Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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USPTO Pulling Up the Ladder on Picture-Word Equivalency in Assessing Trademark Rights?

A recent stroll through the Minneapolis skyway and the above construction billboard reminded me that we haven’t discussed the picture-word equivalency doctrine in trademark law for some time....more

3/20/2017 - Doctrine of Equivalents Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

April Madness, the NCAA’s One Month Buffer?

We write a lot here about the scope and strength of trademark rights and how that determination is often intertwined to making intelligent likelihood of confusion determinations....more

3/14/2017 - Likelihood of Confusion March Madness NCAA Trademarks

My USPQ 1 Round Up: “Confusion in Letters”

The United States Patents Quarterly has been a resource used by intellectual property lawyers for a very long time. Most of the decisions published in USPQ are patent decisions, but there are a large number of trademark...more

3/13/2017 - Intellectual Property Protection Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Cancellation Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

Stripe Three, Adidas Called a Trademark Bully

Trademark bullying allegations are in the news again. Not only is Forever 21 calling Adidas a trademark bully for asserting rights in the three stripe design mark, it is asking a federal court to say it has not done...more

3/8/2017 - Adidas Forever 21 Trademark Bullying Trademark Infringement

The Worst Top Ten List of Traits Ever

Do you wish you could have been a fly on the wall of the meeting that produced this top ten list, or more likely bottom ten list? Even for five minutes? I’m thinking it must have gotten old fast. ...more

3/6/2017 - Workplace Communication

McCarthy Institute Trademark Seminar 2017

One of the current challenges in trademark law addressed in Seattle last week at the Amazon Corporate Conference Center, host of the 2017 McCarthy Institute and Microsoft Corporation Symposium, is an issue we have discussed...more

2/21/2017 - Disparagement First Amendment Lanham Act Lee v Tam Professional Conferences SCOTUS Trademarks

Wawa Not Gaga Over Dawa?

Earlier this month, Wawa, an East Coast convenience store chain, demonstrated it is not gaga over a single location food mart called Dawa...more

2/13/2017 - Dilution Geographically Descriptive Trademarks

NASCAR Brand Gasoline at a Pump Near You?

With the Strafford Publications webinar later today discussing the Lanham Trademark Act’s “Use in Commerce” requirement, with some of my favorite panelists no less, the topic has been on my mind, even when pumping gas into my...more

1/31/2017 - Lanham Act NASCAR Trademarks Use in Commerce

Your Favorite App-Based Ride Service?

Before you answer the question posed in the title of this post, your initial question might be: What is an App-Based Ride Service? The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport is using a handy sign directing passengers on...more

1/30/2017 - Marketing Mobile Apps Uber

What’s a Peppadew?

We recently checked out a new restaurant in Minneapolis’ growing North Loop area, called Red Rabbit, what a great spot...more

1/23/2017 - Corporate Branding Generic Trademarks

When Less is More

Love the simplicity and honesty of this sign, captured on vacation, in a cozy crepe spot (had to get out of my chair and walk across the dining room to read the smaller print, well worth the steps)...more

1/16/2017 - Corporate Branding Marketing

Outrageously Suggestive?

An oil change and tire rotation over the holiday yielded a little free time for me in our local Goodyear dealer’s waiting room, and it left me wondering about the Outrageously Dependable tagline of Interstate Batteries, so I...more

12/28/2016 - Tagline Trademark Registration

A Trademark Use in Commerce Story: Bonobos Buzz and a Two for One Specimen?

There are at least two kinds of buzz converging at the moment (perhaps three), especially for fashion forward and fit oriented trademark types here in Minneapolis....more

12/19/2016 - Fashion Branding Fashion Industry Lanham Act Retailers Trademarks Use in Commerce

Who’s Watching (What) You Create?

This past weekend, with what appears to be our first lasting snowfall, I enjoyed following my daughter around the chilly alleys of downtown Minneapolis while she created for her photography class. As you can see from the...more

12/12/2016 - Brand Cease and Desist Intellectual Property Protection Trademarks USPTO

Chartreuse Color Trademark on the Loose

We’ve written a lot about single color trademarks here over the years. Weems, the owner of the Flexilla brand has unleashed its federally-registered chartreuse-colored non-traditional trademark for “compressed air hoses”...more

12/5/2016 - Color Marks Supplemental Register Trademarks

Just Wait Until the USPTO Lays Its Hands on These Single and Dual Color TM Applications

Back in 2009, we wrote about what was then Kimberly Clark’s pair of single color purple trademark registrations in connection with “gloves for medical and surgical uses” and “disposable nitrile gloves for general use,” now...more

11/29/2016 - Color Marks Medical Devices Supplemental Register Trademark Application USPTO

Who’s the PATRÓN Anyway?

PATRÓN (meaning “boss” or “landlord” in Spanish) is a pretty famous brand name of tequila (federally-registered since 1993), and don’t forget this gem from the archives...more

11/22/2016 - Personal Brands Popular Restaurant Industry Trademark Enforcement Trademark Infringement Trademarks

The v. Any

When it is clear that you need to take responsibility for an obvious inconvenience, it is far better to own “the” inconvenience than apologize for “any” inconvenience, bravo RBC Plaza...more

11/14/2016 - Brand

Marmots and Mammuts Living in Harmony?

Taking a spin through REI for a jacket yesterday, I happened upon a Swiss outdoor clothing brand that is a new one to me, called Mammut...more

11/7/2016 - Fashion Branding Fashion Design Logos Trademarks

Wahoo: Non-Verbal Equivalent of Racial Slur

The Cleveland Indian’s loss last evening in the World Series ensures that Chief Wahoo will not end the 2016 MLB season at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, but instead Cleveland’s Progressive Field...more

10/31/2016 - Baseball Logos Progressive Casualty Insurance Company Slurs Team Mascots

Houston (College of Law) Has a Problem

A trademark problem, that is, as reported by the Texas Tribune on Friday of last week. Lest you be fooled by the above reference to Houston College of Law being established in 1923, the name has only been around since...more

10/17/2016 - Colleges Lanham Act Preliminary Injunctions Trademark Infringement

Lawsuit Involving IP Protection for a Lamp

Last week a federal lawsuit was filed in Minnesota by Blu Dot to protect alleged intellectual property rights in the floor lamp shown on the left below. The accused “strikingly and confusingly similar” floor lamp shown on the...more

10/10/2016 - Attorney's Fees Copyright Infringement Copyright Registration Statutory Damages Trademark Infringement Useful Article

Supreme Court Benches Dan Snyder’s Team

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Simon Tam’s arguments and review the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s majority decision striking as unconstitutional Lanham Act Section 2(a)’s bar against the...more

10/4/2016 - Disparagement First Amendment Lanham Act Lee v Tam Native American Issues NFL Redskins SCOTUS The Slants Trademark Registration

Owning a Cup of Trademark Transparency

Seeing this Caribou Coffee skyway billboard was a good reminder to me of how much we hear about the importance of transparency in our relationships, including those with brands we love...more

9/19/2016 - Tagline Trademarks Transparency

Does a Commodity Ever Need to Apologize?

On this welcome Labor Day, a few different thoughts converged for me, so please allow me to answer my own question in the title of this post, starting by explaining the...more

9/6/2016 - Brand Commodities Signs

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