You may recall that DuetsBlog informed you in May of 2016 (here) that Beyoncé filed suit in New York federal court against a company and its owners who were using the mark Feyoncé on apparel and other products, such as mugs. She has now dismissed the lawsuit—likely based on a settlement (although the settlement has not been reported yet, and if there is a confidentiality provision in the agreement we may never know for sure).

Beyoncé was understandably troubled when the company began using both Feyoncé (rhyming with her name, the only difference being the beginning letter) and “Single Ladies,” which is the same name as Beyoncé’s famous Grammy award winning Song of the Year. In her complaint, Beyoncé explains that the song “tells the tale of female empowerment – the protagonist celebrates her newly found status as a single woman in a dance club telling her ex-boyfriend (who is jealous of the attention that she is receiving from other men) that if ‘you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.” Beyoncé alleged that defendants were “seeking to capitalize on the notoriety of ‘Single Ladies’… defendants are selling merchandise bearing the ‘Feyoncé’ mark – a misspelling of ‘fiancé’ intended to call to mind ‘Beyoncé’ and her famous song.”

Beyoncé brought a motion for summary judgment. In denying the motion, the court found that there were genuine questions of fact regarding whether there was a likelihood of confusion. It was not enough that the company had tried to “capitalize off the exceedingly famous ‘Beyoncé’ mark.” There were still questions as to whether consumers would believe that Beyoncé was associated with the ‘Feyoncé’ products.

Beyoncé takes intellectual property rights seriously (as we all should). You may recall we blogged about her efforts to protect intellectual property related to her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, here, here and here.

We have likely not seen the last of Beyoncé’s efforts to protect intellectual property.

Another update on my long-running series of posts following the NHL’s newest hockey team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and their embattled trademark applications for VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS that were filed nearly two years ago.

Most recently I posted about a challenge to the trademark applications by the U.S. Army, who opposed registration of the VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS marks in connection with professional ice hockey exhibitions. The Army alleged likelihood of confusion, among other claims, based primarily on the Army’s prior use of a GOLDEN KNIGHTS mark in connection with the Army’s parachute demonstration team.

The hockey team announced last week that they had settled the dispute by executing a co-existence agreement, in which the Army agreed to withdraw the opposition proceeding and allow the hockey team to register the VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS marks, while the hockey team agreed the Army would continue using the Golden Knights name for its parachute team.

This type of settlement involving a co-existence agreement is quite common in opposition proceedings. It is also not surprising for a couple other reasons. As discussed in my last post, the Army would have had a difficult time establishing the necessary “relatedness” factor for its likelihood-of-confusion claim. Although both parties technically are offering types of “entertainment” services, it would have been difficult to show that professional ice hockey exhibitions and parachute demonstrations are sufficiently related to cause likely confusion.

Furthermore, the financial support for the Army by Bill Foley (the owner of the hockey team) may have been a factor that encouraged an amicable settlement. Foley is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and is the biggest donor to its athletic program. Due to his $15 million donation, Foley’s name is on West Point’s athletic center.

Now that the Army has withdrawn its opposition, the VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS marks will likely register in the next couple months. This was a difficult road to registration in light of the various Office Actions and other challenges discussed in previous posts. But it was well worth the effort, in light of the high value of the team’s brand, especially due to the team’s quick competitive success and business growth. The Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup in their first season, and the team sold more merchandise last year than any other other NHL team.

Last year I posted about the trademark infringement complaint by PayPal against Pandora, based on Pandora’s rebranded “P” logo that was introduced in October 2016.  See a comparison below of PayPal’s blue “PP” design mark (left) with Pandora’s blue “P” design mark (right).

Last November, the parties reached a written settlement agreement and stipulated to dismissal of the lawsuit.  There was some media coverage of the settlement, but no details of the settlement were discussed in the media nor in any comments from the parties. A spokesperson for PayPal commented only that “we have resolved this matter amicably.” Thus it appears the terms of the settlement were confidential.

Despite such confidentiality, it has seemed, at least for the past few months, that Pandora was on the winning side of the dispute, as it continued using its blue “P” logo without any changes. Nevertheless, since my post last year, I’ve kept an eye on the logo, as it’s relatively common for settlement agreements in trademark disputes to have extended “phase-out” periods, in which a party is given some time period (such as three months) to phase-out an infringing mark and switch to a rebranded mark.

