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Category Archives: Trademark Bullying

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Role Reversal: David Bullying Goliath?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB

When claims of trademark infringement make the news, it is often because a billion dollar corporation is suing old man Donaldson’s tavern for trademark infringement (Although, McDonaldson’s might have been a bad choice…).  You’ve got your Ikeas, your Googles, Chick-fil-As, and your NFLs of course (not the National Forensics League, they’re cool).  David can fight back and win, but David… Continue Reading

NONPROFIT BRAND TINTED WITH – NOT TAINTED BY – LEGAL

Posted in Branding, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

- Abby V. Reiner, Brand Director, Wounded Warrior Project Fine (red) Lines Nonprofits walk a fine line between wanting everyone to feel a part of the mission without allowing everyone to use its trademarks resulting in dilution or infringement of the brand. Sometimes the very well intentioned can do more harm than good. When a… Continue Reading

Dethroning a Right to Register a Trademark?

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Last month, you will recall we wrote about the important difference between the right to register a trademark and the right to use a trademark, here and here. Despite the fact that in most cases, a “likelihood of confusion” test governs both determinations, the right to use and the right to register are not necessarily coextensive rights – defeating… Continue Reading

Brewing Brewery Brawl: Busch Not Happy with NATTY

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Infringement, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

You know that beer that you would drink in a basement, but now that you acknowledge that you are actually an adult, you would not be caught dead buying in a liquor store or requesting at a bar or restaurant?  We’ve all got one.  Having spent my college drinking days in “the good land”, my… Continue Reading

IKEA översittare: Bully or Baloney?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new IKEA översittare is getting a lot of attention on the internet, and… Continue Reading

Do You Love Paris Too, New York?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fashion, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Shopping with my daughter this past weekend on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, on the way to the Arc de triomphe, we spotted this shop selling  “I ♥ Paris” merchandise: What do you make of this one, Tim, does it look familiar? I’m thinking Mike Masnick of Techdirt, given his trademark bullying perspective on the… Continue Reading

SKEE THE PEOPLE: Bar games, brewskies, and trademark disputes

Posted in Genericide, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

In addition of course to good beer and good friends, a good bar for me is defined by a good game: photo hunt (the NSFW version) and foosball at Murphy’s, bar olympics at Steny’s (where I dominated at the tricycle races), volleyball at Fat Daddy’s, bocce ball in the basement of Half Time Rec, lawn… Continue Reading

Eat More Walleye?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

It’s that time of year again, the Minnesota fishing opener is upon us this weekend, so Rapala is sporting its new billboard in the Twin Cities metro area, as shown below: “Winner, winner, walleye dinner,” is an obvious play on the far more frequently uttered “winner, winner, chicken dinner” positive outcome phrase, that apparently derives from early casino… 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

Twilight Trademark Trial Now on Horizon

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

Another father-daughter trip to Bath & Body Works (BBW) this past weekend revealed that his and her Twilight Woods personal body care products are still available for sale: Still, because ten days ago, the federal district court in the Southern District of New York rejected BBW’s attempt to have the trademark infringement and dilution claims –… Continue Reading

PAPER in a Digital Age

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Social Media, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

On the cusp of its 10 year anniversary, Facebook announced the “Facebook Paper” app – a combination of social networking and content feed that seems strikingly similar to one of my favorite apps Flipboard, with some of the Facebook features included in the app.  While there may be a patent dispute on the horizon there,… Continue Reading

Coffee is for Closers, Not for Brewers

Posted in Famous Marks, Food, Genericide, Infringement, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

When life gives you a cease and desist letter, make lemonade. Or, depending on your profession, maybe some beer. That’s what Jeff Britton, owner of the Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Cottleville, Missouri chose to do after receiving a cease and desist letter on behalf of Starbucks. The owner penned a humorous response that… Continue Reading

What Impact Can Social Media Have on a Trademark Dispute?

Posted in Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Social media weighs in on the dispute over use of the mark ROUBAIX in connection with bicycles.  A lawsuit was brought by Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. (“Specialized”) who owned the registration for the mark in Canada against Dan Richter.  Mr. Richter operated the Café Roubaix Bicycle Shop and sells a Café Roubaix wheel and rim. … Continue Reading

Hanging Around Trademark Disputes

Posted in Articles, Branding, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Search Engines, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

When you hang around trademark disputes long enough you start to see patterns, at least, at the ends of the spectrum (or not). We have spilled much digital ink over allegations of “trademark bullying” — something that does occur, but in the grand scheme of all trademark enforcement matters, the instances of actual bullying and abuse seem… Continue Reading

When Intent Matters in Trademark Matters

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Counterfeits, Domain Names, Fair Use, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

One of the unfortunate aspects of trademark practice is the permission that exists in the law to challenge the motives and intentions of people. Unfortunate, because this permission is frequently abused, especially by less experienced trademark counsel, or perhaps when the strength of a case doesn’t seem like enough without injecting an unhealthy dose of emotion into… Continue Reading

The MPAA and the Midwives, and Other Cautionary Tales

Posted in Copyrights, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

As we all know, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has long taken an active role in the debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of traditional midwifery and modern medical views regarding childbirth. That’s what Rosemary’s Baby was all about, right? Well, the MPAA filed an amicus brief yet again in a lawsuit between… Continue Reading

Villains: Knowing the Most, But Caring the Least

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Infringement, Trademark Bullying

- Derek Allen, Attorney – I just finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear the Black Hat, a book that deals with what we mean when we call someone a villain.  By covering examples as diverse as Joe Paterno, Bernhard Goetz, O.J. Simpson, N.W.A., and Chevy Chase, the ultimate conclusion of the book is that a villain is someone who “knows the most, but… Continue Reading

The Trademark Bullying Dialogue Continues

Posted in Articles, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Sophisticated trademark owners recognize that their trademark rights are dynamic — even if their trademarks aren’t famous for purposes of dilution – they can grow or shrink over time, depending on the magnitude of their own use and their response to third party violations. It is no wonder then that trademark owners are prepared to expend significant… Continue Reading

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, False Advertising, Food, Genericide, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

                A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving as a trademark for any kind of sandwich. This is true despite Subway’s claimed… Continue Reading

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

One Man’s Trash Is Another Transit Authority’s Trademark

Posted in Fair Use, Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

A while back, I discussed the New York State Department of Development’s enforcement efforts to prevent others from using the I♥NY logo. It looks like the West Coast may have learned something from the East Coast, as San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit District (affectionately known as BART) has been sending out cease and desist… Continue Reading

Don’t Tread On Me…

Posted in Trademark Bullying

–Cathy Dahl, Attorney Trademark bullying has received a somewhat significant amount of attention over the last few years, including potential new legislation in Minnesota. A trademark owner (or “bully” in the eyes of some) may forum shop in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Gucci takes issue with Guess and its use of a patterned… Continue Reading