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Tag Archives: Parody

Whistling While You Work to Parody a Brand?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Food, Marketing, Product Packaging, Trademarks

This is quite a collection of art pieces, inspired by some pretty recognizable candy bar brands: The fine print reads: “Each handmade . . . sculpture is a real working whistle!” Parodies, anyone? Here’s a question, does the functionality of these pieces make them any less expressive as art, any more likely to be confused, any more likely… Continue Reading

Dog Toy Manufacturers Really Like Parodies

Posted in Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Product Packaging, Trademarks

A dog toy display at a local pet store caught my attention recently. I did a double take on seeing the familiar fonts, coloring, and packaging.  Not long after, I happened to find these at a different pet store. Once again, the familiar labels, coloring, and bottle designs caught my attention. While certainly reminiscent of… Continue Reading

Trader Joe’s Takes on Trademark “Schmo”

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Sound, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

In recent USPTO news, Trader Joe’s, the supermarket chain known for its eclectic and unique foodstuffs, recently filed an opposition to registration of the mark “Trader Schmo,” which is described as designating a wide variety of Kosher foods. Understandably, Trader Joe’s took issue with the mark, and particularly its use in the food category. The… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Agrees: Louis Vuitton Can’t Take a Joke

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Fashion, First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademark Bullying

If you’re still looking for holiday gift for that special someone, the Second Circuit has your back. Fresh off the docket, the Second Circuit gave its blessing to My Other Bag’s line of parody canvas tote bags. For additional background, you can read our discussion of the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to the… Continue Reading

Trademark satire is no joke to the City of Atlanta

Posted in Fair Use, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Social Media, Squirrelly Thoughts

Check out this City of Atlanta Facebook page.  The funny thing is that it’s not run by the City of Atlanta.  Although the posts are titled “City of Atlanta” and use the City’s official seal, the page consists of satirical humor composed by Ben Palmer, an Atlanta resident.  Although the first post was only a couple weeks… Continue Reading

Can Starbucks Tolerate Cannabis Parody?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, FDA Approval, First Amendment, Food, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

A couple of weeks back, I captured this image from a t-shirt for sale in Starbucks’ backyard — at a shop in the Pike Place Market area of Seattle: One of the things it brought to mind for me is the dozen year long trademark dilution case that Starbucks lost, over and over, a few… Continue Reading

Louis Vuitton’s Other Lawsuit Was a Winner, but Loses to a Parody Defense – Again.

Posted in Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement

Louis Vuitton is no stranger to trademark disputes. As a a manufacturer of handbags, wallets, and other luxury goods, the company has its hands full just addressing counterfeit products. However, like any other company, there is concern not just with “fakes,” but other products and services that may otherwise infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark… Continue Reading

The Juice Runs Out for Yankee Parody Trademarks

Posted in Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Trademarks, TTAB

A good general business practice is to apply to register trademarks early. You’ll find out if there is an issue. You’ll have time to change rather than having to take everything off the shelf under the threat of a lawsuit. Yet a recent decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in New York Yankees Partnership… Continue Reading

Crafting an Effective Fair Use Defense

Posted in Advertising, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Food, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

The beer industry is rife with trademark legal issues. We’ve discussed quite a few here, including disputes over brewery names, attempts to register as a trademark the design of a beer glass, or the longstanding issue of whether all alcoholic products are related for likelihood of confusion purposes. Because of the importance of the beer… Continue Reading

(Subway) Eat Flesh, An Effective Parody?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, First Amendment, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Trademarks

  This past weekend one of my sons said, “Dad, I have a good blog topic for you.” After he explained, it was clear, yes, son you do! So, he sent me the photo to the left. It is one that he recently snapped at a place that sells Halloween costumes.   As an aside, I love it… Continue Reading

Karl the Infringer: Parody of New Balance Sneaks Up on Lagerfeld

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Fashion, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Patents, Product Configurations, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

A sense of humor and a little lack of respect:  that’s what you need to make a legend survive. –Karl Lagerfeld on his “winning formula” Sometimes there is a news story that neatly weaves a bunch of DuetsBlog posts together like a Bottega Veneta shoe fabric design.  Sometimes that story comes from hard-hitting news authority… Continue Reading

Lunesta and Stoogesta?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, First Amendment, Marketing, Trademarks

    It appears that Lunesta (eszopiclone) — apparently, the top prescribed branded sleep aid —  has a new fan, but as you’ll see, and hopefully for the Farrelly brothers, the newcomer won’t be anything close to a competitive medicinal product: Stoogesta (nimbiscus dumbphondenol). Stoogesta video on YouTube can be viewed here. We’ll have to wait until April… Continue Reading

How Fashionable is the Louis Vuitton “Trademark Bully” Label?

Posted in Articles, Branding, Copyrights, Counterfeits, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Infringement, International, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

There has been quite a flap surrounding the poster and invitation used by the University of Pennsylvania Law School to promote Penn Intellectual Property Group’s Fashion Law Symposium, scheduled for a week from tomorrow. The symposium appears to be designed as a serious affair, boasting an all-star cast of general counsel from the fashion industry, including those from… Continue Reading

Would the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up

Posted in Fair Use

Before I launch into this post, I must provide the disclaimer that I am not a Tweeter and I do not regularly use Twitter.  That being said, here we go. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then Twitter is quickly becoming sycophancy central. “Fake” Twitter accounts abound throughout the Twitter-verse and, frankly, I find… Continue Reading

The Fair Use Defense to Nowhere

Posted in Fair Use

–Susan Perera, Attorney Last Wednesday I wrote about the parody fair use defense to trademark infringement in connection with the Facebook v. Lamebook lawsuits.  Since then another party has asserted the fair use defense, this time in regards to copyright infringement. Last week the on-line news source, Gawker, published images of more than 20 pages… Continue Reading

Facebook Needs Dislike Option for Lamebook

Posted in First Amendment, Infringement, Law Suits, Social Networking

–Susan Perera, Attorney Like most 20-somethings who went to college during the rise of this social media monster, I am quite familiar with Facebook. However, I wasn’t aware of the website Lamebook until the current legal dispute began. Lamebook, a self-proclaimed, “humor blog” was designed to allow people to share the most “ridiculous” things posted on Facebook. The… Continue Reading

A Parody Is Forever?

Posted in Advertising, Idea Protection, Marketing, Television

Recently, a new Verizon commercial caught my eye.  Perhaps you’ve seen it: This immediately reminded me of a circa 1993 (has it really been that long?) De Beers commercial (seen here).  Apparently, this is one of at least two Verizon commercials intended to "spoof" some of the classic, well-known commercials from our past.  My immediate reaction, to these… Continue Reading

The (South) Butt of the Joke?

Posted in Branding, First Amendment, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

We’ve had a little rash of graphic design comedic parody lately. The first example is the notoriously funny The South Butt and its tagline "Never Stop Relaxing". Of course, this is an obvious knockoff of leading outdoor clothier The North Face and its "Never Stop Exploring" call to action. From a legal perspective, of course,… Continue Reading

On Your Marks, Get Set, Let’s Go to Court!

Posted in Advertising, Copyrights, Fair Use, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, International, Trademarks

With less than 6 months to go until the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, trade mark enforcement activities are beginning to heat up. In January, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched its global campaign against the Canadian seal hunt with a version of the Vancouver 2010 Inukshuk logo clubbing a seal… Continue Reading