Last week (roughly three months since the date of settlement), I noticed the Pandora logo on my iPhone app had suddenly changed, see below.

 

After some (very brief) searching, I could not find any announcement or mention of the new logo on Pandora’s website or blog, nor on Pandora’s Twitter feed. Nor have I found any other significant media or online discussion of the new logo, yet. This is a bit surprising in light of the extensive marketing and announcements surrounding the previous rebrand.

I believe the logo change occurred about a week ago, based on when my iPhone app updated, but I can’t be sure. Perhaps this is just a temporary or seasonal logo change for other reasons, but I can’t think of a reason why. Nor does it appear to be limited to the iPhone app–the new logo also appears in the Google Play store, on Amazon, on Pandora’s official Twitter account, and its YouTube channel.

Just a wild guess, but perhaps the written settlement agreement required Pandora to change its logo within three months, and also required both parties to remain silent and refrain from any announcements of the new logo? And just another guess, if that’s the case, perhaps Pandora requested confidentiality, and silence regarding the rebrand, to avoid any suggestion that PayPal’s claims were meritorious (i.e., that Pandora’s logo infringed or diluted PayPal’s logo), or that Pandora was on the losing end of the settlement.

What do you think? As I only searched briefly, let me know, have you found any other discussion or media coverage yet of the new logo? Also, what do you think of the new logo from a branding perspective? Not sure I like the contrasting color combinations, but I could get used to it.

A few months ago I posted about a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Ornua, seller of Kerrygold® Pure Irish Butter, against Defendants Old World Creamery and Eurogold USA, who briefly sold Irish butter under the mark Irishgold. The court granted Ornua’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), concluding that Ornua had a reasonable likelihood of success on its trademark infringement claims, and that Ornua would suffer irreparable harm based on Defendants’ use of the Irishgold mark.

I concluded my post by suggesting that the grant of the TRO may push the parties to settlement. When a TRO is granted, it sends a strong signal to the parties about how the court may rule down the road at the summary judgment stage, because a key factor in granting the TRO is the court’s determination that the plaintiff has a “reasonable likelihood of success on the merits.”

Following the grant of the TRO, the parties indeed shifted to settlement talks and a mediation. Last month, the parties executed a settlement agreement and filed a stipulated motion for a consent judgment and permanent injunction, which was granted by the court.

Unsurprisingly, several terms of consent judgment and injunction focus on the IRISHGOLD mark, and generally require Defendants to cease use of that mark in connection with the sale of butter and other dairy products, and to expressly abandon the trademark application for IRISHGOLD. However, it is interesting that the consent judgment allows Defendants to continue using the mark “EURO GOLD” for butter, and to maintain the trademark application for EUROGOLD, provided that an amendment is entered with a space or hyphen (EURO GOLD or EURO-GOLD), and provided that the identification of goods “butter and butter blends” is amended to add the exclusionary language “but excluding Irish butter and Irish butter blends.”

I wonder if there is any wiggle room here for the Defendants to the extent there is ambiguity in the meaning of “Irish butter,” as suggested in my previous post. At one end, it seems clear that imported butter that is manufactured, graded and packaged in Ireland, from Irish cow’s milk, is “Irish butter.” But what about butter that is manufactured, graded and packaged entirely within the U.S., but includes milk from Ireland as an ingredient–which is essentially how the Defendants’ butter is made. What do you think?

–  James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, Fellow IABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA BEPS Emeritus

If you are an attorney, work with or have attorneys in litigation, here’s an interesting, relevant, recent story you can relate to. This is also a story about leadership.

A couple months ago, I was asked by a local religious organization to help them figure out how to help prepare for some pretty nasty publicity. A lawsuit was filed months before, just after the Minnesota Legislature passed a law (in 2014) extending the statutes of limitation on child sex crimes in the state until June 2016. This law triggered dozens of sexual assault cases being refiled after the cases were previously dropped or stopped by former statutes of limitation. New cases also were filed.

This lawsuit was well underway, but failed after 14 months of legal work when the first major milestone, a motion to dismiss, was denied. Litigators were now working on a motion for summary judgment. My client was fearful that bad publicity could break at any time.

Please understand, while I am not an attorney, for nearly 40 years much of my Crisis Management practice has involved litigation, civil and criminal, as well as working with inside and outside counsel.

