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Tag Archives: Dan Kelly


Posted in Squirrelly Thoughts

–Dan Kelly, Attorney After a nearly four-year run, I am hanging up my keyboard as a regular contributor to DuetsBlog. I have accepted new employment, so I am bidding bon voyage to Winthrop & Weinstine, and with it, my regular writing here. In my blogging career here, I have written some 140 posts on a… Continue Reading

Would You Rather Pay $8.6 Million in Damages or Appeal that Award?

Posted in Infringement, Law Suits

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Long time DuetsBlog readers may recall the lawsuit between Spin Master and Zobmondo regarding infringement of the “Would You Rather…?” trademark. Prior DuetsBlog coverage is here and here. The jury is in, literally, and unanimously found that the Would You Rather…? trademark is protectable and that Zobmondo infringed it to the tune… Continue Reading

What Drives eCommerce? The Answers May Surprise You

Posted in Domain Names, Marketing, SoapBox, Social Networking

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A couple of weeks ago, Forrester Research issued a report called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012.”  The report has a great deal of interesting information, two pieces of which underscore points I have hammered here for a while.  First, the report notes that “[d]irect traffic is critical to sales:”… Continue Reading

Goodwill Inflation?

Posted in Goodwill, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Meet my trusty GE Electronic Digital FM/AM Clock Radio, Model No. 7-4624: I don’t know if I can pinpoint it exactly, but this puppy has been with me for somewhere along the lines of twenty-eight years. It has been with me through junior high, high school, college, teaching, law school, lawyerdom, marriage,… Continue Reading

Playing With Percentages

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A long time ago, I heard an anecdote in which one person asked another, “Why can’t we just mandate that air travel be 99.9% safe?” The response: “If air travel were only 99.9% safe, there would be three accidents a day at O’Hare alone.” I thought of this anecdote a few days… Continue Reading

Microsoft’s Brand Refresh Cements Color Trend?

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Over the years, we have documented a number of branding trends, from blue ovals, to the 3D trend, to our AlphaWatch. With its recently announced new logo, Microsoft appears to be bucking all trends. Without further ado, here it is: Did you catch that? I know. Blink and you miss it. Look, I will freely confess my bias: I… Continue Reading

Where Did Spam Get Its Name?

Posted in SoapBox, Squirrelly Thoughts

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I’m speaking of the e-mail variety of spam.  I had occasion recently to ask some tech-savvy folks if they knew the origin of the word “spam” as applied to voluminous, unwanted e-mail.  Most did not. I am aware that a few stories have been floated on the etymology of spam as applied… Continue Reading

Hershey Bar Configuration Mark Allowed

Posted in Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Late last month, Hershey Chocolate and Confectionary Corporation won an appeal at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to register the following as a configuration mark for use in connection with candy and chocolate: The decision (opinion here) is straightforward and not precedential.  It is somewhat interesting in that Hershey had already… Continue Reading

Specific Non-Commitment

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Marketing

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I have generally enjoyed Geico’s commercials over the years, having gone so far at one point as to actually become an auto-insurance customer (but not currently).  Geico’s commercials can be viewed on its website here, and the vast majority of them end with the same tagline–one that I have heard frequently enough… Continue Reading

Generational Naming 8.0

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney I ran across information today that Microsoft is coming out with a new operating system this fall:  Windows 8.  8?  What goes into that branding decision?  I’m intrigued by the fact that Microsoft and Apple are again heading in opposite directions.  Apple eschewed the moniker “iPad 3” for its latest generation of… Continue Reading

Can a Domain Name Amplify Trademark Confusion?

Posted in Domain Names, Goodwill, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney There has been at least one interesting trademark-related story in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh flap.  Health insurance company Humana Inc. and its subsidiary Concentra Health Services, Inc. sued Preval Group, LLC for an injunction against Preval’s use of CONCENTRA in connection with a “memory pill.” Humana raised the issue of… Continue Reading

BIG GINGER Trademark Dispute

Posted in Branding, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Twin Cities quasi-celebrity Kieran Folliard grabbed headlines this week by suing the owners of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Pernod Ricard, for trademark infringement.  Folliard is well known in the Twin Cities for founding a chain of pubs, including Cooper, Kieran’s Irish Pub, The Liffey, and The Local.  Of these, The Local serves a… Continue Reading

Does the Trademark Office Need a Trademark Attorney?

Posted in Counterfeits, Infringement, SoapBox, Trademarks

–Dan Kelly, Attorney A few times each year, clients will call or write and inquire about some official-looking correspondence they’ve received about a trademark registration or application.  That happened this week, and here’s the top portion of the official-looking correspondence (redacted): You can see the full page here.  If you read the fine print, this… Continue Reading

Georgia-Pacific 2, Towel-Stuffing Defendants 2

Posted in Branding

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Back in September of 2010, I discussed a couple of then-recent cases about Georgia-Pacific’s trademark lawsuits over the “stuffing” of non-Georgia-Pacific paper towels into GP’s proprietary dispensers.  By way of brief review, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision out of the Western District of Arkansas holding that the practice of “stuffing” does… Continue Reading

A Capote Christmas

Posted in Goodwill

–Dan Kelly, Attorney Last year, I posted a passage from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to put us in a right mood for Christmas Day.  This year, I give you some images from Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”: Of the ingredients that go into our fruitcakes, whiskey is the most expensive, as well as the hardest… Continue Reading