Martha Engel

Martha Engel

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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It’s a Mouse World After All

Deadmau5 (\’ded-mau's\; a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is a popular house music artist who performs wearing a mouse-like head covering called the mau5head. On Twitter he calls himself an “Event Driven Marketing specialist,” so I...more

4/4/2014 - Brand Disney Music

Waking Up Talented Artists to a New Game

Perusing the New York Times last weekend, I came across an article entitled “Wu-Tang Clan Plans to Sell Just One Copy of a New Album.” Oh, so they are going to offer one download and watch it permeate the world virally?...more

4/2/2014 - Music

Burger With a Side of Fashion – Moschino spoofs McDonald’s

You may have previously read my post about apparel companies spoofing luxury fashion brands, but in Milan, one luxury fashion brand spoofed brands perhaps a little more familiar to the average Joe or Jane....more

3/19/2014 - Fashion Branding Infringement Trademarks

I’ll Have CRISTAL With Some Ice, Please

Does the thought of Cristal with ice sound weird to you? Yeah, it did to me too – until I went to Mexico. I am not a discerning champagne purchaser, but I’m familiar with a few well-known champagne brands like Moet,...more

3/7/2014 - Brand Wine & Alcohol

There is only one Lord of the (Olympic) Rings…but then there was Sochi

As we have posted about more than a few times on DuetsBlog over the years (like here and here), the OLYMPICS trademark and the Olympic Rings mark are highly enforced marks that uniquely bear special protection granted from...more

2/19/2014 - Logos Olympics Trademarks

PAPER in a Digital Age

On the cusp of its 10 year anniversary, Facebook announced the “Facebook Paper” app – a combination of social networking and content feed that seems strikingly similar to one of my favorite apps Flipboard, with some of the...more

2/7/2014 - Facebook Trademarks

1st & Ten at the Super Bowl: The Brand You Probably Don’t Know You Know

The NFL is known as a trademark monetizing machine, and this year’s “POT BOWL” is not without its share of trademarks stories. It was recently reported that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks makes six-figures (for...more

1/24/2014 - Brand NFL Super Bowl Trademarks

I <3 Ur Emoticon, But Does It Indicate Source :-/

In a world where communications are shared in a space of less than 140 characters, emoticons are often a part of the lexicon for most texters, tweeters, gamers, and smartphone screen tappers. I have an app, Emoji, that turns...more

1/9/2014 - Gap Inc Trademarks

Be It Resolved: Identify an Opportunity and Make a Change

If there is one thing I look forward to about New Year’s, it’s making resolutions. I think much of life is about continuous improvement; every day is a chance to do something better than the day before....more

1/2/2014 - Law Practice Management

The Year of the Patent Troll

2013 was another milestone year for patents. Here are some highlights: - The most significant change in U.S. Patent Law from the America Invents Act (AIA) was implemented on March 16, 2013, changing the system from a...more

12/30/2013 - America Invents Act Bowman v Monsanto CLS Bank v Alice Corp Electronic Frontier Foundation First-to-File First-to-Invent Keurig Inc mobile Mobile Devices Patent Assertion Entities Patent Reform Patent Trolls Patent-Eligible Subject Matter WIPO

GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys: Someone’s Been Using My Song

Growing up in the ’80s, I have fond memories of music, TV shows, and toys from that era, like Transformers, Michael Jackson, Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton, My Buddy & Kid Sister, Glow Worms, hair bands, He-Man, Square...more

12/5/2013 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Music

I’ll Take a BLACK FRIDAY Beer, Please

I went to Best Buy on Monday to pick up a new modem (it probably would sound cooler if I said I was getting the Xbox One, but the truth is it was a modem). It’s been a little chillier than average here in Minnesota this...more

12/2/2013 - Black Friday Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

Ballin’ Spoofers Ain’t Homies of Luxury Brands

As hipsters continue to rule the world, parody shirts, hats and other apparel have become increasingly prevalent, much to the dismay of luxury brand owners. Here are some recent examples...more

11/7/2013 - Brand First Amendment Likelihood of Confusion Parody Trademarks

The IP in Twitter’s IPO

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Wall Street is aflutter as Thursday marks the latest in social media IPOs – Twitter…and we all remember how well Facebook’s IPO went....more

11/6/2013 - Innovation Patent IPO Patents SEC Twitter

Copying the Place for Fun in Our Life – the Mall of America

Once again, a story from China suggests that imitation is the highest form of flattery. First, it was copying Apple stores. Now, it’s copying for an entire mall – and the most well-known American mall of all at that, the...more

10/16/2013 - China Theft

Building a Smarter Counterfeit Strategy

When I have watched the ad below around some savvy marketing and supply-chain management folks, the reactions have been generally been in the “wow – that’s really cool” vain. IBM seems to really be doing something right...more

9/18/2013 - Counterfeiting Marketing Supply Chain Trademarks

How do you trademark freedom? HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Ten years ago, I went to my first Harley fest in Milwaukee as a student at Marquette. It happened to be Harley’s 100th Anniversary. Not really growing up among Harley riders, it was my first true experience with the Harley...more

9/6/2013 - Harley-Davidson Trademarks

Leaning In on SATURDAY: The Trademark Gender Gap

Tim’s post last week on the dispute between Victoria’s Secret PINK (a women’s lingerie and loungewear line) & Thomas Pink (predominantly known for its menswear line) reminded me of a Women’s Wear Daily article that I read...more

8/15/2013 - Gender Equity Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Infomercials: So was HAIR BLENDER taken?

One of the best things about television is terrible (or terribly hilarious) infomercials showcasing American ingenuity. Behold, one of the latest …The Air Curler®....more

7/26/2013 - Brand Intent-to-Use Patents Television Commercials Trademark Office Trademarks

Smart ad for Smart car

They happen relatively rarely, but I actually saw a car ad spot recently that, while somewhat risky, I found to be very creative and effective. The spot by BBDO Berlin is called “Offroad,” and it features the Smart Fortwo...more

7/5/2013 - Advertising Marketing Smart Car Trademarks

I Entertain Therefore I AM

There was some news yesterday that Will.I.am of the Black Eyed Peas “sued” Pharrell Williams, one of my favorite producers and member of N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes, over the I AM OTHER brand. If you have never heard of...more

6/28/2013 - Brand Celebrities Copyright Infringement Music Industry Trademarks

Banksy, I Thought We Were Friends

I have blogged before about one of my favorite graffiti artists, Banksy. Recently there has been some buzz in the ad world about another provocative work attributed to him. It involves a well-known bottle and trademark that...more

6/12/2013 - Advertising Artists Copyright

Nutty News: Dear Biggest Fan, Here’s a Cease-and-Desist Letter

You have to be one big fan of a company or product to establish a World {What-You-Cannot-Live-Without} Day. Well, a sticky situation with the well-known hazelnut spread Nutella may have you rethinking your public affection....more

5/22/2013 - Cease and Desist Social Media

JCPenney: One ad worth a thousand apologies?

When I hear “JCPenney,” I think of trips to the mall with my mom, annual Christmas catalogs the size of a brick filled with a toy section that kept me occupied and quiet for at least thirty minutes, and my prom dress. Nothing...more

5/10/2013 - Advertising Retailers

Colliding Trademark Particles?: Big Brain Theory and Big Bang Theory

Amidst the ugly so-called “spring” weather we’ve been having here in Minnesota, I was watching The Discovery Channel the other night and saw a promo for this new show....more

4/17/2013 - Television Shows Trademarks

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