Steve Baird

Steve Baird

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

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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

3/20/2017 - Doctrine of Equivalents Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

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

3/14/2017 - Likelihood of Confusion March Madness NCAA Trademarks

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

3/13/2017 - Intellectual Property Protection Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Cancellation Trademark Registration Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Trademarks

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

2/21/2017 - Disparagement First Amendment Lanham Act Lee v Tam Professional Conferences SCOTUS Trademarks

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

2/13/2017 - Dilution Geographically Descriptive Trademarks

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

1/31/2017 - Lanham Act NASCAR Trademarks Use in Commerce

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

1/23/2017 - Corporate Branding Generic Trademarks

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

12/19/2016 - Fashion Branding Fashion Industry Lanham Act Retailers Trademarks Use in Commerce

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

12/12/2016 - Brand Cease and Desist Intellectual Property Protection Trademarks USPTO

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

12/5/2016 - Color Marks Supplemental Register Trademarks

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

11/22/2016 - Personal Brands Popular Restaurant Industry Trademark Enforcement Trademark Infringement Trademarks

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

11/7/2016 - Fashion Branding Fashion Design Logos Trademarks

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

8/29/2016 - Dilution Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks Unfair Competition

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

8/15/2016 - Coca Cola Decriminalization of Marijuana First Amendment Parody Starbucks Trademarks

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

8/9/2016 - Facebook Olympics Social Networks Trademarks Twitter

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

7/5/2016 - Brand Descriptive Trademarks Tagline Trademarks

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

6/20/2016 - Advertising Tagline Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

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

5/16/2016 - Anheuser-Busch Beer Breweries Marketing Trademarks

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

5/9/2016 - Corporate Branding Fitbit Generic Popular Trademarks USPTO

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

4/19/2016 - Brand Coca Cola Food Manufacturers Trademarks

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

3/21/2016 - Brand Popular Trademark Registration Trademarks UPS

Yes, No, and the Ever Confusing Maybe . . .

Yes and no are at opposite ends of the spectrum. North Pole, South Pole. Night and day. Win, loss. Black, white. Available, unavailable. Protectable, unprotectable. Infringing, non-infringing. They represent a binary...more

3/7/2016 - Brand Trademark Application Trademarks

Trademark Fair Use, Where Are You TYLT?

A little nominative trademark fair use might have saved these little gems from going right back to Costco, as gently used merchandise, with opened and not so gently mangled packaging to boot...more

2/29/2016 - Fair Use iPhone Trademarks

Energizer Bunny to Drain Duracell’s Battery?

When I first heard last week about a trademark infringement lawsuit between Energizer and Duracell over pink bunny icons, my first thought was, Duracell is The Copper Top battery brand, what would motivate Duracell and how...more

2/23/2016 - Breach of Contract Parody Trademark Infringement Trademarks

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