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The Careful Timing of Trademark Truncation

A recent stroll through a big box store opened my eyes to a brand of steel toe boots I hadn’t encountered before, take a look at the CAT that will be protecting my son’s toes this Summer...more

5/9/2017  /  Corporate Branding , Trademarks

All for Saving the Original Minnesota State Fair Curds, Say Aye, Better Yet . . . #s and @s

When Aaron Keller of Capsule deeply cares about an issue (in a deeply fried kind of way), it’s hard not to stand up, pay attention, and follow instructions, especially when his picture of golden little nuggetized cheese curds...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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