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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

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

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

Timber! Will the Little Trees Car Freshener Configuration Trademark be Chopped Down?

We wrote about the above trademark warning ad a few years back, and the claimed trademark owner likely recognizing vulnerability as to validity...more

Worthwhile Uncomfortable Conversations

Seth Godin wrote this past weekend about joint ownership of creations...more

Can Starbucks Tolerate Cannabis Parody?

A couple of weeks back, I captured this image from a t-shirt for sale in Starbucks’ backyard — at a shop in the Pike Place Market area of Seattle...more

Zero Tolerance #USOC Trademark Overreach

By way of follow-up to Tim’s and David’s recent discussions about Rio2016 and related U.S. Olympic Committee trademark enforcement issues, it appears that a local Minnesota carpet cleaning business called Zerorez, is poised...more

The World’s Healthiest Trademark Puffery

Above the Law recently published a Techdirt story reporting that the USPTO denied Whole Foods‘ attempt to federally-register the laudatory trademark: “World’s Healthiest Grocery Store“....more

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

Trademark Goods/Services Limitations, Why Not Exclude Any Federal Unlawful Activities?

Those involved in the cannabis industry — where certain activities are legal in some States, but unlawful under federal law — continue to search for creative strategies and solutions in protecting their trademarks and service...more

Standard Character Trademark Overbreadth

When we hear the word “overbreadth” in close connection with the word “trademark,” the often discussed “trademark bullying” topic will frequently come to mind. Yet, discussions about “trademark overbreadth” are not...more

KIND Taglines: About Owning Your Ad Copy?

First things first: Happy 4th of July, Dear Readers! That was a pretty honest, simple, genuine, transparent, straightforward, to the point, not belaboring at all, under any circumstances, my most sincere wishes to our...more

One Trademark Certainty in Uncertain Times

Watching the morning news for even a few minutes can leave one struck by how we truly live in uncertain times. I suppose every generation has too, but is it more striking at this moment? There are plenty of examples to...more

Look-For Advertising Sans the Clunky Words

We’ve written before on the subject of non-traditional trademarks and how look-for advertising can be quite helpful in not only educating consumers that a color or other design feature should stand out in their mind as...more

Madonna Not Scandalous for Wine Anymore

The headline might be considered old news to some, but since intellectual property attorneys from around the world will be descending upon Minneapolis for the remainder of the week, and since I’ll be speaking tomorrow at the...more

America’s Most Watered-Down Beer (Name)?

Last week the Twittersphere was chirping loudly and negatively in response to reports that Belgian-owned Inbev would be replacing the Budweiser brand name with “America” on beer cans, as shown above. No bow-tie can shape in...more

A Missed Step in Branding Fitness Trackers?

I’ve been wearing one of these little guys on my wrist for almost a year now. Love it. The personal awareness it raises for me in the areas of sleep, diet, and activity, has been profound....more

ELLE Fails to Un-ring Bell, DJ Action Sticks

Question for the day, how common is the given name Elle? I’m really not sure, I don’t believe I’ve ever personally known anyone with that name, and Mongabay doesn’t even include Elle in its listing of girl’s first names, but...more

Yet Another Trademark Based on My?

Love the new bold look of the Mello Yello can, and it’s hard to miss the prominent abbreviation to MY, along with the trademark assertion: This is My World. Actually, as we have written before, there are more than a few...more

When Can You Show Real Fruit on a Package?

The short answer is, when it’s not false or misleading about the product inside the package. This past weekend, my daughter and I found ourselves in Costco, picking up some provisions, and this bag of non-provision...more

UPS: Word, Acronym or Initialism Trademark?

Life is full of ups and downs. The world of trademarks often tends to mirror life. Yet, for the time being, the USPTO currently recognizes only one brand and mark as living solely on ups...more

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