It’s that time of year again. The fishing opener in Minnesota is upon us this coming Saturday, so Rapala is sporting its new billboard advertisement.

Judging from USPTO trademark filings, it looks like the cutesy “Bass Friends Forever” tagline is intended to adorn clothing items too.

You will recall that we have consistently

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

For all you sports fans out there, March is pretty much the greatest month of the year.  The spring thaw is underway, spring training has kicked off in Florida and Arizona, the first PGA major of the year – the Masters – right on the horizon.  And, that’s right, March is the time for “March

Well, perhaps more than just about every trademark use guideline in existence, including those offered by the International Trademark Association (INTA) ("NEVER use a trademark as a verb"):

 (television commercial link on Youtube here)

Maybe because you have been following the trademark verbing dialogue here on DuetsBlog and you have learned all

–Susan Perera, Attorney

Every once in awhile I run across a product and find myself wondering… why did they name it this?  I recently ran across the Duck Tape brand shown below.  My first reaction was “duck” is a commonly misused term to identify what should be called “duct” tape, and this brand owner interestingly

These kinds of signs — that appear to single out Rollerblade brand in-line skate loyalists — are all over the place. This one happens to be in the parking garage I use in downtown Minneapolis.

To understand why the Rollerblade brand may find itself in this perilous position, read on, here.

For some additional reading on the related question of verbing brands,

         

They say that the best defense is a good offense. It appears that General Mills has adopted this strategy in a recent trademark dispute over the term LOADED in connection with instant potatoes.

Just yesterday, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reported the filing of a federal district court lawsuit by General Mills against Idahoan Foods, in which

Apparently, if you own one of the diminishing number of retail shops that specializes in tobacco products, it doesn’t really matter if you have a brand or a distinctive name, or not. Tell them what you sell, tell them you’re open for business, and they will come, I guess.

This image got me thinking about how often this marketing strategy — if

Trademark law is unique. Unlike other intellectual property regimes where the primary concern is protecting the rights holder, trademark law is all about protecting the consumer and maintaining the integrity of the communication exchange between producer and consumer. (That’s why the test for infringement is “likelihood of confusion.”) Unlike patent or copyright laws, which simply create a bundle