It was another star-studded event in Seattle last night, enjoy some pics from Meet the Bloggers:

The Ironmongers are Reunited:

Friendly Ron Coleman, John Welch, Steve Baird
Skeptical Ron Coleman, Steady Welch and Baird
Concerned Ron Coleman, Steady Welch and Baird
Animated Ron Coleman, Mildly Amused Welch and Baird

Much Going on Under the Light of a Full Moon:

Marty Schwimmer Focusing as Carl Oppedahl Howls at the full Moon?

The Ayes Have it, About What I Don’t Recall?

Ron Coleman, Carl Oppedahl, and Pamela Chestek, in Favor, Among Others

More Celebration Under the Full Moon?

Tara Aaron Sticks Her Landing, and the Crowd Applauds

Karaoke? Maybe a Little Jackson Browne, Running on Empty?

Eric Pelton Lead, with Backup Vocals by Carl Oppedahl?
Above all the Nonsense? Pleasant and Bright Susan Montgomery and Marty Schwimmer

Ron Continues to Steal the Show With Multiple Facial Expressions:

Friendly Tiffany Blofield, Confident Ron Coleman, Friendly Erik Pelton
Friendly Tiffany Blofield, Amplified Ron Coleman, Friendly Erik Pelton
Steady Tiffany Blofield, Say Cheesy Ron Coleman, Steady Erik Pelton

We look forward to Meet the Bloggers VX in Boston, next year, around this same time, stay tuned.

Toward the end of last week, a couple of friendly ironmongers (John Welch and Ron Coleman) had an interesting dialogue on Twitter, with some great insights about creativity and the law.

John noted that copyright’s requirement of “originality” is not the same as the requirement of “novelty” in patent law. Ron then weaved in some nice insights about creativity and trademark.

The heady discussion led me to rediscover a blog post of mine from more than nine years ago dubbed: The Paradox of Brand Protection: Knowing When to Hit the Consumer Over the Head.

If you can get past the congested text from this beginner’s first few weeks of blogging, it’s actually worth a complete read for the content, but for now, here’s an excerpt with some better spacing:

“I often remind branding professionals that trademark law rewards their creativity. Some seem to perk up with this subtle encouragement. After all, everyone likes to be rewarded, right? Well, one of the unobvious rewards for creativity comes in the prompt timing of when trademark ownership begins.

Being able to own and enjoy exclusive rights on “day one”—meaning, either the first day of use, or even before first use, upon the filing of a federal intent-to-use trademark application—is a big deal in the world of trademark and brand protection. In fact, timing can be everything.

Even a single day can be the difference between having the right to exclusivity and owning nothing at all (except perhaps, the losing end of a lawsuit and a pile of product and packaging ordered to be destroyed).

On the other hand, when rights are not available on day one, you may have an uncontrollable situation; one where competitors and others have an opening to copy or mimic before enforceable rights attach, and in some cases, these actions can make it difficult, if not impossible to obtain exclusive trademark rights at all.

So, the timing of when trademark rights are acquired is quite important, and those in the business of creating brands play an important role in when those rights may come to be.”

Those remarks aren’t ideally suited for the character limit in Twitter, but I’m thinking they reinforce Ron’s point that priority of trademark rights can be impacted by creativity/novelty.

As to my above remarks about federal intent-to-use trademark applications, I’m also mindful of this little dialogue shared with Ron a few years back, but nowhere near nine years ago.

So, the good news for the day is that the law, especially intellectual property law (copyright, patent, and trademark) does reward creativity, in a variety of ways, and each in their own way.

We’re looking forward to continuing this discussion, among many others, with those interested, at the upcoming Meet the Bloggers XIV unofficial INTA event near INTA in Seattle next month.

During the official portion of the INTA program, I’ll be reflecting on the impact of a creative legal theory that consumed lots and lots of lawyers’ hours (billable/non-billable) for a quarter century.

And, finally, let’s not forget about Duey’s little friend, right over here:



Meet the Bloggers XIIadjacent to the INTA (International Trademark Association) meeting in Orlando — was a grand success, here is some of the visual evidence to prove the point:

Erik Pelton, Marc Randazza, Ron Coleman, Pamela Chestek, John Welch, Steve Baird, Marty Schwimmer
Left to Right Hosts/Sponsors: Erik Pelton, Marc Randazza, Ron Coleman, Pamela Chestek, John Welch, Steve Baird, Marty Schwimmer
John Welch
John Welch in the Winner’s Circle
Wes Anderson a Flanax Winner
Wes Anderson a Flanax Winner










Joel MacMull, Steve Baird, Ron Coleman
Joel MacMull, Steve Baird, Ron Coleman
Tiffany Blofield, Ron Coleman, Erik Pelton
Tiffany Blofield, Ron Coleman, Erik Pelton
Barb Grahn, Ted Davis, Lisa Dunner
Barb Grahn, Ted Davis, Lisa Dunner
Marc Randazza, Ron Coleman, Joel MacMull
Steve Baird and Marc Randazza
Steve Baird and Marc Randazza
Steve Baird and Ron Coleman
Steve Baird and Ron Coleman

More to come, stay tuned, if you have other photos you’d like to share here, please let me know!

DuetsLettersAfter returning from a great set of collaborative meetings with other members of the Executive Leadership Board at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy, let’s say, we’re now looking forward to AIPLA’s Spring Meeting, located in our own Minneapolis backyard and playground.

My perspectives on the potential-U.S. Supreme Court-bound First Amendment challenges to Section 2(a) of the Lanham Trademark Act will be shared.

On the heels of AIPLA — we’ll descend upon Orlando for INTA’s Annual Meeting, to visit with our trademark colleagues from around the globe.

Of course, everyone who’s anyone, will be at the highly anticipated off-the-grid UNTA event appropriately dubbed “Meet the Bloggers XII.

Come one, come all, we look forward to spending some quality time together.

Something like 8,000 trademark attorneys are wandering loose on the streets of San Francisco for the International Trademark Association’s annual meeting.

Once again, the main attraction was "Meet the Bloggers" — this edition happened to be "Meet the Bloggers VII" — where a record crowd crammed into Swig Bar a few hours ago, from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Thanks Marty, John, and Ron for another great event!

For details and commentary leading up to the main event, see Marty Schwimmer’s Trademark BlogJohn Welch’s TTABlog, and Ron Coleman’s Likelihood of Confusion Blog. I’m looking  forward to seeing the photos that Ron was diligently flashing of the various riveting conversations.

In between counting the hours leading up to the main event, and in between some meetings here and there, I strolled the streets in the vicinity of the Moscone Convention Center, in search of single-letter-branding examples, also known as our very own AlphaWatch, and here are a few:

 A half a block from . . .

I’ll have others to share with you in the near future — I had a problem downloading the images.

So, until then, what do you think about the growing trend toward single letter brands and marks?

Since we have descended upon Boston, like just about every other trademark attorney in the world, for the annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA), I’ll attempt to keep my remarks short and sweet today.

Basically, I’m confident that the highlight of the INTA annual meeting (that has been observed to require an overhaul, to put it mildly) will be the unsponsored, unendorsed, and unaffiliated, yet real, official, and authentic "Meet the Bloggers" or "BlogFest" event, hosted by Marty Schwimmer (Trademark Blog), John Welch (TTABlog), Ron Coleman (Likelihood of Confusion), and Pamela Chestek (Property, intangible).

See you tomorrow at Lucky’s Lounge, probably closer to 10pm than 8pm!