When I met with the pastor in preparation for a briefing on the status of the case with the attorneys, I asked whether settlement talks were under way. Because I am frequently brought in to these matters late, this is usually my first question of the client and of the attorneys.

I was told the litigators felt it was “premature” for settlement talks. My response was that in view of having lost the motion to dismiss, the likelihood – already very tenuous – of a successful motion for summary judgment was close to zero. The motion to dismiss failure had consumed 14 months. The motion for summary judgment would likely end in failure and consume another 13 to 15 months.

All this while, the victim who was assaulted at age 15 for three years by an assistant pastor (50 years ago), would be forced to suffer another three long years before any thought of a settlement would occur.

If you want a real insight into the reputational difficulty of lawyers, this case is a good example. It was being conducted as a legal procedural, rather than on empathy and victim sensitivity.

Put yourself in her shoes. From her perspective, every day of her suffering is worth say, $10 to $25,000, maybe more. That’s what her husband thought.

As with other victim cases like this one, I recommended that the pastor seriously consider immediately hiring a second law firm, independent of the litigators, to begin meeting with the victim, her lawyers and the victim’s family to get settlement started.

It is re-victimization that drives my thinking here.

Understand that approximately 95% of cases filed, civil or criminal, are ended before getting to trial.  In criminal cases, more than 90% never go to trial, as most are settled with a pre-trial guilty plea.  Cases can be settled, tossed out, go into arbitration, mitigation, mediation or are abandoned. Our legal system is designed to resolve legal matters far ahead of the actual trial. This is another justification for my aggressively recommending settlement talks promptly and early. The odds of any of these cases ever getting to trial is very low. Why subject the victim to five additional years of suffering, fear and doubt, to find out what? The case will never reach a courtroom.

A few days later, on the day of my briefing, to my surprise, the pastor surfaced the separate counsel idea all on his own. The litigator was flabbergasted, saying, “I’ve never heard of that.”

A very predictable discussion followed: “We are in the middle of preparing our next motions . . .” “It’s really premature for settlement talks.” “We haven’t completed our investigation of the plaintiff.” (I’ll get back to this.) And for a second time, “I have never heard of this approach before.”

When it became obvious that the pastor was serious, the litigator, in a sensible turnaround, volunteered to take on the additional responsibility, “at the right time.” The pastor responded, “How about by this Friday.” It was Tuesday when this conversation occurred.

Late Thursday, the litigator called the pastor to tell him that, a couple of hours after his first contact with the victim’s lawyer, the lawyer responded that they would take nothing less than a very low six figures. This was an extremely important development. We were just looking to get discussions going and the plaintiff responded with a remarkably affordable number.

Church leadership had been sleepless for months, fearful that a settlement or verdict would be in the multimillion dollar range. I suggested that they respond to the victim’s attorney with a check for the full amount within 24 hours.

The pastor and I then had a wonderful discussion about the beauty of simply writing a check and helping end the lifelong suffering of this woman without the usual haggling that always accompanies these processes and repeatedly re-victimizes. The pastor agreed and I thought that was it. But wait.

It turned out that the church’s attorneys immediately opposed paying anything until there was a thorough investigation of the victim’s health status and how much she’d spent directly on treating her victimization.

When I heard this I was dumbfounded. We had a settlement amount that was literally a heavenly gift, yet the litigating attorneys insisted on demeaning, disparaging, discrediting and seriously re-victimizing the woman. What’s with these people?

Had I been present for this discussion my response would have been, “Are you nuts? What’s the point? What does it matter?” Believe it or not, there was a serious discussion by these attorneys about hiring an investigator to find this stuff out. Actually, I felt it was kind of on the sick side of things. I would have urged again that the church write a check and get it to the victim’s attorneys, notifying the court of the settlement, and forget any kind of investigation.

A few days later I found out that the church settled for high five figures. Our litigator adamantly opposed simply “giving in” and convinced the pastor to respond with a lower offer. The victim immediately accepted. I guess the attorney was fearful that his buddies or the insurance company would call him a sissy or a coward for paying the face amount of the victim’s response.

Sadly, I thought the church missed an opportunity to live up to its own belief system of finding forgiveness through generosity, charity and kindness. The lawyer lived up to his reputation of getting in the first punch and a last punch, even when no punch was required.

