Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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Purple-Colored Fabric Tags Attached to Remote Control Found Inherently Distinctive

News flash, last Friday the USPTO approved for publication a non-traditional trademark that I’ve seen in real life before. Let’s just say it is attached to one of our many remote control devices that I’ve had to dig out from...more

6/23/2015 - Inherently Distinctive Roku Trademarks USPTO

Going YARD with the VARO Brand for Batters?

Time spent with my boys in Omaha at the College World Series is hard to beat. Although, last year, Father’s Day weekend was hard to beat too. And, the archives indicate five years ago was pretty wonderful as well. Basically,...more

6/22/2015 - Brand Likelihood of Confusion Trademarks USPTO

Avid Fan Co-Creation of Branding Symbols

When my daughter walks into a Starbucks (given her avid fan status, she does so often with her spending money in hand), she is typically greeted by an employee who says, “I love your shirt, where did you get it”?...more

6/17/2015 - Co-Branding Fashion Branding Starbucks Trademarks

Losing Marbles With Packaging Trademarks

Welcome to yet another edition of non-traditional trademarks, but instead of discussing brown paper bags for chips as trademarks, today we’re focusing on a U.S. trademark registration that surprisingly issued just a few weeks...more

6/8/2015 - Popular Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Food Packaging Trademarks: It’s in the Bag?

Welcome to another edition of non-traditional trademarks in connection with package designs: The Billy Goat Chip Company contends it owns exclusive rights in a protectable and distinctive trademark for the appearance...more

6/1/2015 - Functionality Trademarks USPTO

Top Ten Questions About Rapala Minnocchio

In typical DuetsBlog tradition, here is Rapala’s 2015 billboard for the fishing opener, albeit a few weeks late. I’ll have to admit, I like the telescoped Minnocchio word, and the consistent graphic display from past...more

5/26/2015 - Advertising Billboards

Subway Drops Footlong TM from Advertising

The last time I was at the airport I snapped this photo showing how Subway finally appears to have dropped its use of the TM symbol in association with the word FOOTLONG: As you will recall, Subway had attempted to...more

5/26/2015 - Fast-Food Industry Subway Trademarks

Softening a Double Entendre With a Picture?

It has been a while since I’ve seen a billboard in the Twin Cities worth writing about, but this one engaged my attention. Let’s hope for more as our weather turns for the better. It appears the Minnesota Department of...more

5/19/2015 - Billboards Marketing

Likelihood of Preclusion: Fallout From the Supreme Court Ruling on Likely Confusion

Move over likelihood of confusion, there is another sheriff in town, at least when it comes to looking for guidance on best practices and strategic considerations for a brand owner’s clearance, registration, protection and...more

5/11/2015 - B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries Hana Financial v Hana Bank Issue Preclusion Likelihood of Confusion SCOTUS Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

More Imaginative THANN Other Soap Brands

On a recent trip to the Washington, D.C. area, I had the opportunity to stay at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, and I’ll have to say, as a trademark type, it was difficult to avoid being drawn to their...more

4/28/2015 - B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries Brand Marriott Trademarks Wal-Mart

Big Green Egg on Hunt for TM Registration

As it turns out, four days after Easter, the USPTO refused registration of the Big Green Egg’s claimed exclusive rights in the shape and color of its popular barbecue smoker and grill... ...more

4/22/2015 - Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Coke Walks Tightrope in ZERO Branding

As you may recall, last September we wrote about Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks, discussing Coca-Cola’s defense of a trademark infringement suit brought by an individual named Mirza Baig, who claimed rights in...more

4/20/2015 - Brand Coca Cola Food Manufacturers Popular Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve...more

4/7/2015 - Advertising Functionality Trademarks USPTO

On Unintended Consequences: Will the B&B SCOTUS Ruling Encourage Trademark Bullies?

Last week, while I was preparing for and had the unique opportunity of arguing a real, live TTAB final hearing on the merits, outside the TTAB’s typical oral hearing location (because it was selected by the TTAB to be part of...more

3/31/2015 - B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries Issue Preclusion Likelihood of Confusion SCOTUS Trademark Bullying Trademark Infringement Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks Trial de Novo

Actually Resisting the Temptation to Tout Function and Hopefully Own a Trademark

Continuing our ramp up toward the launch of our Strategies for Owning Your Product Designs webinar next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Morton-Norwich factors — the common analysis for determining whether a product...more

3/23/2015 - Patents Trademarks Utility Patents

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — and Functional Too?

Welcome to another edition of newly filed configuration trademark applications at the USPTO, here is the latest; it is quite a specimen: The question for the day though is whether the claimed mark actually functions...more

3/9/2015 - Trademarks USPTO

Will #TheDress Impact Color Trademarks?

#TheDress phenomenon is about to shape the future of color trademarks and trade dress rights. You may recall, we have written a great deal on the subject of non-traditional trademark protection of colors, especially...more

3/2/2015 - Color Marks Fashion Industry Media Popular Trade Dress Trademarks

Trademarks That Violate Public Policy

As our friend John Welch reported last week,  the place to be on March 10, 2015, is Washington, D.C., at the 25th Annual “PTO Day,” sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association: John will be part of the panel...more

2/24/2015 - Disparagement Lanham Act Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

Samsung Boards Brandverbing Bandwagon

Samsung appears to be the most recent brand to board the brandverbing bandwagon with its Galaxy Note 4 advertising campaign, asking the critical question: Do You Note? Samsung has federally-registered in the U.S. the...more

2/16/2015 - Advertising Genericide Samsung Trademarks

Lights Shining On Configuration Trademarks?

As our loyal readers know, we love bringing non-traditional trademarks within your sights for consideration, even if they’re hanging from the ceiling, so here’s another to explore...more

2/4/2015 - Trademarks USPTO

Likelihood of Confusion and/or Dilution?

Let’s suppose you’re a non-profit like the NRA, you sell stuff on your NRAstore.com, and you’d like to promote the fact that your website has over 30 product demonstration videos available that can easily be viewed online by...more

2/3/2015 - Dilution Likelihood of Confusion Netflix Trademarks

Anticipating Super Bowl L: A Branding Loser?

Now that Super Bowl XLIX is in the rear view mirror, and the New England Patriots have been duly congratulated for winning anything but a Mediocre Bowl, for those of us with no pigskin in the big game this year, it’s time to...more

2/2/2015 - Advertising Football Super Bowl Television Commercials Trademarks

Would You Feel Friendly Toward Freddy?

As the brand manager or trademark counsel for Friendly’s, would you be friendly toward Freddy’s? I remember the Friendly’s restaurant chain when we lived in Columbia, Maryland, back in the days when I clerked for a...more

1/29/2015 - Likelihood of Confusion Restaurant Industry Trade Dress Trademarks USPTO

The NFL’s Super Bowl Trademark Nonsense

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before...more

1/28/2015 - Advertising Football NFL Sports Super Bowl Trademarks

We Prefer A More Subtle, Delicate Approach

For those of you who have been with us since the beginning of this wonderful collaboration of legal and marketing types, known as DuetsBlog, you also know we have a mascot dubbed Duey — he’s depicted in the squirrel graphic...more

1/26/2015 - Business Development Marketing

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