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Tag Archives: Trademark Abandonment

A Fluid Family of Trademarks?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks, TTAB

John Welch over at the TTABlog recently reported that oral argument will be heard by the TTAB later this month in McDonald’s opposition of McSweet LLC’s application to federally register McSweet for pickled vegetable products. It appears many resources have been invested on both sides of this battle for more than six years; it is unclear… 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

A Legal Obligation to Enforce Trademark Rights?

Posted in Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Genericide, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

When trademark owners are accused of bullying and shamed in public, a common and knee-jerk defensive response to justify the cease and desist letter or enforcement action is: ”We have a legal duty and obligation to police and enforce our trademark rights.” And, some might even go on to say: ”If we don’t enforce our mark against this use,… Continue Reading

Who Owns a Dead Brand?

Posted in Branding, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB

- John Reinan, Senior Director at Fast Horse, a Minneapolis marketing agency I love “orphan” cars — the marques that have gone out of business. Most of them are barely remembered by Baby Boomers, much less anyone younger. Packard, Hudson, Nash, Studebaker, Willys – these and other automakers often were stylistically and technically more advanced… 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

Timeless Trademarks?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

Beneath the large umbrella of the law known as Intellectual Property (or simply, IP), one of the badges of superiority that trademark lawyers are able to brag up to their patent and copyright colleagues is that trademark rights are capable of lasting forever – there are no term limits – so, the underlying legal rights can be truly timeless, provided, of course, they continue to be… Continue Reading

Crowded Trademark Parties & Coexisting Store Names

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

If you don’t mind the wait, a crowded parking lot is often a good strategy when hunting for an excellent restaurant while you’re in unfamiliar territory. Similarly, a large crowd lining up outside a retail store is typically a good sign that the business is doing something right, or perhaps, they just happen to have something rare that everyone wants…. Continue Reading

GM’s Chevy Trademark Dodges Fatal Lyrics: “This’ll Be The Day That I Die”

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

My trademark antennas automatically rise when I hear about a brand owner announcing plans to trade in one brand for another, as GM recently and surprisingly did with the Chevy nickname (brand and trademark), in favor of the longer and more formal Chevrolet brand name (and trademark). Hat tip to Nils Montan of IPAlly, for spotting GM’s Chevy veering… Continue Reading

Kleenex® Not Wanting to Blow It: Some Steps to Avoid Trademark Genericide

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

This sponsored banner ad is currently appearing in AdAge’s Daily News on-line newsletter: How many boxes of tissue do you suppose this ad is responsible for selling? If the answer is none, that is probably fine with Kimberly-Clark since the return on investment for this ad is measured quite differently, I’m sure, given how the frequently misused Kleenex®… Continue Reading

Just Verb It? Part III: Testing the “Slippery Slope” of Using Brands as Verbs

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

Although intellectual property lawyers of the Dr. No variety may not like to admit it – I submit that, not all slippery slopes are created equal. While some slippery slope cautions might prevent a few bumps and bruises in traveling along a particular path (e.g., the one on the left below), I suspect far fewer slippery slope… Continue Reading

Battle of the Nerds? Best Buy’s Geek Squad¬Æ on Trademark Patrol

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

    Best Buy, owner of the Geek Squad brand since 2002, has filed a federal trademark infringement complaint in Minnesota against a pair of individual defendants apparently located in Missouri and California, for allegedly registering and using <thegeekpatrol.biz> domain and the names "Geek Patrol," "Geek Squad," and "Geek Squad Patrol". Here is a copy of the Complaint, including Exhibit A (Trademark registrations), Exhibit… Continue Reading

Using Another’s Body to Sell Your Products? The Problem of Airbrushing Non-Traditional Trademarks

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

  Airbrushing is a familiar technique among advertisers looking to avoid the risk of trademark infringement or dilution liability when branded props of others appear and would otherwise be recognizable. It can work well when removing a traditional visual trademark, i.e., a logo or word mark, because there can be no likelihood of confusion with (or dilution of) a visual… Continue Reading