On this Valentine’s Day, after enduring weeks of the same endless running of national retail jewelry chain advertising, leading up to this annually celebrated day of love and affection, I thought it might be fitting to try a few retail jewelry store taglines on for size and examine — at least from a trademark perspective — their protect-ability and likely placement on
There are many things that serious trademark owners do throughout the lifecycle of a trademark to mitigate risk, protect the valuable goodwill in their underlying brand, and preserve their valuable investment in this important intellectual property asset. Here is a fairly extensive, but certainly not exhaustive, and often forgotten, list of those things:
Seriously, I stumbled upon the above web site last evening (without using this online tool), doing some research for a future blog post on trolls, and it really left me with just one question.
–Susan Perera, Attorney
It’s that time of year again, when retail stores featuring ghosts, goblins, and all things spooky begin to appear. This year multiple parties went trick or treating at the USPTO to register their trademarks for Halloween retail store services, and apparently they weren’t all reading Steve’s post from earlier this year regarding…
If you don’t mind the wait, a crowded parking lot is often a good strategy when hunting for an excellent restaurant while you’re in unfamiliar territory. Similarly, a large crowd lining up outside a retail store is typically a good sign that the business is doing something right, or perhaps, they just happen to have something rare that everyone wants.…
Last week we blogged about the dreaded D-Word and how some marketers unwittingly undermine trademark rights in a brand name by explaining that the name "describes" or is "descriptive" of the goods or services sold under the brand.
We also have blogged about the danger of "taking a suggestive name, mark, or tag-line, and using it descriptively in…
We’re not talking the foamed footwear Crocs® that Randall Hull wrote about in his What a Croc! post from a couple of weeks ago. Instead, we’re talking slow cookers — on this snow-capped Valentine’s Day in the Twin Cities.
Every once in a while a stroll down the grocery store aisle leaves me surprised…
I have heard that lightning only strikes once in the same place, but apparently that is only a myth. Indeed, the number of lightning bolt logos that have "hit" the mail room, over the years, at the U.S. Trademark Office appear to provide additional evidence for disproving the popular myth.
So, what does that say, if anything, about the scope of rights associated with the non-verbal lightning bolt logos shown below, none of which are owned by the same entity, and all of which have been registered or at least approved for publication by the U.S. Trademark Office? And, how many of them do you recognize anyway?
In addition to the link for each logo that connects to the relevant trademark information at the USPTO, here is a numbered hint for each, and the answer key is below the jump:
- golf ball brand
- golf club brand
- Wyeth is the owner
- protective eye wear brand
- professional football club is the owner
- PulseSwitch is the owner
- Gatorade’s lightning bolt
- the lightning bolt logo that Gatorade filed an opposition against
- firearm trigger brand
- an NFL team, the NFL, and the Air-force have filed extensions of time to oppose
- semiconductor brand
- athletic competitions at the high-school level
John Reinan provided yesterday a marketer’s perspective that questioned the value of coined trademarks. In my experience, as a trademark type, one place on the spectrum of distinctiveness where both trademark and marketing types can have their cake and eat it too, is the delicious category of suggestive trademarks.
From the legal side of the coin…
I’m thrilled to have this platform to vent about a long-standing beef: awkward, made-up product and company names. Trademark lawyers call them coined.
Among the worst offenders are automobiles, technology and finance. When I was a kid, cars had names like Roadmaster, Thunderbird and Catalina. Now a prospective car buyer has to wade through an alphanumeric sea of names like IS, GLK350 and FX35.
I don’t blame trademark lawyers … exactly. But the need for a strong, legally defensible name no doubt accounts for some of the odd lexicography we see.
I reserve most of my reproach for the naming consultants who come up with these clunkers and the corporate executives who think that a vague name containing an X will magically transform their company into a paragon of the new economy.
See if you can match these 10 names to the products or services they represent. Warning: One of them is a complete fake, made up by me!
1. Celero a. dental insurance
2. Tolamba b. private mortgage banking
3. Onvio c. oil and gas operations
4. Fortex d. email relationship manager
5. Xobni e. fake!
6. Opteum f. motion control equipment
7. Contango g. trading software
8. Nexxar h. wealth management services
9. Provantis i. money transfer services
10. Graxxion j. allergy treatment
Answers are below the jump.