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Category Archives: Sight

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Why “Hours of Energy Now”?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Tim, after shopping at Costco over the weekend, the reason why the 5-Hour Energy folks seem so interested in owning “Hours of Energy Now” became more apparent: Does Costco’s Kirkland brand energy drink packaging specimen demonstrate trademark use of the phrase “Hours of Energy Now!” better than those provided by the 5-Hour Energy folks?  

Anticipation . . . But, Heinz is Not Keeping Melinda’s Habanero Ketchup Waiting

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Last month Heinz, a brand “synonymous with ketchup throughout the world,” and a seller of “650 million bottles of Heinz ketchup each year,” brought a federal trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in Texas to enforce exclusive rights in the “famous” Heinz bottle design against Melinda’s Habanero Ketchup brand. Here is the Complaint and Exhibits A, B, C,… Continue Reading

Droning On and On, About A Trademark?

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

Months after Amazon’s recent media ploy, drones continue to capture news headlines. Hours ago, an AP story ran, suggesting that the Federal Aviation Administration’s present ban on commercial drones will result in global competitors flying right by the U.S., leaving us in their economic dust, as other countries around the globe embrace the commercial use of drones…. Continue Reading

Single Color Trademark Developments

Posted in Articles, Branding, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Over the past five years, we have spilled a lot of black digital ink discussing trademark ownership of single colors. Color continues to be an important aspect of branding and differentiation in a variety of markets, including many you’d expect, and some you might not. Christian Louboutin’s red color trademark helps to illustrate the importance of single color… Continue Reading

Bungle in the Beer Tapper Jungle?

Posted in Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

The Sports Bar in the Mirage Resort & Casino, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is currently sporting a pretty interesting collection of tap beers, from left to right: Bud Light, Goose Island Honker’s Ale, Stella Artois, Heineken, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Shock Top, Newcastle, Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Goose Island Indian Pale Ale, and Michelob Ultra. What really caught… Continue Reading

Is Tiffany Generic?

Posted in Branding, Counterfeits, Dilution, False Advertising, Famous Marks, Genericide, Law Suits, Sight, Trademarks

Genericide kills trademark rights.  It has been alleged that “Tiffany setting,” encompassing the famous TIFFANY mark owned by Tiffany and Company (“Tiffany”), is merely a generic term for a type of engagement ring. You may recall my DuetsBlog post regarding the lawsuit that Tiffany filed on Valentine’s Day against Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco”) to protect… Continue Reading

Look for the Red Kettle This Holiday Season?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

My iPhone captured this Salvation Army ad posted on a Minneapolis bus that I was following this morning in snowy and very slow traffic. Given how prominently the Red Kettle has become in Salvation Army advertisements, no doubt, you know where my mind goes, straight to non-traditional trademark protection for the shape and appearance of… Continue Reading

LogoThief to the Rescue

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

  There is a brand new exposer of potential intellectual property violations on the scene, meet LogoThief: “We exist to name and shame logo thieves and all others who plagiarise the work of logo designers.” Here is what prompted the start of the website just last week: “We started this website because we are sick of… Continue Reading

Tonight We Tanqueray a Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Genericide, International, Look-For Ads, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

                  Diageo, the Tanqueray brand owner is currently running billboard ads in the Twin Cities as part of its “Tonight We Tanqueray” ad campaign. A couple of years back when the campaign first was announced, Diageo explained it this way: “One of the world’s most awarded gins, Tanqueray London Dry… Continue Reading

Grading Distinctive Vodka Bottle Trademarks

Posted in Articles, Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Last week, Works Design Group highlighted five vodka bottle designs to love. No doubt, a nice collection of very creative work. This stacked ice cube design is my favorite from their set: The skull bottle design shown below also made Works’ top five, and it is certainly eye-popping. It was created by John Alexander, Dan Aykroyd’s co-founder of… 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

Google’s Latest Trademark Bugaboo?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Search Engines, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Fame tends to attract attention, and imitation, especially unwanted imitation from, well, even pests. The Google trademark appears to have obtained such a high degree of fame that no third party can include the word “Google” in its mark without having a problem, regardless of what the third party happens to be selling. Ron, can you say, right in gross?… Continue Reading

Enjoy Coca-Cola (Advertising and Slogans)

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks

Repetition can be a beautiful thing, especially when it’s about The Real Thing: This electronic billboard advertisement is another good example of Coca-Cola advertising that leaves certain aspects of the brand icons to the imagination, this one discloses only the middle portion of the famous contour bottle shape trademark. And, speaking of repetition, remember these Coca-Cola gems from… Continue Reading

The Budweiser Bowtie Can Shape Trademark

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

Launched a few months ago, it’s called the bowtie can, because it appears to emulate Budweiser’s well-known bowtie brand icon, but the formal description of the Anheuser-Busch beer can at the USPTO is a bit more clumsy and technical: “The mark consists of packaging for the goods, namely, beverage package for the goods consisting of a three dimensional shape of a… 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

Coca-Cola Open for Co-Branding?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Trademarks

By now you know how much I love the Coca-Cola brand and advertising, and this beautiful gem of a billboard is no exception: What I’m left wondering is whether consumers might view this as a co-branding campaign between Coca-Cola and Ford, and whether Coca-Cola felt the need to obtain permission from Ford to depict the back… Continue Reading

Costco In Hot Water Again

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, False Advertising, Famous Marks, Infringement, Law Suits, Sight, Trademarks

- Anjali Shankar, Attorney – Costco is in some hot water after being sued by Michael Kors. Michael Kors is alleging that Costco unlawfully used pictures of its luxury handbags to lure in customers when Costco did not have the authorization to actually sell the bags. The ad included an image of bags containing Michael Kors’… Continue Reading

A Floating Feather Suggests What to You?

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

Recently I happened upon an interesting non-traditional, non-verbal, federally-registered trademark that is sure to inspire multiple naming/branding/design posts for me down the road, and I’m anticipating they’ll be so easy to write, I’ll probably do them while I sleep: So, given that introduction, any guesses as to the brand identified by this floating feather image? Any… Continue Reading

But, What About the Legal Implications of Color Selections in Brand Strategy?

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Dilution, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

Yesterday Thomson Dawson of the Blake Project published an interesting blog post on the Branding Strategy Insider called “The Importance of Color in Branding Strategy.” It is an important read for both marketing types and trademark types, both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say. How color impacts and induces certain responses in the… Continue Reading

Get to Know Mr. C, But Where Are His Eyes?

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Earlier this year Tiffany and I had a chance to learn about Procter & Gamble’s creative efforts in bringing Mr. Clean to life at the FUSE Conference in Chicago. Little did we know at the time, that a brand truncation might be in the works, and that there could be reason for an addition to the Alpha Watch here… Continue Reading

When Less is More: Bits and Pieces of Brands

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Trademarks, Truncation

There is no point to spending money on advertising if those experiencing it don’t understand who’s communicating about what brand, right? So, as drivers quickly pass by this attractive roadside billboard sign, how do they know who put out the ad? There must be a brand signature, right? Certainly there can be no signature or source-identifying quality in the… Continue Reading