Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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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

Owning the Visual Identity of a Generic Word

Unless you have created a highly stylized, distinctive, graphic representation of a generic designation, perhaps something like the Miller Lite script, don’t bother trying to own or enforce it:   Most likely, you’ll...more

1/19/2015 - Lagunitas Trademark Infringement Trademarks

As the Trademark Fraud Pendulum Swings

Once upon a time, and for decades thereafter, trademark fraud claims were highly disfavored. They were criticized as unproductive litigation diversions — “often pled,” but “rarely proven.”...more

1/12/2015 - Commercial Use Fraud Trademarks USPTO

Apple Turnover Trade Dress Totally Flipped

As if we all haven’t already indulged a little too much over the holidays, we chose our first day back to write about non-traditional trademark protection for the configuration of single-serving apple pie pastries. It’s OK,...more

1/5/2015 - Food Manufacturers Trade Dress Trademarks

A December for Configuration Trademarks?

Every now and then it’s worth checking in at the USPTO to see what’s cooking in the world of non-traditional product configuration trademarks: As it turns out, the Big Green Egg is seeking to be more than a word mark —...more

12/29/2014 - Popular Product Configuration Trademarks USPTO

An Energized Trademark Monster?

Three months ago we discussed a “trademark bullying” allegation against Monster Energy, detailed in a declaratory judgment complaint filed in Montana federal district court by energy-drink competitor Victory Energize....more

12/22/2014 - Declaratory Judgments Dismissal With Prejudice Likelihood of Confusion Monster Energy Drinks Popular Trademarks

Bo Knows, How To Beat a Trademark Bully

This Bo might not have won the Heisman Trophy, he might not have played in the NFL or MLB, he might not have enjoyed a lucrative Nike endorsement deal, and he might not have been named ESPN’s greatest athlete of all time, but...more

12/15/2014 - Chick-Fil-A Intellectual Property Litigation Popular Trademark Bullying Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Channeling Justice Ginsburg of U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Register a Trademark

We sounded the alarm exactly six months ago about a trademark case of great importance to brand owners: B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case, and here is...more

12/5/2014 - Claim Preclusion Lanham Act Likelihood of Confusion Oral Argument Registration Ruth Bader Ginsberg SCOTUS Subject Matter Jurisdiction Trademark Litigation Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

No IP Holes in this Crystal Head

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink here over the past several years discussing the protection of non-traditional trademarks. We’ve also written about the importance of layering various intellectual property rights (trademark,...more

12/3/2014 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Design Patent Infringement Injunctive Relief Patents Trade Dress Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

The Shiny Bright Red Holiday Star Brand(s)

In the context of the holiday season, what comes to mind when you see a shiny bright red star?...more

12/1/2014 - Brand Heineken Macy's Retailers Trademarks Wine & Alcohol

Mayhem: Ahem, Metaphorically Speaking

Metaphors are a good choice for trademarks. A metaphor typically requires some thought, imagination or perception to understand the connection between the mark and what’s for sale....more

11/3/2014 - Brand Marketing Trademarks

When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain...more

10/27/2014 - Functionality Infringement Popular Restaurant Industry Trade Dress Trademarks

Amy, Whatcha Wanna Do (About this TM)?

As we start to think about welcoming in the weekend, why don’t we all hum this Pure Prairie League tune, while viewing this image and reading this very brief blog post...more

10/20/2014 - Trademark Litigation Trademarks USPTO

Gibson Guitar Facing 15 Trademark Opposers

A brand owner’s non-traditional trademark application will sometimes gain the critical attention of multiple direct competitors. Gibson Guitar’s unlucky number is apparently fifteen....more

10/20/2014 - Applications Competition Gibson Guitar Trademarks

Bottega Veneta Unties a Trademark Knot

It is easy for some to get all tied up in knots at the USPTO when facing challenging grounds for refusal against federal registration of a claimed non-traditional trademark. Not Bottega Veneta....more

10/13/2014 - Bottega Veneta Fashion Branding Fashion Industry Popular Trademarks USPTO

Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks

Coca-Cola just announced it is introducing Coke Zero in India, which will make it the sub-brand’s 149th market in the world, a truly remarkable reach. As the popular Coke Zero brand is approaching its tenth anniversary...more

9/30/2014 - Brand Coca Cola Popular Trademarks

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