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Tag Archives: Sponsorship

Super Bowl Ambush Marketing Games Begin?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, False Advertising, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks

We continue to have Super Bowl LII on our minds here in the Twin Cities. It’s hard to avoid thinking about the upcoming “Big Game” with ads like these blanketing our skyway maze: Turns out, everyone wants to have a little piece of the action in this upcoming event, even without the formality and cost… Continue Reading

Another Cliche Color Trademark Calamity?

Posted in Advertising, Articles, Branding, Fashion, Goodwill, Infringement, International, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Packaging, Sight, Technology, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, USPTO

Techdirt is crying foul (again) and this time, wrapping the “trademark bully” mantle around the magenta-colored neck of the T-Mobile brand for enforcing its color trademark against OXY. While I certainly don’t have the details of the dispute (and it appears Techdirt doesn’t either), and OXY hasn’t produced the actual demand correspondence, given the distinctiveness… Continue Reading

Insuring a Great Super Bowl Trademark Fight

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

So, tomorrow is the big day, the big game, or whatever else other intimidated advertisers might call it. I just want to find the best deal on a flat screen television today! But, more to Mike Masnick’s point on Techdirt about the NFL’s reputation as a “trademark bully,” and his challenge to advertisers — “It’s the Super Bowl…. Continue Reading

Baird on Branding & Trademarks

Posted in Advertising, Almost Advice, Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch, Trademarks

There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than speaking about the legal implications of branding. Our friends at BlackCoffee captured a talk I gave to a group of marketing types a while back, on black and white film (thank goodness), and they have graciously posted a 34 minute excerpt, here. Some of the topics I… Continue Reading

Parking Lot Lures & Twins Brand Bait?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Guys and gals on the street waiving orange flags aren’t the only parking lot lures in Twins Territory: We’ve talked before about how some of those doing business or advertising in close proximity to Minneapolis’ brand new Target Field — home to the Minnesota Twins — appear to see advantage in using the Twins name (and now logo, and/or trade… Continue Reading

The Meaning of “Readily Identified” in Trademark Nominative Fair Use

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

We’ve talked a lot about the nominative fair use of trademarks. Remember the Cars.com billboard that used the Minnesota Twins name as brand bait? We had some discussion in the comments, where I said this about the Cars.com ad: Although the billboard doesn’t use the Twins script or logo, I still believe the stronger argument… Continue Reading

Fair Logo, Fair Use & Fair Politics? The Minnesota State Fair’s Trademark-on-a-Stick

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copyrights, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, First Amendment, Food, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Television, Trademarks

The newest fare at the Minnesota State Fair is not Camel-on-a-Stick, Buffalo-on-a-Stick, or any other kind of Food-on-a-Stick, but rather, Trademark-on-a-Stick. Earlier this week, the Minnesota State Fair (owned and operated by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, a Minnesota State Agency) was hot to skewer the unauthorized use of its nearly three-decade-old and more recently trademarked logo, by incumbent Republican U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, in a political ad… Continue Reading

A Longer, Unnecessary Name for the Volvo Brand?

Posted in Advertising, Audio, Branding, Fair Use, Marketing, Trademarks

Someone who is in the business of repairing Volvo brand automobiles has the right to say so, in advertising, and elsewhere — without obtaining advance permission from Volvo — provided consumers aren’t likely to understand the advertisement or communication to mean that the repair services and/or the business providing them is authorized by, affiliated with, or otherwise connected to… Continue Reading

Ambush Marketing With A Twist of Twins Brand Bait?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

 With the brand new outdoor Target Field located in downtown Minneapolis, the buzz is palpable, and there is certainly more foot and other forms of traffic, especially on the end of town closest to where the Minnesota Twins now play their home games. Given that increased traffic I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that some businesses will… Continue Reading

Likelihood of Confusion (As to What?)

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Famous Marks, Goodwill, Marketing, Trademarks

Who is responsible for this billboard ad? Is it a Google advertisement? Verizon? Motorola? Droid? Whatever the answer, it helps make the point visually that trademarks require protection beyond mere confusion as to source; basically, the same point we made a while back (in response to Seth Godin’s trademark position and then during a friendly sparring match with Ron Coleman), as we discussed the breadth of the… Continue Reading

Seth Godin on Trademark?

Posted in Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Idea Protection, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Search Engines, Trademarks

      Seth Godin has an amazing knack for creating and spreading ideas that matter, mostly really good ones, by the way. I always look forward to his daily riffs and I have been known to spread some of his important ideas too when they overlap with things I happen to care a lot about. When it comes to Mr…. Continue Reading

Tiger’s Personal Brand of Apology?

Posted in Branding, Marketing

Putting aside the questions of whether Tiger Woods needed to or should have made a public apology, the timing of it, and even the content of it, now that Brand Tiger made the decision to do so and did so last Friday, I’m interested more with how Tiger conveyed it and the likely impact it will have on his personal… Continue Reading

iPad, the Latest Brand Bait?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Fair Use, Famous Marks, Infringement, Marketing, Product Configurations, Sight, Trademarks

Putting aside, for now, the unsettled question of who currently owns the iPad trademark, and Dan’s perspective on Apple’s trademark clearance strategies, from last week, look at what our finely-tuned e-mail spam filter just snagged: It is a similar story to my previous Free Dell XPS Laptop Spam Scam? blog post from last December. Here, however, the Apple, iPad, and the (possible) iPad configuration… Continue Reading

Accenture’s New Ad Campaign: Elephants, Frogs, & Tiger, Oh My!

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Goodwill, Marketing

Earlier this month, I noted Accenture’s words in publicly ending its relationship with Tiger Woods, having announced around December 13, 2009, that it would "immediately transition" to a new ad campaign, and then compared those words to the company’s actions in continuing to run the Tiger Woods airport ads even three weeks after their termination announcement. Right after Accenture’s announcement, Going… Continue Reading

Sensory Overload

Posted in Advertising

As an attorney, one of my most oft-committed sins against the art of persuasion is forgetting that brevity is key. Get in, deliver your message, and get out. In contrast, concise delivery of a message is something that good branding and advertising generally excel at. I say "generally," because as I was sitting at/in/on/around/near Mall of… Continue Reading

The Roar of Tiger Woods in Branding

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

The impact of the Tiger Woods scandal in branding can be viewed from two different perspectives. The first perspective comes from the point of view of the companies that paid Woods to endorse their products. The second perspective is how the personal brand of Tiger Woods will be impacted as the smoke clears from this… Continue Reading

Irreparable Harm to the Accenture Brand?

Posted in Advertising, Agreements, Branding, Contracts, Goodwill, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

When brands and trademarks are at risk of being infringed, swift and immediate protective action is required, given the inherently reputational nature of the resulting damage. That is why the law typically presumes the necessary "irreparable damage" when issuing immediate injunctive relief, once a plaintiff is able to show, among other things, that it is likely to win its trademark infringement claim. Without… Continue Reading

Is Wal-Mart Giving Away Free $1,000 Gift Cards?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

Same drill as yesterday. Another email spam scam? More trademark fair use abuse? Is it just me, or is the branded email spam coming out of the virtual woodwork, or what? It appears that spam email — complete with fully branded solicitations — is becoming more and more aggressive, both from legal and technology perspectives. We… Continue Reading

A Business Lesson, Courtesy of Larry Flynt

Posted in Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney The Associated Press reported last week that adult entertainment pioneer Larry Flynt, the creator of the famous, and infamous, Hustler Magazine, scored a victory in his trademark infringement suit against his estranged nephews, who are also in the family business.  The nephews, Jimmy Flynt, Jr. and Justin Flynt, launched their business after… Continue Reading