No public communication was ever needed and the only internal communication simply stated that the case had been settled and the entire matter sealed.

When you think about it, this case was actually settled in 72 hours after more than a year of legal jerking around, plus the prospect of jerking around for another 15 months on another failed major motion.

The point is, right now, the settlement timing is generally the litigator’s call, unless the judge gets impatient and starts asking questions. The lesson is, even in this case, litigators get to litigate and pugitate. It will scare the pants off the litigator, but I always urge that the settlement process begins coincident with or even before the litigation begins in the context of reducing the victim’s suffering.

The truth is only a handful of my clients have taken this approach . . . but I am batting 1000 so far. About 72 hours from start to finish.

Once litigation begins, there is tons of testosterosis banging around, which ignores the human factors in favor of legal process.

The major pushback question from the legal side is: How can you start settlement talks when you know so little about the situation?

This is an excellent, rational question that fails to recognize the irrational nature of victimization. But how many settlements have you seen that are actually rational? How many victimizations are rational? The question settlement answers for the victim is: “How can we put your suffering to rest?”

The process is easy. Your settlement counsel arranges to meet with the victim and or their attorney. They introduce themselves and the settlement counsel asks a very simple question, “What will you need to get your life back to normal? Or to start moving toward a better life?”

Three powerful lessons some quickly to mind:

  1. The check you write today is the smallest check you will ever write.
  2. If you enter the negotiations with, “No way,” as your guiding principle, you will eventually write a very, very big check.
  3. No one that matters is keeping score. Rapid settlement is in the interest of a calmer conscience for the lawyers and perpetrators and peace of mind for the victim. What if the victim was your daughter, son, father or mother?

 

Minnesota State Representative Joyce Peppin, is convinced that “trademark bullying” is a problem and that it requires a brand new law in Minnesota to properly deal with it.

Representative Peppin apparently is a law student at William Mitchell College of Law, and she has teamed up with other students and William Mitchell law faculty to write and introduce into the Minnesota State House, a bill entitled the “Small Business Trademark Protection Act” (H.F. 2996).

The body of the proposed bill makes no reference to “small business,” nor does it attempt to define “small business,” but it does purport to define “trademark bullying” this way:

 “[T]he practice of a trademark holder using litigation tactics in an attempt to enforce trademark rights beyond a reasonable interpretation of the scope of the rights granted to the trademark holder.”

As presently written, the proposed Minnesota state law would require the following:

  1. All trademark cease-and-desist letters sent to a Minnesota entity by an entity with a presence in Minnesota must contain specific language notifying the recipients of their right to a settlement conference through the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings; not available after suit has been commenced by any party.
  2. The primary purpose is said to assist the parties in resolving disputes and the secondary purpose is said to identify and label cases of “trademark bullying.”
  3. The timing, format, and additional requirements are detailed, e.g., how the conference shall not exceed eight hours unless the parties and the judge agree otherwise.
  4. Attendance by parties or their representatives is mandatory; if the party starting the dispute won’t participate, it is liable for a $1,500 fine and the attorney fees, costs, and disbursements incurred by the other party.
  5. At its own cost, any party may provide information such as expert testimony, industry practice standards, and evidence of trademark use in commerce.
  6. If a settlement is not reached but the parties have reached an agreement on any fact or other issue, the alj must issue an order confirming and approving, if necessary, those matters agreed upon. The order is binding on any Minnesota state district court judge who is later assigned to hear a related civil action.
  7. If no settlement is reached, any party may request the issuance of an alj summary. The alj may issue such a summary without the request of any party if the alj believes that the claim brought is a case of “trademark bullying.”
  8. Treble damages may be awarded against a party guilty of “trademark bullying”.
  9. If a party is found by a Minnesota state district court or the Office of Administrative Hearings to have engaged in “trademark bullying” more than two times in a period of ten years the party may have their right to conduct business in the state revoked.
  10. The cost of the settlement conference is split equally, unless the alj orders otherwise.
  11. The proposed effective date is August 1, 2012, and would apply to disputes evidenced by cease-and-desist letters and similar communications sent on or after that date.

I’m thinking this proposed legislative solution to “trademark bullying” really misses the mark, your thoughts?

The New York Times has been following a trademark battle between Christy Prunier’s body and beauty care start-up business apparently geared toward preteen and teenage girls (Willagirl LLC) and industry giant Procter & Gamble, owner of the well-known, if not famous, more than century old WELLA hair care brand, with U.S. trademark rights dating back at least to the early 1930s.

