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Tag Archives: Trademark

University of North Dakota Abandons Sioux Mascot, but not Sioux Mark

Posted in Famous Marks, First Amendment, Loss of Rights, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

The weekend of October 20-21, 2017, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and North Dakota Fighting Hawks traded wins in one of college hockey’s most competitive series. While watching the NCHC broadcast, an ad for the “Sioux Shop” appeared on screen. The ad explained that the Sioux Shop sells North Dakota fan gear at Ralph Englestad Arena… Continue Reading

E-Sports Trademark Updates: MLB, Blizzard, ELEAGUE, and adidas

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Trademarks, TTAB

With the growing popularity of e-sports (multiplayer video-game sports competitions, often played by professional gamers for spectators–also stylized “eSports”), I’ve seen an increasing number of trademark disputes not only between video-game companies, but also between video-game companies and other non-electronics businesses selling physical goods or services.  It is interesting to observe the arguments regarding bridging the… Continue Reading

JORDAN v. QIAODAN: The Lessons of Trademark Enforcement in China

Posted in Advertising, False Advertising, Famous Marks, Infringement, International, Law Suits

-Wes Anderson, Attorney Whether or not you agree Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, he is certainly well-known. And after an over four-year battle, China’s trademark courts have agreed. Michael Jordan and his JORDAN brand have been a staple of Nike’s shoe and apparel business for over thirty years. Nike so… Continue Reading

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to trademark practitioners and owners alike, the federal government is asking the United States Supreme Court to deny the… Continue Reading

Should a Brand Change Its Name for a Little While?

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Marketing, Trademarks

–Debbie Laskey, MBA In May, Anheuser-Busch made news when it announced that it would change the name of its most famous brand from Budweiser to America. So, from late-May to November, in every liquor store, convenience store, gas station kiosk, discount warehouse, and supermarket, people will be saying something strange: “I’ll take a six-pack of… Continue Reading

For Trademark Demand Letters, Every Letter Counts

Posted in Food, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts, Taste, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks

-Wes Anderson, Attorney It has not been a great week for oatmeal. The Quaker Oats Company (a subsidiary of food and beverage giant PepsiCo), on the heels of a recall for its Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars, has also made a rather embarrassing gaffe on the trademark enforcement front. And unfortunately, demand letters are far more difficult to recall. Evidently, an in-house… Continue Reading

Apple’s Quest for the “Ownable” Mark

Posted in Articles, Marketing, Social Networking, Squirrelly Thoughts, Technology, Trademarks

-Wes Anderson, Attorney No company’s branding strategy is studied more meticulously than Apple, Inc.’s — and of late, Apple has taken a turn for the descriptive with its various operating systems. Every company wants its brands to be distinctive — and the arbitrary APPLE mark is among the most well-known. But its new operating system… Continue Reading

Fear and Loathing on the Creative Trail

Posted in Branding, Copyrights, Infringement, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

– James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications Somebody might steal my ideas. I’ve heard this consistently over the years, including in a few conversations this past month. One was with a woman who wants to market her art as greeting cards, but is certain that the “big” card companies would copy her ideas and elbow her… Continue Reading

Peeple who need people

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Idea Protection, Infringement, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Squirrelly Thoughts, Trademarks

– Laurel Sutton, Senior Strategist & Linguist at Catchword Brand Name Development In late September of 2015, tech media worked itself into a frenzy about the launch of an app called Peeple, which was supposed to give everyone the opportunity to rate and review every person you know. “People do so much research when they… Continue Reading

The Board Lends a Blow to Celebrities

Posted in Famous Marks, Fashion, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Technology, Trademarks, TTAB

The celebrity known as will.i.am from the musical group the Black Eyed Peas sought to register three marks for “I AM” in connection with cosmetics, cell phones, artificial eyelashes, sunglasses, and brass wrist cuff bracelets, among other goods. In three precedential opinions,the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) refused to register these marks based on… Continue Reading

Apple Takes Us Back to PENCIL and PAPER

Posted in Branding, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Patents, Product Configurations, Social Media, Squirrelly Thoughts, Technology, Trademarks, USPTO

If you are a member of the Cult of Apple, like tech, or even just watch the news, you’re probably aware that yesterday was Apple’s big fall event where they announce new product launches and updates.  The event showcased a new iPhone with enhanced photo features (as this Wired article aptly puts it “Because selfies.”),… Continue Reading

Sony’s “Lens-Style Camera” Trademark: Shuttered by the PTO?

