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Category Archives: Taste

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When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Posted in Articles, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Taste, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain food dishes and a restaurant’s claimed trade dress in the chef’s unique plating or visual presentation or appearance of certain food… Continue Reading

7G Wireless: The Next Big Thing?

Posted in Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Patents, Product Configurations, Taste, Technology, Trademarks

- Brent Carlson-Lee In the past six months, I have applied for a design patent and two trademarks – all food related. When I mention this, a common response is: “I wish I were creative or knowledgeable enough to come up with an idea worthy of patenting or trademarking.” My answer is invariably: “You are!”… Continue Reading

Yes, you can still wipe your Pierrade with Sopalin without risking trademark genericide (in France, that is)

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Genericide, Guest Bloggers, International, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Taste, Trademarks

- Marie-Gwénaëlle Chuit As Steve frequently points out on this blog, trying to turn your trademark into a reference might lead to genericide, thus trademark owners should be very careful when walking this narrow line. The French IP law (CPI) demands that a trademark be distinctive to be considered valid (L.711.2 CPI), and that owners… 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

Taste Infringement?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Taste, Trademarks, TTAB

    We’ve spent some time here discussing the world-famous Coca-Cola brand. Most recently, David Mitchell wrote about the incredible consistency of the Coca-Cola brand over the past 125 years. A while back Dave Taylor wrote a nice Ode to the Brand of Brands, the King of Cola: Coke. And, let’s not forget my humble suggestion that… 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

Look for Reese’s “Perfect Mix”

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Look-For Ads, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Taste, Television, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Earlier this week, Jason Voiovich commented on The Great Chocolate War between Hershey and Mars. We obviously have chocolate on the brain here this week.  The company that brought you the product configuration trademark to the right has recently released the below commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups–perhaps further establishing rights in… 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

Celebrate Your Freedom to Use Cheesy (ahem, Leafy) Puns

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Taste, Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney With Independence Day just around the corner, perhaps it is time to reflect on some of the freedoms that we enjoy by residing in the land of purple mountains majesty. Freedom of speech? Check. Freedom of assembly? Check. Freedom to use other people’s trademarks, the very basis from which their brands spring, in descriptive and/or… Continue Reading

Discriminating Palettes

Posted in Food, Taste

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney I submit that when a multi-million dollar study finds that one of the “core aromas” of one of the top-selling wine varietals in the world consists of one of the foulest smells known to man AND a winery seizes the day to incorporate said core aroma into a distinctive brand name, there… Continue Reading

Barrel O’Fun Bags ‘Red Hot’ Chip Fight

Posted in Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Product Packaging, Sight, Taste, Trademarks

As you may recall, three weeks ago, I posted about what appeared to be the makings of a "Red, Hot, Chip Fight" between Old Vienna and Barrel O’Fun Snack Foods, over Barrel O’Fun’s use of "Red Hot Ripple" and other elements of trade dress claimed by Old Vienna (see here for my prior post and a side-by-side comparison… Continue Reading

Snack on This One: A Red, Hot, Chip Fight

Posted in Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Product Packaging, Sight, Taste, Trademarks

Minneapolis is the chosen venue for a brand new legal food fight, one involving potato chips. Putting aside for the moment that the proper test of trademark infringement is not based on a side by side comparison of products (unless, of course, they are encountered that way in the real world, as opposed to the… Continue Reading

But, is it Really Guinness?

Posted in Taste, Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney It’s not even noon and I’ve already received e-mail forwards containing a fair share of leprechaun-themed tomfoolery, some of it quite enjoyable. And, as it does every year, the question of whether Guinness tastes better and/or different in Ireland than it does elsewhere has resurfaced. I confess I’m not much of a beer… 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