Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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2016, A Big Year For Relationship Building

Project work is fine, whether it’s responding to an overreaching trademark cease and desist letter, helping out with a re-branding project, drafting changes to a license agreement, reclaiming a domain name, assisting with...more

1/4/2016 - Business Development

Naming Products and Services With Brands?

Word to the wise, not the best idea to name a product or service by using another’s brand. So, when Duke’s Seafood & Rib Shack restaurant wants to create a name for their bar, permission would be required to use the...more

1/4/2016 - Brand Restaurant Industry Trademarks

Will USPTO Director Michelle Lee’s Signature Adorn a SLANTS Certificate of Registration?

Let’s hope not, for a variety of reasons. In other words, let’s hope the Supreme Court straightens out the unfortunate ruling last week that the federal government is powerless to deny requests to federally register...more

12/28/2015 - CAFC Disparagement First Amendment Lanham Act Stare Decisis Trademarks

Jelly Belly Seeks Registration of Candy Shape

Last week Jelly Belly Candy Company filed a non-traditional trademark application with the USPTO to federally register the shape of its Jelly Belly candies. The claimed mark is drawn like this...more

12/22/2015 - Jelly Belly Trademark Application USPTO

Another Cliche Color Trademark Calamity?

Techdirt is crying foul (again) and this time, wrapping the “trademark bully” mantle around the magenta-colored neck of the T-Mobile brand for enforcing its color trademark against OXY....more

12/21/2015 - Color Marks Likelihood of Confusion T-Mobile Trademark Bullying Trademarks

PATRÓN Tequila Bottle Design Enforcement?

When we write about non-traditional trademark enforcement here on DuetsBlog, we almost always are referring to the protection of non-traditional marks like product configurations, product containers, product packaging, color...more

12/14/2015 - Enforcement Actions Popular Product Packaging Trademark Infringement Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

On Mastering U.S. Trademark Registration

For those interested in learning more about the valuable benefits of federal trademark registration and how to successfully navigate the registration process at the USPTO, it’s time to mark your calendars for an upcoming...more

12/8/2015 - Continuing Legal Education Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board USPTO

On Valuing Cherubs, Cuties, and Halos

Picking up where we left off yesterday discussing brand valuation, I’ve recently taken great interest in the branding of fresh fruits and vegetables — they seem to be the ultimate commodity, a perfectly ripe environment for...more

12/1/2015 - Asset Valuations Brand Commodities

Who Decides What Your Brand’s Worth?

On this Cyber Monday, I’m left wondering, will we ever have a day when the metrics and automated tools available are so accurate and reliable that intangible assets like brands (and trademarks) regularly will be valued,...more

11/30/2015 - Asset Valuations Brand Trademarks

Is Ronald McDonald Lovin’ This Fryday?

When I recently snapped the above image of a t-shirt on display at a large retailer in the Twin Cities, it made me want to ask the same question many survey experts will ask of respondents to determine whether a likelihood of...more

11/16/2015 - Color Marks Likelihood of Confusion McDonalds Trademarks

What’s in Your Tagline, a Strong Trademark?

Last year, in my post entitled What’s in Your Wallet, a Cafe?, I had this to say about the iconic Capital One tagline: “Since 2000, Capital One Financial — the nation’s largest direct bank — has been promoting its credit card...more

11/9/2015 - Capital One Intent-to-Use Tagline Trademarks

Will Purple Reign, as a Color Trademark?

Today, we’re not talking about that Purple Rain, that Color Purple, or those Purple People Eaters, and we’re especially not talking today about Purple Gloves, Purple Bags, Purple Jackets, Purple Candy Wrappers, or Purple...more

11/2/2015 - AstraZeneca Color Marks Generic Drugs Nexium Pharmaceutical Industry Trademark Registration Trademarks

Airline Brand Strategery: It’s Transfarency

Earlier this month Southwest Airlines launched a brand new ad campaign called “Transfarency,” which is said to highlight the airline’s “low-fare credo and its lack of bag fees, change fees or hidden fees for passengers.”...more

10/19/2015 - Brand Inherently Distinctive Lanham Act Southwest Airlines Trademark Registration Transparency USPTO

Ads Touting Function Shoot Down Trademark

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about brand owners who shoot themselves in the foot with their advertising. And, I’m sure it won’t be the last. As we’ve discussed before, touting the function of a product design...more

10/12/2015 - Advertising Brand Functionality Patents Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks Utility Patents

On Slanted Arguments and Red Herrings

Last Friday, both slanted arguments and red herrings were present during the 90 minute en banc oral argument before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in In re Tam....more

10/6/2015 - CAFC Copyright Disparagement En Banc Review First Amendment Government Speech Doctrine Lanham Act Preemption Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board USPTO

When Over-Breadth Can Bite You Like a Lynx

While lynx may not be generally known for having a ferocious bite, they do have sharp teeth and I’m sure they can inflict serious pain when they do decide to attack. In the same way, while breadth can be a good thing...more

9/30/2015 - Brand Intent-to-Use Service Marks Trademark Application USPTO

Easy Registration Refusal, See Park ‘N Fly

Trademark types know all about Park ‘N Fly, whether they travel or not. That’s because it is more than a nearly fifty year old airport parking and travel service brand and federally-registered service mark, it is short-hand...more

9/28/2015 - Likelihood of Confusion Merely Descriptive Trademark Infringement Trademarks USPTO

A BrandVerb Uber Alles?

Uber, the popular brand that helps people arrange prompt ground transportation, is now also being called a verb. The Star Tribune recently reported that the founder of iHail, a recent competitor of Uber in the Twin Cities...more

9/21/2015 - Brand Trademarks Uber

The Recycling of Brand Vessels?

Brand signals have been described as meaning vessels before, and vessels of trust too. Does that make a branded product package, container, or configuration a vessel within vessel? The tin cans below that have been...more

9/8/2015 - Brand Coca Cola Recycling Trademarks

Wanted: Brand Deputies at the MN State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair continues to provide endless blog fodder for those who care about intellectual property. Last week, we wrote about a State Fair vendor concerned about its claimed, but unarticulated “intellectual...more

9/4/2015 - Brand Dilution Fair Use First Sale Doctrine Royalties Third-Party Trademark Infringement Trademarks Vendors

No MN State Fair Photos, Pretty Please?

Well, it is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, it was a great day, perfect weather, thank you very much! Happy to see that Lulu’s Public House is going strong, she appears to have some new food items this...more

8/28/2015 - Copyright Fair Use Photographs Trade Secrets Trademark Infringement Trademarks

Retail Store Branding With a Weak Dollar

It costs dollars to create a brand. It costs dollars to protect a brand. And, it probably costs more dollars to protect an inherently weak brand and mark over a strong one. So, choose wisely....more

8/24/2015 - Brand Dollar General Dollar Tree Marketing Trademarks USPTO

Will Marketing Pitfall Lead to Sand Pounding?

Preparing to send off to college my two oldest sons, led us to Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill’s rooftop patio on Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall last week, and we found an interesting menu item. Under the Sandwiches...more

8/17/2015 - Brand Marketing Trademarks

What Does the Trademark Registration Say?

Remember a while back when many were humming to the tune “What Does the Fox Say“? Today, I’m asking, what does the trademark registration say? Not, what does the trademark say — that is a different and more complicated...more

8/13/2015 - Disparagement Lanham Act Public Policy Slurs Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Still Smashing Trademark Rights?

Why does Smashburger continue down this road of smashing its trademark rights? Especially, despite our previous cautions...more

8/3/2015 - Brand Food Manufacturers Marketing Trademarks

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