-Wes Anderson, Attorney
The drawing may look like an ordinary camera lens – cylindrical, familiar, and generally seen affixed to a fancy DSLR. But the application identifies “Digital
-Wes Anderson, Attorney
The drawing may look like an ordinary camera lens – cylindrical, familiar, and generally seen affixed to a fancy DSLR. But the application identifies “Digital…
–Catlan McCurdy, Attorney
The band LMFAO is coming to Minneapolis this May. The band’s name, a mouthful of letters sadly capable of no shorter nickname, is derived from Internet slang that evolved from LOL to LMAO to LMFAO. If you don’t know the meaning behind each acronym, I’ll leave your capable fingers to the…
In addition, I wrote a piece for Thomson Reuters’ Client Times Online called True Lies, Trademark Fraud, and the Medinol Detour: The Federal Circuit Reverses In re Bose."
My son snapped this photo during a recent family trip to Washington, D.C. It almost has become a hobby for him to capture people in the act of ignoring a sign’s specific request or doing exactly what a sign purports to forbid. While some retreated from the water in the World War II Memorial when they…
As the court ruled, and repeatedly reminded: "Toilet paper. This case is about toilet paper."
Just last week the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit enjoyed applying only a modicum of potty humor while deciding Georgia Pacific Consumer Products LP v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a case involving alleged non-traditional trademark rights in Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Diamond Design embossed on the surface of toilet paper (shown above):
Actually, I think the court could have enjoyed itself even more with this case, since most agree double ply humor is far superior than single ply, especially when it’s on a roll.
Returning to the substance in hand, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Diamond Design, found on the surface of Quilted Northern brand toilet paper — and made recognizable from the television commercials with cartoon quilters — "is functional and therefore cannot be protected as a registered trademark."
It is unfortunate for Georgia-Pacific that it was unable to capture both patent protection for a limited term and trademark protection for eternity. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive intellectual property rights, but as this decision painfully demonstrates, if planning, coordination, and great care is not exercised, any hope of eternal trademark protection will be wiped away.
As you may recall, I’ve emphasized the importance of legal and marketing types working together in graceful collaboration to stand a reasonable chance of avoiding the many pitfalls in creating valid and protectable traditional and non-traditional trademark rights (Furminator, Smash Burger, and Bawls Guarana).
But, this decision, rejecting trademark protection for the above-depicted federally-registered design trademarks, highlights the importance of not only having talented legal and marketing types working together for common intellectual property goals, but also, the equally strong need for very close collaboration between patent counsel and trademark counsel.Continue Reading Quilted Toilet Paper Design Flushed As Functional
"Almost every marketer I know underestimates how widespread this fear is. It is the lone barrier almost every product and service has to overcome in order to succeed."
Fear of being wrong…
While it is true that not responding to a trademark cease and desist letter is always an available option, I tend to believe it is rarely a good choice. The strategy of silence seldom makes the issue go away, it often ends up costing the recipient more money to resolve the issue, and it is…
“Trademark law is a complex, specialized area of law,” according to the International Trademark Association (INTA), as set forth in a recent communication to the USPTO.
So, I must ask, does substantial experience or the lack of substantial experience in handling trademark matters impact the current trademark bullying debate? And, if so, how?
Inherent in the question posed by the title of this post is the fact that the word "trademark" has more than one meaning, in fact, multiple meanings in the English language.
It is with great sorrow that we bid farewell to Karen Brennan, who is moving on to greener in-house pastures, as Corporate IP Counsel with United Health Group. Having said that, we fully recognize it is a wonderful and significant opportunity for Karen, so we wish her the very best in her new position.
We will miss Karen’s significant accomplishments and contributions to our group over the years, and I’m sure readers will miss the smart, interesting and clever DuetsBlog posts we have all come to expect from Karen over the last two years.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from Karen:
We remain hopeful that our farewell to Karen is only temporary and partial, at least as a contributing author on DuetsBlog, since we have asked and Karen is hoping to appear as a guest blogger from time to time, when time and other kinds of important things permit.
So that Karen’s clever DuetsBlog bio is not lost into cyberspace as we transfer her likeness and posts from the sidebar and move them to the guest blogger tag, we have reproduced her original bio below the jump.Continue Reading Farewell to Karen Brennan