Martha Engel

Martha Engel

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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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

Not a Soccer Fan But SHEBELIEVES

Although I’m an avid sports fan, I rarely watch soccer and quite frankly I also rarely watch women’s professional sports. I have some very logical reasons for my avoidance of soccer (in what other sport does the clock tick...more

7/7/2015 - Athletes Soccer Trademarks World Cup

I’ll Take a Trademark, Up, With a Twist

Indeed Brewing Company, a popular brewery here in Minneapolis and a favorite of mine, announced that they were revamping their acclaimed packaging. A story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal unveiled their new...more

6/19/2015 - Brand Breweries Popular Product Labels Trademarks

Is Brewer’s BOSTON 2024 Ahead of Its Time?

Boston Beer Corporation, makers of Samuel Adams beer, received approval for its intent-to-use trademark application for the word mark BOSTON 2024 for “beer,” which generated some news buzz in light of the city’s bid for the...more

6/11/2015 - Beer Brand Breweries Intent-to-Use Olympics Trademarks

What Banks Need to Know About the .BANK Domain Name

As the internet continues to expand, there are new opportunities to use recently approved new domain name extensions similar to .COM, .EDU, .ORG, and .NET. One of these domain names of particular interest to financial...more

6/8/2015 - Banks Domain Names Financial Institutions Internet Popular

For Game of Thrones Beer, Quoth the RAVEN “Nevermore”

The HBO show “Game of Thrones” is a popular show for nerds and non-nerds alike. And if you also happen to be a beer nerd, Brewery Ommegang has been making a series of Game of Thrones-inspired beers in a collaboration with...more

5/28/2015 - Beer Breweries Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

Trademarks Can Be a Bitch

And I mean that literally. We’ve laid down a lot of digital ink in the past about pejorative marks – lately in reference to the Redskins and The Slants, both of which have been deemed disparaging enough to deny them a...more

5/13/2015 - Disparagement Offensive Language Popular Trademarks Young Lawyers

Trolling for an Inventive Method for Patent Enforcement

In the wake of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert leaving their respective shows on Comedy Central for newer pastures, John Oliver has emerged as a new beacon of political humor and satire. If you haven’t watched his show, and...more

4/22/2015 - Inventors Non-Practicing Entities Patent Assertion Entities Patent Trolls Patents Technology Trademarks

The Keys are in the Design

We often ask kids this question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  While my trajectory towards lawyering is true, my answer wasn’t always immediately “lawyer.”  I sought something that satisfied my passion for the...more

4/9/2015 - Auto Manufacturers Automotive Industry Design Patent Patents Trademarks

March Madness For INNOVATION

Following a nice evening out chatting with Kevin O’Keefe, it’s time for my favorite weekend of all – the NCAA tournament. Now this post isn’t necessarily about basketball, but rather rivalries. In particular, rivalries...more

3/19/2015 - Breweries Tag Line Trademarks

Deck Stacked Against HOUSE OF CARDS

No spoilers here, I promise.  Like many Americans since it was released on Friday, I’ve been binge-watching Season 3 of House of Cards.  If you haven’t watched the program, available only on Netflix, it’s a riveting drama of...more

3/4/2015 - Entertainment Industry Netflix Television Shows Trademarks USPTO

The NORTH STAR Guides One to Trademark Issues

Minnesota is known as the North Star State – L’Étoile du Nord. The state of hipsters, unique dining experiences, bitter cold winters, gorgeous summer nights, and fantastic craft brewers also has an impressive craft cocktail...more

2/25/2015 - Beer Likelihood of Confusion Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

Web Developer Swipes Left on TINDER

Tinder received an early Valentine’s day note in the form of a lawsuit from a lesser known web developer named WildFireWeb. For those of you coupled folks hopefully unfamiliar with the service, Tinder is a free dating...more

2/12/2015

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