-Wes Anderson, Attorney

Exult, lovers of autumn and decorative gourds – the air is crisp and the leaves are changing. And, in the treasured annual tradition, this week marked the release of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte – or PSL® as they may prefer to call it.

In the spirit of the season, I sought to

There are at least two kinds of buzz converging at the moment (perhaps three), especially for fashion forward and fit oriented trademark types here in Minneapolis.

On the one hand, with the holidays upon us it’s hard to avoid the barrage of billboard ads in the Minneapolis skyway promoting the first brick and mortar entry

-Martha Engel, Attorney

Today’s offices treat acronyms like linguistic yoga (TOTALLY).

ICYMI, they’re popular also in texts, tweets, and other “thumb-talking” activities.  LOL.  SMH.

Legislators are having fun with them lately too, for example the Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act (PRINCE Act),  the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to

Little did I know that my temporary holiday-season addiction to the QuizUp Logos game would giddyup another blog post regarding non-verbal logo similarity.

The pair of logos above identify, distinguish, and indicate the source of two famous luxury brands, can you name them correctly? Fashionista noted the similarity some time ago, here.

Despite the

 

I’d venture to say that virtually every product sitting on a store shelf is crying out "try me" — some more colorfully than others, some more subtly than others, some more creatively than others, some more persuasively than others. However, most don’t just some out and say the words.

Assuming that to be the case, is it right that only one sauce brand can actually come out and say it?

Hat tip to GuestBlogger Mark Gallagher of BlackCoffee for providing the photo on the left and raising the question.

Turns out the "TryMe" brand has a long history, and it was first registered in 1926 with these style and format limitations (making reasonable a single syllable pronunciation with a silent "e"):

 

Then TRYME registered in 1996, again as a compressed mark, but this time without any style or format limitations (making the "TryMe" usage possible and still supporting the registration), and it now appears from the photos above, that the brand owner favors a compressed style that encourages a two syllable pronunciation ("TryMe").

I’m not sure if James Brown ever promoted the "TryMe" brand, but it might be a nice fit . . . .

 

It all leaves me wondering whether this two-syllable usage and migration undermines the validity of the trademark, by placing "TryMe" closer to the category of non-protectable informational matter.

For a sampling of other words and phrases found in certain contexts to be merely informational and not worthy or capable of trademark protection, see below the jump.


Continue Reading TryMe? Trademark or Informational Matter?

Trademark types frequently encounter brand owners and managers with substantial misunderstanding and confusion about when use of the federal registration notice symbol is lawful. Most of the time a misuse or technical violation results from an honest mistake, but sometimes the misuse is, and starts out intentional, or perhaps the misuse begins to look intentional if it isn’t promptly