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Category Archives: Trademark Bullying

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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

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 cares the least.”  The sole… 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

Trademark Win for Bubbles by Brooks

Posted in Infringement, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Amy Brooks, from Rochester, Minnesota, has been selling handcrafted soaps that are designed to reduce skin irritation for cancer patients going through therapy. Brooks herself is a cancer survivor and has sold this product for ten years under the name Bubbles by Brooks.  About a year ago, Brooks became subject… Continue Reading

NY ♥ TM

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Idea Protection, Infringement, Marketing, SoapBox, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Last week I stopped at a local wine and beer store to pick up a bottle of wine to bring to a friend’s dinner party (but also couldn’t resist purchasing a 4-pack of Surly’s Bitter Brewer. I had never seen it before, but highly recommend it). As I walked back to my car I noticed a pile of… Continue Reading

Nutty News: Dear Biggest Fan, Here’s a Cease-and-Desist Letter

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Domain Names, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Food, Social Media, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

You have to be one big fan of a company or product to establish a World {What-You-Cannot-Live-Without} Day.  Well, a sticky situation with the well-known hazelnut spread Nutella may have you rethinking your public affection. Back in 2007, Sarah Rosso (Nutella Fan) established World Nutella Day to celebrate her affection for Nutella.  Within the past… Continue Reading

The INTA “Trademark Bullying” Straitjacket

Posted in Advertising, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

This past week I’ve been pondering a question of great importance: When might a straitjacket double as a life vest? The answer actually arrived last Monday during INTA’s “The Ethics of Trademark Bullying” panel discussion at the 135th Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. In so many words, our good friend and wise guy Ron Coleman, over at… Continue Reading

When Will We Run Out of Words to Trademark?

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

-John Reinan, Senior Director, Media Relations, Fast Horse I’ve been thinking about trademark bullying, and I was all set to write a surprising piece standing up for the bullies. You know, the big companies that spend giant piles of money developing products and services, and then hiring marketing geniuses like me to name them, and… Continue Reading

Minnesota to Own “Trademark Bullies”

Posted in Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

Minnesota is positioned once again to take legislative ownership of the ”trademark bullying” debate. Putting aside the serious questions of whether new laws are needed and whether a state as opposed to a federal solution can have any meaningful impact, and despite the federal government’s recent focus on the perceived problem that ended in a whimper, Rep. Peppin appears… Continue Reading

Sheetz Flushing Subway’s Footlong TM Hope?

Posted in Branding, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

It has been almost six months since oral argument before the TTAB over the question of whether the word “footlong” is a trademark or a generic name for a type of sandwich. What type of sandwich you ask? One about twice as long as a six inch sandwich, let’s say about twelve inches in length, making it, oh, about a foot long. Needless… Continue Reading

Monster Cable Ordered to Pay Monster Daddy Attorneys Fees in Meritless Appeal

Posted in Contracts, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB

Techdirt has written extensively about why Monster Cable is considered ”somewhat famous as a trademark bully.” Numerous comments to a TTABlog post reinforce this view. One of the examples Mike Masnick over at Techdirt has highlighted is a TTAB case we handled for a Monster Cable victim a few years back, reported here, with pleadings here. This victory led us… Continue Reading