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Category Archives: Sound

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Star Wars: Redefining Trademark and Copyright Law Since A Long Time Ago

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Social Media, Sound, Television, Trademarks, USPTO

The Star Wars series is truly an exceptional franchise, having broken box office records, creating legions of fans, and bringing the idea of collateral merchandise licensing to an unprecedented level. Also, how many other films are top hits at the box office in three different decades, even when all you’ve done is add a few… Continue Reading

Blue 42. Set. Trademark! I mean, Hike!

Posted in Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Goodwill, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sound, Squirrelly Thoughts, Television, Touch, Trademarks, USPTO

Can you feel it? All around the country, fields are being groomed, stenciled, and painted. Tonight, the college football season begins with Georgia State taking on Abilene Christian in what could be a preview of one of hundreds of games that most of us don’t really care about. But like so many fans around the country, I’ll… Continue Reading

This Little Piggy Went to the Trademark Office…

Posted in Articles, Fair Use, Goodwill, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sound, Trademarks, USPTO

When was the last time you thought about pigs? What do you think when you hear the word “pigs?” Or an OINK OINK noise? Or what about the angelic and oh-so-American, “SOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEYY!”? Well, the University of Arkansas contends that you’re probably thinking about the Arkansas Razorback sport teams. And they convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark… Continue Reading

Baird on Branding & Trademarks

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than speaking about the legal implications of branding. Our friends at BlackCoffee captured a talk I gave to a group of marketing types a while back, on black and white film (thank goodness), and they have graciously posted a 34 minute excerpt, here. Some of the topics I… Continue Reading

Aflac Duck Speechless Over Gilbert Gottfried’s Firing

Posted in Advertising, Audio, Branding, Contracts, Goodwill, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sound, Television, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney If the Charlie Sheen train wreck has not offered enough fodder for your idle moments, this week Aflac fired Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of the Aflac Duck due to tasteless jokes that Gottfried tweeted in the wake of last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Where Sheen was the face of… Continue Reading

A Dickensian Portrait of Christmas Day

Posted in Advertising, Food, Goodwill, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I’ve often thought that copy writers could do worse than to make a close study of some of Charles Dickens’ work.  Perhaps too wordy a model for most copy, especially advertising and marketing copy, but he could paint a picture with words. [T]he people who were shovelling away on the housetops were… Continue Reading

Blips, Bleeps, Churns and Chugs

Posted in Sound

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney I have to give a shout out to my brother, Kevin, for finding and sending to me this wonderful bit of popular culture: Watching this, all I could think about was how many bits of the Super Mario Bros. Theme instantly evoke memories of playing this game as a kid. From the opening… Continue Reading

How Does an Apple Sound?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sound, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I have been critical in the past of some of Apple’s apparent trademark gaffes (here, here, and here), but I do like the company’s products–I own two Apple computers and two iPods.  (This represents great progress for me.  In college, those of us in engineering referred to Macs as “MacIncrash” computers, having… Continue Reading

Brand Signals: The Building Blocks of Brand Identity

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

Brands communicate with the world through a series of message delivery systems such as broadcast advertising, web sites, company representatives and product interaction. These systems utilize brand signals to communicate. While these signals commonly take the form of brand names and logos, they can also extend into sight, sound, touch, taste, smell or even action… Continue Reading

Non-Traditional Trademarks Revisited: Feel Me, Touch Me

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

Tommy has a lot to offer in advancing the recognition of certain kinds of non-traditional trademarks, especially touch marks. Yes, The Who’s tune from the Tommy Soundtrack "See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You" repeats these lyrics over and over: "See me, feel me, touch me, heal me."

Touch Trademarks and Tactile Brands With Mojo: Feeling the Strength of a Velvet, Turgid, Touch Mark?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

Let’s revisit the topic of non-traditional "touch" trademarks today. Of all the traditional five human senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and trademarks that can be perceived by one or more of those senses, touch, a/k/a tactile, a/k/a texture trademarks are just about as uncommon as any (taste, perhaps, being the least common). Indeed, back in 2006, Marty Schwimmer from The Trademark Blog… Continue Reading

“Shift the Conversation”

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Sound, Touch

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Method products. They are non-toxic, smell good, they come in the kind of stylish product packaging that you can display on any countertop, and they work. So it should come to no surprise that Method is a brand with fans. What other manufacturer of toilet bowl cleaner… Continue Reading

The Paradox of Brand Protection: Knowing When to Hit the Consumer Over the Head

Posted in Branding, Law Suits, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

I often remind branding professionals that trademark law rewards their creativity. Some seem to perk up with this subtle encouragement. After all, everyone likes to be rewarded, right? Well, one of the unobvious rewards for creativity comes in the prompt timing of when trademark ownership begins. Being able to own and enjoy exclusive rights on… Continue Reading

Brands & Trademarks: Giving New Meaning to the Phrase “Stimulus Package”

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

There is certainly a lot of buzz in the news these days about “Stimulus Packages” and how they might be utilized around the globe to spur economic growth and permit us all to resume our active pursuit of prosperity. Let us not forget that a brand (and the underlying trademarks that provide for the legal protection… Continue Reading