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Category Archives: Truncation

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A Less Possessive Hershey’s Brand?

Posted in Branding, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

The possessive form of the Hershey’s brand dates back to at least as early as 1894, according to U.S. Reg. No. 54,041 – a more than 100 year old trademark registration from 1906. Last week, Brand New reported on Hershey’s new logo and corporate identity – without the apostrophe and letter “s” at the end: I’m guessing that the possessive form… Continue Reading

Eh, it’s Ey?

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, International, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Ernst & Young, here is to hoping you can take a little joke about your new truncated name, EY: We’ve written a lot about the potential hazards of brand truncation here, and when one of our talented guest bloggers brings this unfortunate story to our attention, we simply couldn’t resist spilling a little digital ink from our perspective. According… 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

This Mac Needs a Knife Too

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

Louis Armstrong first performed “Mack the Knife” in 1956, a year later McDonald’s introduced the Big Mac, and then, Bobby Darin’s version of ”Mack the Knife” became a chart-topper in 1959. So, these events were all before my time, but I’m left wondering if there was any connection between them, back in the day, or whether they were an unrelated coincidence… Continue Reading

BAND-AID, TM Death by a Thousand Cuts?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

If you were a Band-Aid brand adhesive bandage, and you were cut, would you protect yourself? Brent, sorry I couldn’t help myself, I’m still enjoying your Louis Vuitton waffle-maker post. With that intro, let’s turn another page to the Genericide Watch category, here at DuetsBlog: In focusing attention on the first item in the list shown above, to the… Continue Reading

Bits and Pieces of Brands = Trademarks

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

  D + What = Diet Coke? Let’s file this brand truncation example under the AlphaWatch category, even though there is some other stuff going on here too. The rendition of the distinctive Diet Coke soft drink can to the left really popped for me, at the point of sale, positioned on a shelf behind the clear-glass door of… Continue Reading

Luxury Products Go Logo-less?

Posted in Branding, Counterfeits, Famous Marks, Truncation

–Susan Perera, Attorney Over a year ago, Steve and I authored a piece in the Minnesota Business Journal discussing two-faced brands, these are brands that use both a formal trademark and a less formal, often truncated, trademark. Since then we have seen many brands move away from their historical trademark uses towards shorter truncated trademarks… Continue Reading

Truncating an Underwear Brand: JK, JKY?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

As you know, we’ve spun a lot of fabric over the last few years on the topic of brand and trademark truncation. Marketers seem to love the informality, emotionality, and efficiency of truncated brand names. I suppose trademark types love them too, since they can have the tendency to spin off a variety of complicated legal issues — all… Continue Reading

Successful Evolution of an Unlicensed Business Model?

Posted in Agreements, Articles, Branding, Contracts, Fair Use, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, Truncation

Brand owners and managers may wonder, is a trademark license required when another’s unregistered color scheme is used? Depending on the facts, it may very well be. About four years ago brand owners scored a major victory in LSU v. Smack Apparel, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to the existence and successful enforcement of… Continue Reading

KFC’s FLG, A Finger Lickin’ Good Trademark Truncation?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Food, International, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation, USPTO

It is not a secret (recipe or otherwise) that Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC to more easily (through truncation in branding) communicate an expanded menu and a healthier approach to fast food. We’ve even wondered whether KFC eventually may bow to an image of the Colonel with no words, as a non-verbal logo, as so many others have… Continue Reading

i am ben

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

The ben of today’s post is not one of the many celebrities having the name, a truncated version of any number of other product and service brands, such as Bengay, Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Franklin, Benihana, or even dear old Uncle Ben. Today we’re talking paint, and this paint brand has at least two things going on here:… Continue Reading

Exposing the Two-Face Brands (World Trademark Review)

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

Let’s just say, I’m honored for the privilege of having my writing and article about trademark truncation and two-faced brands published and featured in the prestigious and influential World Trademark Review magazine: "While there are many successful examples of brand truncation, for both marketing professionals and trademark counsel the decision to create alternative faces for existing marks is one… Continue Reading

A Few Trademark Grammar School Facts

Posted in Copyrights, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, Truncation

Any recent graduate of trademark grammar school knows, at least, the following twenty facts (perhaps there is, at least, one opinion among them): A trademark identifies, distinguishes, and indicates the origin of goods; A trademark should be searched and cleared before adoption and first use; A trademark needs a trademark attorney to take a position on availability; A trademark… Continue Reading

More on Exposing Two-Face Brands

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

This past summer, as you may recall, I wrote a DuetsBlog post entitled Exposing Two-Face Brands. Susan Perera helped me expand this post to be featured in the January issue of Minnesota Business Magazine. The online version of the expanded article can be found here. Enjoy and please share your thoughts and perspectives.

Trademark Truncation Alert: B1G

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Trademarks, Truncation

The New Year will be ringing in a brand new trademark truncation, ironically caused by a recent expansion. Just so you know, it’s not a new type of Gatorade (G01, G2, and G03), excuse me, G. So, what can this latest trademark truncation represent?   Apparently, the truncating trademark owner has not yet secured the most obvious domain,… Continue Reading

GeeWhiz: Another Edition of Trademark AlphaWatch

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

In this edition of AlphaWatch, it appears another major brand owner is flirting with truncation and wants to be g too (of course, not to be confused with G2 or even G for that matter), despite the fact that the products associated with each brand might be considered complementary (assuming you’re looking to break a sweat): So,… Continue Reading

Taking Branding Cues from Q in the Single-Letter Trademark Queue

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

Welcome to another edition of AlphaWatch (the next one in our queue), where we explore the reach of single-letter trademarks, this time focusing on the letter Q and the single-letter branding cues it might suggest to consumers: Are you able to name the un-truncated version of this single-letter mark and brand? My daughter could. The answer is… Continue Reading

Did You Get the Memo, Less is More?

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks, Truncation

A couple of days ago, Brandweek featured an interview of Peter Clarke, CEO and founder of Product Ventures, a Fairfield, Connecticut design firm that has created packaging for Heinz, Folgers and Febreze, among other brands: Brandweek: You believe that packaging has become simpler of late. Can you describe what you mean by that? Peter Clarke:… Continue Reading