The dispute has the most important hallmarks of what popular culture has dubbed “trademark bullying“: Big Business v. Small Business, Established v. Newcomer, basically, David v. Goliath.

For me, however, the trademark bullying label ought not be applied here, especially since, in my estimation, P&G wins the dispute over the right to register, at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) (where the litigation between the parties started), probably 9 out of 10 times.

It’s good to see that Lara Pearson over at The Brand Geek Blog agrees this is not a bona fide case of “trademark bullying.” Seattle Trademark Lawyer similarly writes this isn’t the best example of “trademark bullying.” What do you think, legitimate trademark enforcement or overreaching?

From my vantage point, the goods clearly overlap and those that don’t are closely related, and the only difference between WILLA and WELLA is a short vowel sound between “i” and “e” — when spoken, kind of like the difference between “ick” and “eck” when someone is about to hurl, so let’s call it a distinction without a meaningful difference.

In a dispute over the right to register a trademark — at the TTAB anyway — upper case v. lower case won’t matter, distinctly different associated designs won’t help (because the words will be considered dominant), differing trade dress won’t be considered, and differing actual channels of trade won’t matter either, as the federal registrations owned by P&G for the WELLA brand and mark don’t specify any channel of trade limitations. As a result, all reasonable channels of trade for hair care products will be presumed, leading to a direct overlap of the channels of trade.

Perhaps this explains why Ms. Prunier took the fight to federal district court and sought suspension of the trademark opposition proceeding before the TTAB. This approach is actually a very smart strategy if you can afford it, or, if you have an insurance policy that will defend against any likely counterclaim for trademark infringement. Here is a copy of Willagirl’s successful motion to suspend the TTAB proceeding, which includes a history of the dispute, a copy of the declaratory judgment action filed by Willagirl in federal district court, and P&G Wella’s counterclaim for infringement and dilution, among other state law claims.

The strategy apparently worked, although at great financial cost to Ms. Prunier, because just a couple of days ago, the New York Times reported that the Wella/Willa trademark dispute between Ms. Prunier’s company and P&G has settled prior to a trial being held on the merits.

The settlement is reported to be confidential, as they always are, so we’ll have to monitor the trademark filings and the market place to determine what kinds of restrictions P&G may have imposed on Willagirl. I suspect we’ll never know whether money changed hands, and if so, how much, and the direction it flowed, but if I had to hazard a guess, it seems likely to me that Ms. Prunier won’t be absorbing the entire cost of the estimated $750,000.00 in attorneys fees she has incurred to date.

So, if Willagirl were to try this case ten times in federal district court, how many times does she win, with products looking like these?

 

Without knowing anything about what was learned by the parties during discovery, and assuming there are no smoking guns on either side, I’m thinking Willagirl wins no more than three times.

Let’s just say, settlement is the price of certainty — for both sides.

Years ago I recall hearing a veteran trademark lawyer warn intellectual property continuing legal education attendees, "When your toolbox only has a hammer in it, everything in your world starts to look like a nail."

Fair enough. It’s time for all of us to revisit the contents of our professional toolbox.

Last week, following the firestorm of criticism surrounding Best Buy’s cease and desist letter to a Catholic priest in Wisconsin, Dan provided some balanced and helpful Thoughts on the God Squad Matter, ending his post by indicating an interest in "hearing the thoughts of others on the question of how best to approach a potentially sensitive enforcement situation like this."

In further support of my admittedly Monday morning quarterback efforts and Dan’s suggestion that Best Buy probably was better off picking up the phone on this one, I offer legal and PR types one of Matthew Broderick’s most memorable and applicable lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: "Ringy dingy":

Yes, the telephone (not the shower-head) definitely needs to be one of the tools in any trademark lawyer’s toolbox, especially when it comes to delicate enforcement efforts like the one Best Buy faced with Father Luke Strand’s use of a God Squad logo that appeared to be inspired by Best Buy’s Geek Squad logo.

It is always important to keep in mind the ultimate goal of the particular enforcement effort, and, in many cases, a successful enforcement effort is when the trademark owner convinces another to stop doing what the brand owner finds to be objectionable, with as little effort, hassle, and expense as possible. If this can be accomplished without sending a formal cease and desist letter, all the better.

