Last month I came across this enormous, larger than life, banner advertisement hanging from the exterior of a casino on our way to the backwoods of Wisconsin.

Of course, this promotional piece took me back to my early childhood and called to mind my long lost enormous collection of Matchbox brand Hot Wheels toy cars and racetrack, but it appears there is no connection with the miniature toy vehicle maker — the winning prize was not a toy replica, but a genuine 2011 Ford Mustang.

These are the kinds of images I think of when I see the words Hot Wheels:


Trademark Types: Would you have cleared the above banner advertisement, as is? Why?

Marketing Types: Would you have thought to obtain legal clearance from a trademark type before the printing of the banner advertisements?

Anyone: Has Mattel established Hot Wheels to be famous for purposes of trademark dilution liability?

FYI, back in 2006, Mattel prevailed in a trademark opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, preventing registration of HotToyz & Design in connection with magazines and online advertisements featuring high performance vehicles, decision here. As you will see, the TTAB found the Hot Wheels mark to be famous, at least for purposes of the likelihood of confusion analysis.