Martha Engel

Martha Engel

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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What’s the Story with STORIES?

Instagram recently released a new feature called Instagram Stories, which allows users to curate a collection of photos or videos of moments to share with friends for them to view, but then it disappears after a day. The...more

8/25/2016 - Instagram Patents SnapChat Social Networks Trademarks

Attorneys Getting Crafty About Firm Names

I consider myself to be, among other things, a craft beer attorney. I enjoyed speaking last week at the Midwest Craft Brewers Conference as part of a great panel on brand positioning, trademarks, and the use of social media...more

8/10/2016 - Brand Breweries Descriptive Trademarks Trademark Opposition Proceedings Trademarks

POKEMON GO Caught By…POKEMON?

Last week was rough. We went from celebrating America to watching her at her worst. We saw officers shoot two black men in Baton Rouge, LA and Falcon Heights, MN, a black man shoot cops in Dallas, and resulting social...more

7/14/2016 - Foreign Trademark International Trademark Protection Mobile Apps Nintendo Pokemon Trademark Application Video Games

A Duel Over DUO Leaves Only Uno

The never-ending battle at the Trademark Office over trademarks for beer and wine suffered another casualty last week, this time over the mark DUO. Applicant Uinta Brewing Company filed a use-based application to register...more

7/5/2016 - Beer Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Registration Wine & Alcohol

Here, Have a BREXIT

The British are leaving! The British are leaving! Many people on all sides of “the pond” last week watched the Brits’ vote to leave the European Union with interest, and were shocked when they actually voted to cut ties...more

6/30/2016 - EU European Patent Office European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Financial Markets Trademark Registration UK UK Brexit USPTO Young Lawyers

Are we entering the era of engine sound marks?

One of the biggest issues facing electric car manufacturers is how quiet they are. So quiet in fact that 60 Minutes edited in an engine roar to its Tesla story. The quiet can have dangerous consequences for pedestrians and...more

6/15/2016 - Auto Manufacturers Copyright Electric Vehicles Sound Marks Tesla Trademarks

Be a Service “to Others”

It’s rare that we focus on descriptions of goods or services here, but one of the most common reasons that a trademark for a brewery or winery is refused registration at the Trademark Office comes down to the description of...more

5/19/2016 - Breweries Service Marks Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks Wineries

Who’s Got PRINCE Control?

My home state of Minnesota prides itself primarily on three things: our ability to withstand our winters, our 10,000 lakes, and our dearly beloved Prince. While we take a beating when it comes to our sports teams, all of...more

4/28/2016 - Music Industry Prince Sound Recording Copyrights Trademarks

The USPTO Says “Yes” But the TTB Says “No” To LSD

Government approval of commercial speech has been a hot topic of discussion by trademark nerds here and elsewhere in light of recent decisions regarding the Redskins and The Slants marks. As those decisions proceed up...more

4/13/2016 - Brand Commercial Speech Disparagement First Amendment Food Labeling Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board USPTO Young Lawyers

March Isn’t Just for Madness, It’s For CRAFTNESS

Here’s hoping your 2016 brackets did better than mine last week, but this has been quite a crazy and exciting tournament thus far. As a Marquette fan, the Indiana–Notre Dame–Wisconsin area of the bracket has been quite...more

3/24/2016 - Beer March Madness NCAA Trademark Application

Consent or Not, No Trademark Registration for Brewer’s TIME TRAVELER BLONDE Mark

When an application has been refused registration in view of another’s prior filed mark, one way to resolve the issue is through a consent agreement wherein the registrant consents to the registration and the parties set out...more

3/3/2016 - Beer Trademark Registration Young Lawyers

Dude, It’s Gotten GNARLY for Beer and Wine

Trademark issues regarding breweries and wineries are increasingly intertwined as both breweries and wineries grow, flower, and spread out throughout the country. I have talked before about the issues relating to a perceived...more

2/25/2016 - Breweries Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks Wine & Alcohol Wineries Young Lawyers

A Meaningful Shift in Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl ads this year were much like the game itself – maybe one remarkable catch, a few fumbles, and heavy on defense. Some even deserved a penalty flag – like the one for toe fungus and the revolting...more

2/10/2016 - Super Bowl Television Commercials

The “Poo” People Use: Who Owns Emojis

Emojis – those cute images you may find in a keyboard on your Android or iPhone device – have changed the way many people communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings and concepts. They can add a certain level of pizzazz to an...more

1/21/2016 - Advertising Billboards Copyright Facebook Fair Use Google

Patent System is not the Fire that Hoverboards Need to Put Out

One of the hottest toys during the 2015 holiday season was the hoverboard, and doesn’t that seem about right for this year. I saw my first hoverboard earlier this summer — a guy was walking and holding hands with his...more

12/30/2015 - IP License Patent Litigation Patents Popular Trademarks Young Lawyers

Have Yourself a Merry 12 Days of SWIFTMAS

Even amid the December hustle and bustle of the holidays, my mind is never very far from trademark and patent issues – especially when getting Christmas songs stuck in my head while shopping for friends and family. I’m prone...more

12/17/2015 - Beer Holidays Music Patents Trademark Registration

Black Friday Flying

Many of you probably hopped aboard a plane this weekend to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, but the flight experience often feels like a Black Friday shopping experience. Passengers get to the airport hours before...more

11/30/2015 - Airbus Airlines Patents

GREENLIGHTing Trademark Protection for Social Movements

Today is Veterans Day, and we all owe veterans (and their families) a debt of gratitude for their service and their sacrifices to ensure our freedom. Veterans are our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, and...more

11/11/2015 - Trademarks USPTO Veterans Wal-Mart

Bud…Bud-WINE-Err?

You might be familiar with the popular mid-90s commercials suggested by the title of this post. However, the intention of this post is about the use of trademarks on beer to refuse trademark protection for wineries and vice...more

10/28/2015 - Anheuser-Busch Beer Likelihood of Confusion Trademarks USPTO Wine & Alcohol

When Brands Get Personal, Do They Lose Their Identity?

Marketing has always been an exercise in getting consumers to make a connection with a brand. As our friend Seth Godin once said “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but the story that you tell.” With the...more

10/9/2015 - Brand Coca Cola Food Manufacturers Product Packaging Social Networks Supply Chain Trademarks

Game, Stripes, Match…No Love Between Skechers & Adidas

Maybe I haven’t quite accepted the fact that the US Open and New York Fashion Week are over and September almost is too, but stories on tennis and fashion always get my attention, especially when they include a little...more

9/23/2015 - Adidas Fashion Branding Fashion Design Fashion Industry Popular Sketchers Trademark Infringement Trademarks

Apple Takes Us Back to PENCIL and PAPER

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...more

9/10/2015 - Apple Facebook Patents Samsung Trade Dress Trademarks

Targeting Graphic Tees

Up here in the North, we are big fans of the store that has it all – Target. In fact most Minnesotans will often joke that we cannot step foot in a Target store without spending at least $100 and walking out with items we...more

8/19/2015 - Copyright Fashion Branding Logos Manufacturers Marketing Retailers Social Networks Target Trademarks

The Great Presidential (logo) Debate

The day has finally arrived – the beginning of 2016 presidential debate season! The best reality TV showdown around! Democrat or Republican, I don’t discriminate, political debates are probably the only fighting “sport” in...more

8/6/2015 - Brand Logos Political Candidates Presidential Elections

At The Corner of Trademarks and Confusion

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...more

7/16/2015 - Advertising Beer Breweries Geographically Descriptive Likelihood of Confusion Logos Restaurant Industry Trademarks

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