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Tag Archives: Trademark Bullying

Chick-fil-A to Land in Trademark Bully Court?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

As Chick-fil-A enters the Twin Cities market, it has begun another creative billboard campaign touting the “End of Burgerz — Koming Soon,” with no sign of the “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign, as of yet anyway. Bo Muller-Moore of Vermont — owner of the “Eat More Kale” trademark – probably would prefer that the billboards read: “The End… Continue Reading

The INTA “Trademark Bullying” Straitjacket

Posted in Advertising, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

This past week I’ve been pondering a question of great importance: When might a straitjacket double as a life vest? The answer actually arrived last Monday during INTA’s “The Ethics of Trademark Bullying” panel discussion at the 135th Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. In so many words, our good friend and wise guy Ron Coleman, over at… Continue Reading

Minnesota to Own “Trademark Bullies”

Posted in Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Minnesota is positioned once again to take legislative ownership of the ”trademark bullying” debate. Putting aside the serious questions of whether new laws are needed and whether a state as opposed to a federal solution can have any meaningful impact, and despite the federal government’s recent focus on the perceived problem that ended in a whimper, Rep. Peppin appears… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Nike’s Promise to “Break the Wrist, and Walk Away”

Posted in Articles, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

Not every day does the United States Supreme Court weigh in on a topic impacting the trademark world, but it did so yesterday in Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., a case illustrating what can happen when a trademark plaintiff wants to pull the plug and end the lawsuit it started in a walkaway (or as martial arts instructor… Continue Reading

Trademark Civility

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

About a week ago I had the honor and pleasure of once again presenting the annual trademark review at the 11th Annual Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with good friend and trademark guru Paul Mussell. And happily, TTABlogger John Welch once again graciously contributed the IP Book chapter on the Top Ten TTAB Cases. One… Continue Reading

Trademark Victims?

Posted in Branding, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

Hardly a day goes by without the media reporting on some sort of trademark dispute. Enter the need for a winner and a loser, a bully and a victim. You know the typical media drill by now, Goliath is the trademark owner and a guilty bully, and David, of course, is an innocent victim, lacking any personal responsibility whatsoever…. Continue Reading

Cease and Desist, Please

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Sight, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

- Brent Carlson-Lee, President, Open Door Foods If you’re anything like me, you occasionally muse about being a celebrity. If I were a movie star, I’d gladly sign autographs – even while at a restaurant with my family. If I were the author of the hottest business book on the New York Times Best Sellers… Continue Reading

Trademark Hooliganism

Posted in Articles, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

A day doesn’t go by without my GoogleAlert spotting another online reference to some purported example of “trademark bullying.” It seems like just about any private assertion of trademark infringement will trigger the use of the term as a very public knee-jerk response. As you know, we’ve spilled a lot of ink, writing about the topic… Continue Reading

Tree Hugging Evidence of Successful Trademark Enforcement?

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

It is not every day that tree rings are trending on Bing. This image got me thinking about how it might be an even better image to illustrate how effective trademark enforcement can impact the scope of trademark rights. As you may recall, I have illustrated this concept before using the perfectly regular concentric circles… Continue Reading

Godin on Trademark Bullying?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Seth Godin is someone we follow closely here on DuetsBlog, and he has just weighed in on the “trademark bullying” topic. We haven’t always agreed with his trademark advice, especially his misapprehension of the benefits of federal registration. But, it’s hard to argue with this conclusion: “When a brand becomes a bully, it loses something… Continue Reading

Chick-fil-A’s Successful “Eat Mor Chikin” v. “Eat More Kale” USPTO Letter of Protest

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

As you will recall, we have followed pretty closely Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” trademark claims against Vermonter Bo Muller-Moore and his “Eat More Kale” trademark: Eat More Anything? New York Times Covers “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute Chick-fil-A Goes Stealth in “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute? Chick-fil-A’s “Eat More” Stealth USPTO Trademark Enforcement Strategy Succeeds… Continue Reading

Minnesota’s Legislative Answer to “Trademark Bullying”?

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Minnesota State Representative Joyce Peppin, is convinced that “trademark bullying” is a problem and that it requires a brand new law in Minnesota to properly deal with it. Representative Peppin apparently is a law student at William Mitchell College of Law, and she has teamed up with other students and William Mitchell law faculty to write and… Continue Reading

How Fashionable is the Louis Vuitton “Trademark Bully” Label?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement, International, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There has been quite a flap surrounding the poster and invitation used by the University of Pennsylvania Law School to promote Penn Intellectual Property Group’s Fashion Law Symposium, scheduled for a week from tomorrow. The symposium appears to be designed as a serious affair, boasting an all-star cast of general counsel from the fashion industry, including those from… Continue Reading

Chick-fil-A Goes Stealth in “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute?

Posted in Branding, Food, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

The question for the day is not, why did the chicken cross the road, but rather, why did the chicken file an ex parte Letter of Protest with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), just a few months ago? To get to the other side of 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

Redefining a Trademark Bully?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, False Advertising, Mixed Bag of Nuts, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink discussing the trademark bullying topic, going all the way back to my original blog post from 2010: ”The Mark of a Real Trademark Bully.” Within the last several days, there has been quite a bit of online media coverage about Trademarkia’s new features that tout an ability to “Find… Continue Reading

New York Times Covers “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute

Posted in Dilution, Food, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Yesterday the New York Times ran a story on the “Eat Mor Chikin” v. “Eat More Kale” trademark dispute — the same one we covered a week ago: Eat More Anything? A couple of quotes from the NY Times article caught my eye: “In a statement, Chick-fil-A said, ‘We must legally protect and defend our ‘Eat mor… Continue Reading

Putting the Shoe on the Other Tootsie

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Famous Marks, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There was a time when a certain kind of small business owner – strapped for cash — with a meager promotional budget, easily could be tempted to adopt a “clever” name, as a “short-cut,” to “play off” a well-known, iconic brand, but in the end, he or she probably was convinced by counsel that doing so would be… Continue Reading

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

Protecting the Least Sophisticated Potential Consumers

Posted in Famous Marks, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB

When the “trademark bully” epithet is hurled at a trademark owner “caught in the act” of enforcing or otherwise protecting its intellectual property rights, another common accompaniment is the expressed outrage and indignation that no one could ever possibly be confused. Here are a few points worth noting: The test of infringement is likelihood of confusion, not actual confusion. Likelihood of confusion is… Continue Reading

Willa-n-Wella, Living-n-Harmony Now

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB

The New York Times has been following a trademark battle between Christy Prunier’s body and beauty care start-up business apparently geared toward preteen and teenage girls (Willagirl LLC) and industry giant Procter & Gamble, owner of the well-known, if not famous, more than century old WELLA hair care brand, with U.S. trademark rights dating back at least to the early… 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