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Here’s to Calling the Kettle, Brand Too?

The teapot read my post from last week and is not only calling the kettle black, but brand too...more

When is a Duck a Goose, or a Ham a Brand?

Every once in a while, the word “brand” appearing on product packaging surprises me, because my earlier understanding of the word preceding it spells generic, not brand....more

What Does Snapchat Need to be Identified?

My daughter captured this striking photo on a recent trip to Times Square in New York City...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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