We have some razor sharp readers and guest bloggers. We’re deeply thankful and especially grateful when our readers and guest bloggers send us real life illustrations of marketing pitfalls we’ve identified, sliced and diced here on DuetsBlog. They provide more great teaching tools.

Hat tip to our own James Mahoney of Razor’s Edge Communications for

It has been a while since we’ve added another page to the Genericide Watch, so a little trip to Candyland, the Twin Cities’ local iconic and old fashioned candy shop, didn’t disappoint:

I suppose that Candyland’s “Mock Turtles” sign is meant to communicate that it isn’t actually selling authentic Turtles brand pecan/caramel/chocolate candy

You probably have gathered by now that I like thinking and writing about non-traditional trademarks.

For some time, mostly when I’m in the car and I happen to notice them, I have been wondering about the shapes of various retail signs and how many of their owners may have sought to federally register them as non-traditional trademarks

         

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

Mark Image   

Best Buy, owner of the Geek Squad brand since 2002, has filed a federal trademark infringement complaint in Minnesota against a pair of individual defendants apparently located in Missouri and California, for allegedly registering and using <thegeekpatrol.biz> domain and the names “Geek Patrol,” “Geek Squad,” and “Geek Squad Patrol”. Here is a copy of the Complaint, including Exhibit A (Trademark registrations), Exhibit B (DomainTools.com print out), Exhibit C (Tollfreeda.com print out), and Exhibit D (Superpages.com print out).

For those of you interested in great entrepreneurial stories, Robert Stephens founded Geek Squad while a student at the University of Minnesota, riding his bicycle around Minneapolis to make computer house calls. The stylish collection of branded Beetles permitted Stephens to cover much more ground when making house calls or office calls. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Robert Stephens and toured his humble first office located above Moose & Sadie’s cafe and coffeehouse blocks from downtown Minneapolis. He gave me and my wife what are now vintage Geek Squad t-shirts, obviously we should have had them autographed at the time!

My early and initial observations of the Geek Squad trademark Complaint are below the jump.


Continue Reading Battle of the Nerds? Best Buy’s Geek Squad¬Æ on Trademark Patrol