I’m happy to share with you that on Tuesday February 8, 2011, I’m speaking about one of my favorite topics, non-traditional trademarks, with my friends Linda McLeod of Finnegan Henderson and Stephen Feingold of Kilpatrick Townsend, in a webinar program put on by Strafford Publications, Inc. The webinar begins at 1:00 PM EST and Noon CST.
Not your garden variety trademark for anything, let alone, ammunition:
Anyone able to decipher it, beyond the consumer obviously being happy in the end?
It was recently published for opposition at the USPTO.
Basically, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of …
Last week, I blogged about a federally-registered emoticon trademark, one that I discovered at 30,000 feet, here. Emoticons as trademarks? Does the idea make you want to roll your eyes like Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig as Aunt Linda? Brace yourself, they appear inclined to stay, for at least a while!
Two weeks ago I couldn’t have told you …
I’m mostly wearing my consumer hat today, having just returned from a youth baseball tournament in Phoenix this past weekend, where we stayed at the six month new Drury Inn & Suites shown above. As you may recall, and if so, you will have noticed the irony because, last September I riffed about the Drury name and asked whether a name change might be in order, to avoid the inevitably negative dreary name associations.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t set out to test my previously stated opinions about the name and whether it actually represented the brand well, but as it clearly was meant to be, and as it clearly was meant outside of my control, the team we traveled with selected this hotel, so I anxiously awaited the trip and then paid close attention to whether my perceptions about the name would match the actual brand experience.
I’ll have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by all three Ps: The property, the people, and the price. It was almost as though someone had read my previous post, from about six months ago, and purposefully set out to distance the name from the actual brand experience (after all, you can’t even read the brand name in the website photo can you?), building a beautiful and non-dreary hotel property with real curb-appeal and attractive interior ammenities, staffing it with amazingly cheery, caring and genuine employees, all at a very reasonable price point. More likely, my prior post simply was based on incomplete information. Oh, and this is not a paid endorsement, and I did pay full price for the room, or I’d have to tell you, as we learned from Steven Weinberg’s analysis of the new FTC guidelines applicable to bloggers. Anyway, this got me thinking about judging books, and even brands, by their covers.
We’re all taught at an early age, not to judge a book by its cover, but we do. I suspect that most of us also judge a brand by its cover too. Cover of a brand?
Some things you should do, just because you can. For example, when I was sixteen, I jumped out of a plane at 3,000 feet, with a parachute tethered to the plane, of course, landing near a chicken farm, surrounded by barbed wire, somewhere in rural North Carolina. That was an experience I’ll never forget, but I haven’t repeated it, at least …
I have heard that lightning only strikes once in the same place, but apparently that is only a myth. Indeed, the number of lightning bolt logos that have "hit" the mail room, over the years, at the U.S. Trademark Office appear to provide additional evidence for disproving the popular myth.
So, what does that say, if anything, about the scope of rights associated with the non-verbal lightning bolt logos shown below, none of which are owned by the same entity, and all of which have been registered or at least approved for publication by the U.S. Trademark Office? And, how many of them do you recognize anyway?
In addition to the link for each logo that connects to the relevant trademark information at the USPTO, here is a numbered hint for each, and the answer key is below the jump:
- golf ball brand
- golf club brand
- Wyeth is the owner
- protective eye wear brand
- professional football club is the owner
- PulseSwitch is the owner
- Gatorade’s lightning bolt
- the lightning bolt logo that Gatorade filed an opposition against
- firearm trigger brand
- an NFL team, the NFL, and the Air-force have filed extensions of time to oppose
- semiconductor brand
- athletic competitions at the high-school level
Worries about having a white Christmas in Minneapolis and elsewhere have been quiet this year. Thus far, we have spent far more than our typical time shoveling some especially heavy wet snow this holiday season, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.
I do have snow on my mind, however, because each time I think …
Can you name the owner of this exclamation mark branding signal?
You may be surprised to learn it is federally-registered in the U.S. as a stand-alone non-verbal trademark.
You may be even more surprised to learn, it was federally-registered without a showing of secondary meaning or acquired distinctiveness, because it was viewed as an inherently distinctive non-verbal trademark.
This is no ordinary exclamation mark, however, the trademark owner claims it in a 3D appearance, does that help?
Here’s another clue: In Latin American countries, the brand name associated with this particular punctuation mark is Pepitos!
Last clue: Would it help to know the goods associated with this registered trademark are chocolate chip cookies?
Answer below the jump.
As you may recall, last month, we had some fun trying to solve the mystery of a non-traditional and non-verbal trademark owned by Amazon.com, here.
This time the non-traditional and non-verbal mystery mark shown above is described in trademark filings as consisting of "four circles that increase in size from left to right." I call it an "increasingly intense ellipsis." What would you call it, if you had to give it a name?
More importantly, have you seen it before? Do you recognize it? Are you surprised to know it is registered and protected as a trademark? Do you know what goods and services are associated with it? Do you know who owns it?
OK, need more information?
You don’t need the products bearing this "increasingly intense ellipsis" mark or the services associated with it to shop online at Amazon.com or any other online retailer. Did that help?
No? Here’s another hint: It is used in close association with this service mark: Tap & Go.
Still not enough? Alright, enough suspense?
The visual answer and more discussion is below the jump.