Taking it a step further, after a phone call, why not consider a face-to-face meeting for the delicate kinds of enforcement efforts that have the legal department consulting with the PR folks before sending any cease and desist letters in the first place? For example, how might this have played out differently for Best Buy if someone from the PR or marketing department had reached out to and even met with Father Luke Strand to offer the placement of a couple of year’s worth of Geek Squad ads in the weekly bulletin of the Holy Family Parish in Fon du Lac, Wisconsin, and in return, obtain a modification of the appearance of the God Squad logo on Father Strand’s one vehicle?

In the end, Best Buy’s explanation that sending the cease and desist letter "was a really difficult thing for us to do," implies that the PR and legal teams discussed the pros and cons before sending the demand letter, but it also begs the question of why a more creative and less routine approach to their trademark concern wasn’t pursued, especially since Best Buy also has expressed that "we appreciate what Fr. Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission."

      

You may recall the Gatorade v. Powerade false advertising lawsuit filed by a Pepsico entity (Stokely-Van Camp, Inc.) against rival The Coca-Cola Company back in April, discussed here (with a copy of the complaint).

You also may recall how G scored an F in the courtroom, back in August, losing a hotly contested motion for preliminary injunctive relief, discussed here.

So, I guess it was only a matter of time before G decided the case wasn’t worth breaking a sweat over any longer.

Interestingly, the Stipulation and Order ending the case, has the owner of the Gatorade brand dismissing with prejudice (meaning they can never be reasserted) all claims it had asserted in the lawsuit against Powerade brand owner Coca-Cola. 

It shows Coca-Cola only dismissing with prejudice its affirmative defenses and counterclaim, "insofar as they specifically address [Gatorade’s] marketing, labeling, advertising and/or promotional claims concerning the inclusion of calcium and/or magnesium in Gatorade Endurance Formula." All other defenses and claims asserted by Coca-Cola were dismissed without prejudice (meaning they are not barred from being reasserted in the future).

Given this unequal treatment in the settlement, it would appear that Gatorade was more anxious to end the case than Powerade.

Recalling that Gatorade and Powerade battled in court over advertising claims back in 2006, any predictions on how long until these two sports drink brand rivals slug it out again in court?

A couple of hours ago Kare 11 News in Minneapolis reported "Lions Tap wins settlement with McDonalds."

Absolutely no details about the settlement were provided, so it’s hard to understand how Kare 11 is able to pronounce this as a "win" for Lion’s Tap over McDonalds, although it certainly plays into the seductive David and Goliath theme of the case. The attorney for Lion’s Tap apparently is quoted as saying the parties reached a "mutually beneficial amicable resolution," and Kare 11 further reports that McDonalds did not "immediately return a phone message seeking a comment" today.

Perhaps even more troubling than the unsupported "win" characterization, is the repeated failure of the traditional media covering this story to get the facts straight — facts easily discernible by reading the federal court complaint that is so often recited in the stories, but apparently very few actually have undertaken to read it. In case you’re interested, here is another link to the actual complaint.

As we have documented before on DuetsBlog, Lion’s Tap did not register the "Who’s Your Patty" slogan until after McDonalds began use and only days before filing suit against McDonalds, and it did not register — even in Minnesota — four years ago, as repeatedly and incorrectly reported ad nauseam by the media.

In fairness, although local CBS affiliate WCCO also republished the significant error on the timing of Lion’s Tap’s Minnesota registration of the "Who’s Your Patty" slogan, at least it didn’t assume the settlement to be a "win" for the Tap: "Lion’s Tap Settles With McD’s Over Catchphrase."

Our coverage of this case is here (9/3/09), here (9/8/09), here (9/21/09), and here (10/17/09).

In case we have not heard the last word on this case, stay tuned, and we’ll let you know more as we know more about this Lion’s Tap "win" and "mutually beneficial" resolution.

UPDATE: Is the Star Tribune reading DuetsBlog? It appears so. A Google search shows the Star Tribune’s original story title on the settlement was: "Lion’s Tap wins trademark suit against McDonald’s," but now the story is titled: "Lion’s Tap settles trademark suit against McDonald’s," with no mention of the Minnesota State registration.

Now we just need to get USAToday, NPR, Newstin, Daylife, and NewsSpider, on the bandwagon.