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Tag Archives: Trademark Types

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

iPhooey?

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

Apparently iPho by Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is quite good. The logo design is eye-popping, and dare I say clever, but does it cross one of the many legal intellectual property lines? We can all agree as to the source of the “inspiration” for this visual identity, right? Our little friend… Continue Reading

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

We continue to anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, especially given the Board’s recent genericness ruling in Sheetz of Delaware, Inc. v. Doctor’s Associates, Inc., finding FOOTLONG generic for “sandwiches, excluding hot dogs.” The question at issue in Frito-Lay’s trademark challenge to registration by… Continue Reading

Jell-O Revival From What?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Earlier this month E.J. Schultz of AdAge wrote about Kraft’s plan to revive Jell-O: “For Kraft Foods Group, J-E-L-L-O has spelled disappointment of late. The brand — once known for fun advertising starring the likes of Jack Benny and Bill Cosby — has struggled to find its identity in recent years, while marketing reductions have… Continue Reading

Will Tire Tread Trademarks Gain Traction?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Sight, Technology, Television, Trademarks, USPTO

Here is to sharing a photo I took using my iPad on a recent Canadian fishing trip, and yes, there is a trademark story here to share as well, not just a beautiful sunset positioned behind this ATV tire. In my purchase of automobile tires over the years, one of the key selling points has been traction — especially with… Continue Reading

Anatomy of a Trademark Warning Ad

Posted in Advertising, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, USPTO

For those attending the HOW Design Live Conference in San Fransisco, you may have noticed the inside cover of HOW’s Special Issue on Interactive Design and Typography, most likely penned by a nervous trademark type:                       Nervous, I say, because these types of advertisements frequently are designed to help… Continue Reading

OfficeMax’s Rubber Band Ball Brand Symbol

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

OfficeMax has been sporting its friendly and colorful rubber band ball brand signal on billboard advertising and delivery trucks for some time, but yesterday is the first time I’ve noticed prominent static use of the bouncy rubber band ball as a non-verbal logo on storefront signage positioned next to the OfficeMax brand name (like the… Continue Reading

A New Generation of Storytelling: Getting a Grip on The New Pepsi Bottle Design

Posted in Branding, Food, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Trademarks

The importance of “storytelling” seems to be the buzzword lately when it comes to branding communications and decisions. For example, last August Branding Strategy Insider wrote that “Brands Must Master the Art of Storytelling,” and just last week it wrote twice on the subject, about “Shared Values in Brand Storytelling” and “5 Pillars for Brand Storytelling Success.”… Continue Reading

When is a ballpark frank a ball park BRAND frank?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Food, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, USPTO

Do you suppose the author of this article knows that Ball Park is a federally-registered brand name and trademark, not an unprotectable generic term synonymous with hot dogs and frankfurters? The growing prevalence of lower-case brand styles and visual identity has complicated the answer to this question a bit, I suspect. Nevertheless, we should probably chalk up another example for… Continue Reading

lower case brands, wall of fame or shame?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Marketing, Trademarks

As promised, some time ago, here is an enormous wall sign from one of the many hallways connected to one of the many shopping areas at The Shoppes at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, showing all these retail brands in simple lower case style. No trademark notice or registration symbols either. . . . Do you suppose the entity responsible… Continue Reading

Seeing Beyond at NeoCon 2012: The Importance of “Policing the Register”

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

NeoCon is North America’s largest design exposition and conference where thousands of innovative products and resources are showcased for corporate, hospitality, healthcare, retail, government, institutional and residential interiors from more than 700 showrooms and exhibitors. NeoCon 2012 begins next Monday at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Thanks to District Court Judge Joan Ericksen of the United… Continue Reading

Webinar: Hot Marketing Topics with Trademark & Legal Implications

Posted in Branding, Genericide, Guest Bloggers, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Trademarks

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a ninety-minute webinar with my good friend, frequent and eloquent guest-blogger on DuetsBlog – Aaron Keller of Capsule – complete with some friendly banter on the following: "Hot Marketing Topics with Trademark and Legal Implications." Minnesota Continuing Legal Education has generously provided a link where the webinar can be viewed in its entirety, here. As you’ll… Continue Reading

Visa Branding: A Combined Alpha & Brand Verbing Alert

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

We have been following the truncation trend to single-letter branding symbols for some time now. Visa appears to be heading in this direction with the relatively new V logo:                                                                              Based on trademark filings at the USPTO, it appears Visa began using this single-letter V logo by itself back in 2008 with the launch of a… Continue Reading

Quilted Toilet Paper Design Flushed As Functional

Posted in Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

As the court ruled, and repeatedly reminded: "Toilet paper. This case is about toilet paper." Just last week the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit enjoyed applying only a modicum of potty humor while deciding Georgia Pacific Consumer Products LP v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a case involving alleged non-traditional trademark rights in Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Diamond… Continue Reading

FUSE: Sharing Extraordinary Experiences

Posted in Guest Bloggers

—Aaron Keller, Principal, Capsule We partook in the sharing and enjoyed the conversations. The FUSE Conference, is not about splintering. It also isn’t about specialization or close-minded thinking. FUSE is about the disciplines of design, marketing, brand and research being brought together in a way that makes for a more engaged consumer, audience or customer…. 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

Farewell to Karen Brennan

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

It is with great sorrow that we bid farewell to Karen Brennan, who is moving on to greener in-house pastures, as Corporate IP Counsel with United Health Group. Having said that, we fully recognize it is a wonderful and significant opportunity for Karen, so we wish her the very best in her new position. We will miss Karen’s significant… 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

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