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Tag Archives: trademarks

The Clinton Trademark Clause?

Posted in Famous Marks, Infringement, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

At this early stage in the 2016 election cycle, it’s difficult to predict much of anything, but if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination and, ultimately, the presidency, I can say for certain it will have an unprecedented effect on a lesser-known quirk of trademark law. Many practitioners and laypersons are familiar with the provisions… Continue Reading

RECOVERY from a Surprise Genericness Refusal?

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Genericide, Infringement, Trademarks, USPTO

Reliant Beverage Co., makers of “Recovery Water,” has an endorsement from Russell Wilson and heaps of buzz surrounding the purported benefits of its products and “nanobubbles,” but thanks to some errors from both Reliant and the PTO, a federal trademark may be out of reach. Reliant applied for the RECOVERY WATER mark back in March, and soon… Continue Reading

A Smörgåsbord of Standard Characters

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

Strolling around the Mall of America last weekend, I was surprised not only by the rather low weekend crowds (everyone must have retreated to their respective lake cabin) but also the brand-new store for Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven. What with my highly-attenuated Swedish ancestry, I couldn’t help but stop in. The company’s perhaps best known for its… Continue Reading


Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Fashion, Infringement, Social Media, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

In the fall of 2012, an upstart freshman quarterback at Texas A&M named Johnny Manziel earned the moniker “Johnny Football” during an incredible season, leading the Aggies to a number of huge wins. Yet after three years, a Heisman Trophy, and a shaky rookie season in the NFL, Manziel has yet to secure a trademark registration for… Continue Reading

I’ll Take a Trademark, Up, With a Twist

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Product Packaging, Trademarks, USPTO

Indeed Brewing Company, a popular brewery here in Minneapolis and a favorite of mine, announced that they were revamping their acclaimed packaging.  A story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal unveiled their new packaging: As a really nicely executed design, it de-clutters the look of the can while keeping the well-known artistic features and color… Continue Reading

The Keys are in the Design

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Squirrelly Thoughts

We often ask kids this question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  While my trajectory towards lawyering is true, my answer wasn’t always immediately “lawyer.”  I sought something that satisfied my passion for the creative, my critical eye, and my aptitude for math.  For a long time, whenever I answered that… Continue Reading

The Pursuit of Trademark Perfection: Can “40-0″ Function as a Mark?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Fashion, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademarks

As Kentucky prepares to square off with Wisconsin in the NCAA Final Four and move one step closer to an undefeated, 40-win season, the University of Kentucky has been dueling with one of its own – a fan and attorney claiming he has already secured trademark rights to “40-0.” But can such a term even… Continue Reading

Oh What A Tangled WEB We Weave When First We…Try To Show Use

Posted in Almost Advice, Trademarks, USPTO

In order to get a trademark registered or maintain a registration, an example of use of the trademark (referred to by trademark nerds as a “specimen”) must be submitted to the US Trademark Office.  Often trademark attorneys rely on the most readily available specimen that they can find:  their client’s website.  But if the website… Continue Reading

Would Benefit Corporations Benefit from Some Trademark Clarity?

Posted in Genericide, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, Truncation

– Draeke Weseman, Weseman Law Office, PLLC A benefit corporation is the term used when a company is created under corporate law and should not be confused with a “B Corp,” which refers to a company that is certified by B Lab to meet specific standards for social and environmental performance. Why Consider a Benefit… Continue Reading

‘Tis the Season (Already!) to Think of Protecting Seasonal Brands

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

–Ben Kwan, Attorney Who knew the fleeting annual presence of haunted houses — around your town and mine — was enough to achieve the vaunted status of “Billion Dollar Industry?” That’s what I found out when I tuned-in to watch the NBC Nightly News last weekend to catch my friend and fellow Medill School of… Continue Reading

FDA Trademark Approval

Posted in Branding, FDA Approval

–Susan Perera, Attorney One aspect of trademark law that we haven’t discussed here at DuetsBlog is FDA approval of trademarks for pharmaceuticals.  While there are certainly many benefits to federal trademark protection (and we would recommend seeking federal registration as the best way to solidify the broadest rights in your mark) trademark owners can choose… Continue Reading

False Start? Riedell v. Adidas

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Law Suits, Trademarks

  Last month there was some press about a pair of trademark infringement lawsuits between Adidas (sorry marketing types, I just can’t do the lower case letter "a" in "adidas") and Riedell over the number of stripes appearing on their sports footwear products. You may recall, while we’re on the subject of stripes, that I previously… Continue Reading

The Wine Menagerie

Posted in Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney Kingsley Amis, that lauded British humorist and man of letters, once said that “a German wine label is one of the things life’s too short for, a daunting testimony to that peculiar nation’s love of detail and organization.” Indeed, as a recent article in the Wall Street Journal points out, it wasn’t so… Continue Reading

My Goodness, More “My” Branding & Marks

Posted in Advertising, Domain Names

What are the odds, that in my attempt to capture a billboard ad, reinforcing Dan’s earlier point about the ubiquity of MY branding, I unintentionally document two in the very same photo? Just so you know, I’m heading out to buy a lottery ticket, and I’ve never bought one before.

IP Grammar . . . and Those Who Cringe About It

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

             Last September, in my blog post entitled "What Does Trademarked Mean to You?," I wrote: More than a few trademark types cringe when their clients or others say things like "let’s trademark it," "they didn’t trademark their logo," or "we don’t want to trademark this name," and, when they ask questions like "is it trademarked?"… Continue Reading

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Posted in Almost Advice, Trademarks

The importance of logos in branding has been discussed in detail. Although words are generally thought of as the most dominant portion of a trademark because they are spoken by consumers, the logos themselves convey equally powerful and important messages. Which is why this element in the overall branding strategy should be cleared by trademark counsel prior… Continue Reading