Tabari that asked whether the domain names buy-a-lexus.com and buyorleaselexus.com used in connection with automobile brokerage services infringed Toyota’s trademark rights in LEXUS. Conventional legal wisdom is that only the owner… 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

Ambush Marketing With A Twist of Twins Brand Bait?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

 With the brand new outdoor Target Field located in downtown Minneapolis, the buzz is palpable, and there is certainly more foot and other forms of traffic, especially on the end of town closest to where the Minnesota Twins now play their home games. Given that increased traffic I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that some businesses will… Continue Reading

Nominative Fair Use?

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

I have asked the question before about the Google brand appearing in a Rapala billboard ad, here. I have asked it when 3M’s Post-It note appeared in an Accountemps billboard ad, here and here. Now I’m asking it again with a different brand and a different billboard ad: Does Morrie’s Automotive Group’s use of the Match.com brand… Continue Reading

The Sign of a Successful Trademark Enforcement Program

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

Unable to resist a good trademark story, I snapped this photo in one of the countless gift shops along Hollywood Boulevard, as my family searched for various stars and did the "Walk of Fame," a week or so ago. What drew us into this particular shop was a striking wall full of shelves displaying what appeared to be rows upon… Continue Reading