I’ve been thinking about the nature of language lately, ever since I listened to a podcast about various philosophers who devoted their study to language. For example, Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, is famous for his work on the logic of language. A fundamental premise to his
At The Corner of Trademarks and Confusion
-Martha Engel, Attorney
Even in the age of the Internet, the geographic use of a trademark is an important consideration in determining whether your mark is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of your goods or services. Geographic considerations are particularly important for bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries – especially as they…
The World Cup of Counterfeit All-Stars
There’s a sports fever in the air of the homeland of the DuetsBlog team. The World Cup final is Sunday and, from my office window, I have seen an ever-growing number of soccer fans on the rooftop lawn of Brit’s Pub to watch the matches. I’m not much of a soccer fan, but I am…
Angels in the Outfield and in the Bloodmobile
Most people likely know that the Los Angeles Angels are a baseball team. But did you know they are also a blood bank? Me neither! But according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it appears that the Angels are, or at least claim to be.
At issue are two pending…
Parking Lot Lures & Twins Brand Bait?
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…
The Meaning of “Readily Identified” in Trademark Nominative Fair Use
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
Ambush Marketing With A Twist of Twins Brand Bait?
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…
My, my, my . . .
–Dan Kelly, Attorney
I recently had another experience of coming across a branding trend that, while perhaps old in the creative world, hit me squarely through close-in-time repetitive encounters with the phenomenon, starting with these three marks:
Not to get too complex, but the “My 29” station carries broadcasts of nearly all home and away…
Best Buy, Resurrected From the Trademark Graveyard?
As a trademark type, something struck me as odd about the Best Buy logo image appearing on the brand new outdoor baseball scoreboard at Target Field, during the Minnesota Twins recent home opener against the Boston Red Sox, so I captured a photograph to discuss it here on DuetsBlog.
What caught my eye was the curious placement of the …
Securing the Desired Turf For A Trademark Battle
Let’s talk turf today, two kinds. OK, maybe three.
First, with Target Field looking more and more like the long-anticipated brand new outdoor home ballpark for the Minnesota Twins, all Twins fans and the local media can think or talk about this week is the new real bluegrass blend turf being installed now (as I type this blog post, in fact, see live webcam here), as it was just transported from Graff’s Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Second, most are looking forward to saying goodbye to the artificial turf of the 27-year old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and have been counting down the final days for some time.
Last, and most importantly for the purposes of this blog, let’s talk about the importance of legal turf.
Selecting the legal turf or forum where a trademark dispute or battle is fought in federal court is often a very strategic decision. Litigants not infrequently end up battling over where the dispute will be decided, long before even getting to the substance of their dispute. Certain aspects of the federal trademark laws are interpreted differently around the country, which can lead to what lawyers call “forum shopping,” basically, making forum selections based on where the plaintiff believes his or her case will most likely receive a favorable judgment. Indeed, most companies who file trademark lawsuits would prefer to file them close to home (unless forum shopping benefits dictate otherwise), in their own backyard, for that perceived home field advantage, and, because the out-of-state defendant typically ends up needing to hire two sets of lawyers to defend, their usual trademark counsel and local counsel too.
The general legal rule is that the first to file a trademark lawsuit is the one who gets to select the turf where the battle will be decided. There are exceptions to this general rule, perhaps we’ll explore those another time. For now, however, suffice it to say, being the first to file, often creates some helpful advantage or at least some leverage to bring the matter to a more favorable amicable resolution. The first-to-file plaintiff is able to make his or her settlement demand, with the comfort of knowing that — if it is not accepted — he or she already has secured the place for the dispute to go forward. If it happens to be a place where the defendant does not want to litigate, for one reason or another, this can facilitate perhaps better settlement terms for the first-to-file plaintiff.…
Continue Reading Securing the Desired Turf For A Trademark Battle