Posted in Infringement, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Product Configurations, Product Packaging, Technology, Trademarks

-Wes Anderson, Attorney Here’s another fascinating pending application for the file of non-traditional product configuration marks — this time, an application from Sony for the configuration of an all-in-one lens/camera: The drawing may look like an ordinary camera lens – cylindrical, familiar, and generally seen affixed to a fancy DSLR. But the application identifies “Digital… Continue Reading

Beer for Breakfast: Lessons in Co-Branding from General Mills

Posted in Branding

Yesterday General Mills announced that it had partnered with Fulton Brewery to create HefeWheaties: a limited edition brew. The beer is a Hefeweizen, which is traditionally a wheat-based beer, making it a perfect canvas for the Wheaties brand. Normally when these situations arise, it is because one party is complaining (For example, Lucasfilms’ objection to… Continue Reading

Fear the Brow, or Fear the Trademark Specimen?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Fashion, Infringement, Loss of Rights, Social Media, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

-Wes Anderson, Attorney Celebrity has its advantages in the trademark world. Slogans and taglines are big business for famous athletes, which in turn has led to some entertaining trademark applications: JOHNNY FOOTBALL and LINSANITY, to name a couple. As Martha noted in 2012, Anthony Davis sought to capitalize on his distinctive appearance and “The Brow”… Continue Reading

Single-Letter Trademark Battles: Who Gets the W for “W”?

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Articles, Branding, Fair Use, Infringement, Social Media, Trademark Bullying, Trademarks, TTAB, USPTO

-Wes Anderson, Attorney How much trouble can a double-U make?  If you’ve been following this blog over the years, you know the answer: quite a lot. This blog has written extensively on the trials and tribulations that may accompany single-letter trademark applications, and the letter “W” in particular.  You may then conclude, quite correctly, that… Continue Reading

Are You Famous Enough?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Trademarks

If you are Samuel R. Mott, founder of Mott’s LLP, apparently the answer is no.  Mott’s LLP filed applications to register “MOTT’S” for “baby foods” and “packaged combinations consisting of fresh fruit.”  (Serial Nos. 85/374,805 & 85/436,615) The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) refused to register the marks set forth in these applications… Continue Reading

Finger on the Pulse

Posted in Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney We at DuetsBlog like nothing more than to be trend-spotters and, dare I say it, predictors of things to come.  Okay, maybe I’m just talking about me. But I think it’s fair to say that a lot of us saw the concern about the treatment of so-called “green” trademarks at the United… Continue Reading

Expanding into Vegetarian Products Lands Starbucks in Hot Water

Posted in Law Suits, Trademarks

Starbucks acquired the organic juice maker Evolution Fresh Inc. (“Evolution Fresh”). After doing so, Starbucks devised a business plan to expand both the type of products offered and expansion into restaurants. Specifically, Evolution Fresh began selling various food products, including vegetarian and vegan foods, along with juices at restaurants. Starbucks also launched a new logo… Continue Reading

DIY Louboutin: A Can of Red Paint and $30 Pumps

Posted in Sight, Trademarks

–Catlan McCurdy, Attorney Over at DuetsBlog, we have been anxiously awaiting the Second Circuit’s decision in Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent. It was predicted that a decision would be made by early Spring 2012. Meanwhile, the French have already made their decision and moved on, covered by our own Tiffany Blofield here. The British,… Continue Reading

Don’t Be A Clown, Bro: Trademark Your Catch Phrase (and put it to good use)

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Sight, Trademarks, USPTO

– Jonathan Applebaum, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. While major league baseball players are not known for their creative celebrations, Washington Nationals’ rookie phenom Bryce Harper deserves praise for his legal resourcefulness after dismissing a celebration-related question from a Toronto reporter following the Nationals 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on June 12, 2012. The… Continue Reading

Our Youngest Consumers

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, Sight, Trademarks

–Catlan McCurdy, Attorney Everyone who has children, or has been around them knows that even at a very young age, kids develop favorites. Usually it’s a favorite stuffed animal, a favorite outfit, or a favorite food. In my case, it was a favorite superstition, where I believed that by wearing black and white striped knee… Continue Reading