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Category Archives: Television

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The World Is Not Enough, We Want the Whole Genre

Posted in Copyrights, Fair Use, Idea Protection, Infringement, Law Suits, Television

The James Bond franchise is one of the most well-known and successful movie franchises in history. There are few characters who reappear in 23 full length movies, let alone have the 23rd movie reach the top of the box office charts. The James Bond franchise, however, has obtained a unique status among average viewers and… Continue Reading

It’s a Mouse World After All

Posted in Agreements, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Television, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Deadmau5 (\’ded-mau̇s\; a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is a popular house music artist who performs wearing a mouse-like head covering called the mau5head.   On Twitter he calls himself an “Event Driven Marketing specialist,” so I thought this was a fitting subject for the hip legal, creative and marketing folks who follow us here at DuetsBlog – although… Continue Reading

The Top 10 Lawyers of TV and Film: Numbers 6-10

Posted in Television

In what we believe is a Duetsblog first, two of us — Tim Sitzmann and I – are teaming up to write a post.  (Even if this isn’t the first time a post has had two authors, much like European explorers who claimed to “discover” land that people were already living on, we are going to pretend that it… Continue Reading

“Glee” – Fox fails to see the funny side in the UK Courts

Posted in Guest Bloggers, International, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Television, Trademarks

Simon Bennett, partner and Rachel Cook, associate Fox Williams LLP Global entertainment giant Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation recently lost its case against Comic Enterprises Limited, a UK company that runs several live entertainment venues in the UK, in what has been billed as a modern day David vs. Goliath. The subject of the dispute:… Continue Reading

Oz The Saying Goes…

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Loss of Rights, Television, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

There’s no place like home. Just be careful where and how you say it. It is common knowledge among lawyers that copyright protection does not normally extend to titles, words, or short phrases. Movies, politicians, and our family and friends constantly quote books, movies, and famous politicians, actors, and others. From a trademark perspective, we see famous quotes… Continue Reading

The Branding Outside My Window – Anything But Obnoxious and Obtrusive

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Television

I love living in Minneapolis. The quotient for savvy and sophisticated branding is high – an opinion reinforced every time I glance out my office window. Today, I have two examples of fantastic marketing in the public square. One has been around for quite some time, the other is brand new. One explicitly identifies the… Continue Reading

Who’s Number One? Shoot for Engagement Over All Else – Lessons from Local Television News

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Television

It’s February — and that means it’s time for local television stations across the nation to get out their measuring sticks.  Here in Minneapolis, and on this day, that notion carries a double meaning.  For one, the local weather forecasts are calling for maybe a foot of snow and blizzard winds after that — so… Continue Reading

There is only one Lord of the (Olympic) Rings…but then there was Sochi

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, International, Marketing, Social Media, Television, Trademarks

There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will.  And he does not share power.  – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings As we have posted about more than a few times on DuetsBlog over the years (like here and here), the OLYMPICS trademark and the Olympic Rings… Continue Reading

Sochi’s First Meme

Posted in Advertising, Fair Use, Marketing, Television

It didn’t take long for the Sochi Olympics to produce its first meme.  On Saturday night, my girlfriend and I were able to block out the ongoing drama that is Bob Costas’ eye for long enough to watch American figure skater Ashley Wagner put on a solid performance during the team competition.  (We, like many others, are… Continue Reading

1ST & TEN at the Super Bowl: The Brand You Probably Don’t Know You Know

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Patents, Technology, Television, Trademarks

The NFL is known as a trademark monetizing machine, and this year’s “POT BOWL” is not without its share of trademark stories.   It was recently reported that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks makes six-figures (for charity) from licensing his BEAST MODE trademark.  Both the Broncos and the Seahawks have battled with Texas… Continue Reading

Selling Ice to Eskimos

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Goodwill, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Squirrelly Thoughts, Television

It’s easy to make a sports car look good. Or a vacation on a white sand beach. But what about things that the average person hates to buy? Watch the commercial below and let’s reconvene in 90 seconds:   Yes, that’s John C. Reily narrating (of Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, and Gangs of New York… Continue Reading

Amazon innovation? Nay. Good, old-fashioned bamboozling

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Technology, Television

Does anyone else think Amazon’s Jeff Bezos utterly bamboozled Charlie Rose and the good folks over at 60 Minutes last Sunday night? In his interview with Rose, Bezos unveiled a service he dubs “Amazon Prime Air,” a delivery service that would use autonomous drones to deliver Amazon goods weighing less than five pounds in perhaps as… Continue Reading

A Pair of Cheesehead Trademarks to Grate?

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

As a frustrated and bored Minnesota Vikings fan, Monday Night Football last evening caught my attention with the division battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. In case you missed it, the Packers lost to the Bears, despite the Packers typical home field advantage at the legendary Lambeau Field. As much as the plentiful Packers… Continue Reading

Breaking Bad News for Breaking Bad Fans

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Television, Trademarks

When I was eight I had a perfect plan to create a multi-million dollar business: a company that sold pet turtle kits that came with miniature nunchucks, swords, and ninja costumes. Back then though it was more difficult to tap into Angel networks and, although great friends, my core group of investors unfortunately turned out to… Continue Reading

Where Everybody Knows Your Name(s)

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Television, Trademarks

Who would you expect to find sitting at the end of the bar in this recently re-named Minneapolis sports bar, formerly known as Halek’s Bar? What if you were to queue a very familiar tune to these lyrics, would that help? Yeah, I was thinking of these guys too: But, what if these guys have nothing to do with… 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

Infomercials: So was HAIR BLENDER taken?

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

One of the best things about television is terrible (or terribly hilarious) infomercials showcasing American ingenuity. Behold, one of the latest …The Air Curler®. Seriously?  Would anyone ever think to put their hair into a blender? There’s actually an issued patent for the device. But WAIT…there’s more!  Much to my initial surprise, as I alluded… Continue Reading

Distinguishing the Fictional From the Real: Names and Brands in Television and Movies

Posted in Agreements, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

We have an interesting question to answer, leading us into the holiday weekend, during which I suspect a few movies will be watched by more than a few marketing types and trademark types: “Is it trademark infringement if a fictional company or product in a movie or television drama bears the same name or brand as a real… Continue Reading

Are TV & Digital Mutually Exclusive? Not at All: Why Multi-Channel Marketing Makes Sense

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology, Television

- David Mitchel, Director of Marketing – Distribion, Inc. AdAge posted an article today featuring CBS CEO Les Moonves commenting why his network is a better fit for media buyers than digital media. One quote attributed to Moonves was: “If you need to reach a mass audience, you’re not going to get that online….We figured… Continue Reading