One of the most common defenses to patent infringement is that the asserted patent is invalid. The reasons for invalidity regularly range from lack of utility, to incorrect inventorship, and even to fraud (as I’ve recently written about). Often, the defendant asserts that the patent is invalid for lack of novelty or non-obviousness–pointing
Rapala, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing lures has pleasured us with some pretty clever and creative advertisements over the years, a lot of them award-winning ads too. For example, Carmichael Lynch created the above billboard ad that over time gradually “attracted cats” to the billboard featuring a super-sized Rapala minnow fishing lure. Lots of cats, in fact, many more than you can shake a stick at, you might say, if you fancy idioms and don’t happen to be fond of those feline types. Carmichael Lynch notes: “With simplicity and humor, we’ve helped the [Rapala] brand connect with its enthusiast audience and grow to be the undisputed market leader for fishing lures.” This is simply delicious creativity.
More recently, however, the undisputed market leader for fishing lures is now using the brand name of the undisputed market leader for Internet search engines in Rapala billboard advertising, apparently to continue growing Rapala’s fishing lure business. Although there are Twitter tweets and other mentions on the web referring to this new Rapala billboard ad, I haven’t been able to locate an online image yet, so I’ll have to take a picture of the one I have seen myself and post it here when I can. In the meantime, just picture the above billboard minus the cats (and minnow lure) and with this slogan in large prominent black type above the red Rapala logo: “More Hits Than Google“. Is this new Rapala billboard ad one of the award-winning variety?