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Tag Archives: Trademark Distinctiveness

Droning On and On, About A Trademark?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

Months after Amazon’s recent media ploy, drones continue to capture news headlines. Hours ago, an AP story ran, suggesting that the Federal Aviation Administration’s present ban on commercial drones will result in global competitors flying right by the U.S., leaving us in their economic dust, as other countries around the globe embrace the commercial use of drones…. Continue Reading

The Most Famous Bottle Design, Forever?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Coca-Cola settled on its famous contour bottle design almost 100 years ago, in 1916, after several years of trials with other far less distinctive shapes (at least under today’s standards): Federal trademark registration data confirms the first use date to be July 8, 1916. The description of the contour bottle design mark in 1960 was: “The… Continue Reading

Louboutin & Lessons Learned

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Keyword Ads, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Search Engines, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

As promised, here are some further thoughts, lessons learned, and remaining unanswered questions concerning the recent and long-anticipated decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc. Lessons Learned for Marketing Types: Single color trademarks may be owned, registered, and protected when they are distinctive and… Continue Reading

Louboutin Red-Sole & Surrounding Contrast: An Implied Trademark Limitation

Posted in Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, International, Law Suits, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

The Louboutin lacquered red sole trademark is the subject of great debate in the trademark world, fashion industry, popular news media, and among law school academics and friends of the court. I’m just not seeing it. I really don’t see a viable trademark claim here for Louboutin. Not for the reasons found by the district court — I… Continue Reading

TryMe? Trademark or Informational Matter?

Posted in Branding, Fair Use, Food, Guest Bloggers, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB

  I’d venture to say that virtually every product sitting on a store shelf is crying out "try me" — some more colorfully than others, some more subtly than others, some more creatively than others, some more persuasively than others. However, most don’t just some out and say the words. Assuming that to be the case, is… 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

What Serious Trademark Owners Do

Posted in Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There are many things that serious trademark owners do throughout the lifecycle of a trademark to mitigate risk, protect the valuable goodwill in their underlying brand, and preserve their valuable investment in this important intellectual property asset. Here is a fairly extensive, but certainly not exhaustive, and often forgotten, list of those things: Clear new marks before using them… Continue Reading

Shot in the Dark – the PPK Design Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Counterfeits, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Television, Trademarks, TTAB

—Karen Brennan, Winthrop & Weinstine I found Fig. 1 (from what I am sure was a very valuable patent, although I could not locate it) to be very fitting for this post.  After three and half years, four Office Actions, a Petition to the Director and finally an appeal, our client’s product configuration mark for the… Continue Reading

Trademark Attorneys & Verified USPTO Statements

Posted in Almost Advice, Law Suits, Trademarks, TTAB

"Just because you can," is rarely a good reason to support a decision that really matters. This principle is no less true in the trademark world than it is elsewhere. So, relying on your own navigation of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) online search database without also seeking a trademark attorney’s competent analysis of the… Continue Reading

A Monster Mash of Halloween Store Marks

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Marketing

–Susan Perera, Attorney It’s that time of year again, when retail stores featuring ghosts, goblins, and all things spooky begin to appear. This year multiple parties went trick or treating at the USPTO to register their trademarks for Halloween retail store services, and apparently they weren’t all reading Steve’s post from earlier this year regarding party… 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

Trademark Dilution: What About All “The Other Red Meat(s)”?

Posted in Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Search Engines, Trademarks, TTAB

  Last month the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refused registration of the slogan THE OTHER RED MEAT for "fresh and frozen salmon," not based on likelihood of confusion, but because it is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of the famous THE OTHER WHITE MEAT slogan of the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council. Stay tuned for… Continue Reading

Texas Toasted? How to Slice the Trademark Spectrum of Distinctiveness

Posted in Branding, Fair Use, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

  v.      Texas Toast is the generic name for a type of bread, you know, the big thick double-cut slices. Anyone can call their bread Texas Toast if that is what they are selling, and, by the way, it doesn’t have to be toasted for the name to fit. But, what if you’re selling a product made from bread, say, croutons?… Continue Reading

Taking the Cake With Suggestive Trademarks?

Posted in Branding, Food, Marketing, Sight, Trademarks

John Reinan provided yesterday a marketer’s perspective that questioned the value of coined trademarks. In my experience, as a trademark type, one place on the spectrum of distinctiveness where both trademark and marketing types can have their cake and eat it too, is the delicious category of suggestive trademarks. From the legal side of the coin, suggestive… Continue Reading

A Marketer’s Perspective: Questioning The Value of Coined Trademarks?

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

I’m thrilled to have this platform to vent about a long-standing beef: awkward, made-up product and company names. Trademark lawyers call them coined. Among the worst offenders are automobiles, technology and finance. When I was a kid, cars had names like Roadmaster, Thunderbird and Catalina. Now a prospective car buyer has to wade through an… Continue Reading

Sleight of Hand? Kimberly-Clark Amends Sensory Touch Mark to Packaging Design Mark

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Touch, Trademarks

As you may recall from March of this year, we blogged about Kimberly-Clark’s novel intent-to-use trademark application for a "sensory, touch mark" in connection with disposable paper hand-towels. Other discussions of sensory, touch marks may be found here.  In any event, the original description of the claimed Kimberly-Clark trademark was as follows: "The mark consists of… Continue Reading

Holiday Inn Puts Dimmer on Non-Traditional Lighting Trademarks

Posted in Branding, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

A couple of months ago there was quite a buzz about Holiday Inn’s projected $4 million annual savings by moving to a leaner and greener direction with their adoption of LED lighting on exterior signage.  As you may recall, back in June we blogged about Holiday Inn’s interesting effort to federally register a pair of non-traditional lighting trademarks, one employing a green-colored… Continue Reading

More On The Fordless Blue Oval

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

What do you think, is Overstock.com selling bling with the Fordless blue oval logo? As you may recall from my post back in September, Ford Motor Company is attempting to register the below shown non-verbal logo as a trademark for a variety of goods in Int’l Class 12: And, as you may recall from Dan’s I See Blue Ovals post… Continue Reading

A Trademark Touch: Owning and Protecting Touchmarks

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Touch, Trademarks

The October/November issue of Brand Packaging magazine just hit the streets and I’m deeply honored to say that my piece entitled "A Trademark Touch: Strategies for Owning and Protecting Touchmarks" is this issue’s "cover story" (minus the skull and crossbones). The digital version can be read here. I hope you find it eye-opening in a… 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