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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

Googling Doesn’t Break Google Trademark

Our friend Professor Eric Goldman, over at his Technology and Marketing Law Blog, reported earlier this week that the Google trademark has survived a genericness attack by a fellow named David Elliot. Below is a link to Mr....more

9/26/2014 - Google Trademarks

Amici Weigh in on “Right to Register v. Right to Use” Trademark Case at Supreme Court

More than three months ago, we sounded the alarm about an important trademark case to consider the interplay between the right to register and the right to use a trademark:...more

9/23/2014 - Federal Trademark Register Popular SCOTUS Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Will Montana-Based Victory Energize Win Its “Trademark Bully” Charge Against Monster?

Last week more allegations of “trademark bullying” appeared in the headlines. This time, Victory Energize, an energy drink company based in Missoula, Montana, is calling out Monster Energy for sending a cease and desist...more

9/22/2014 - Cease and Desist Infringement Likelihood of Confusion Monster Energy Drinks Popular Trade Dress Trademark Bullying Trademarks

(Subway) Eat Flesh, An Effective Parody?

This past weekend one of my sons said, “Dad, I have a good blog topic for you.” After he explained, it was clear, yes, son you do! So, he sent me the photo to the left. It is one that he recently snapped at a place that sells...more

9/15/2014 - Fast-Food Industry Infringement Parody Subway Trademarks

Will Chick-fil-A, uh Chicken Out?

Just so you know, this is not the post I planned to write today. Hat tip to you, Bo! It has been exactly one year since Bo Muller-Moore — the “Eat More Kale” guy from Vermont — submitted a comprehensive 71-page...more

9/9/2014 - Chick-Fil-A Trademarks USPTO

A Less Possessive Hershey’s Brand?

The possessive form of the Hershey’s brand dates back to at least as early as 1894, according to U.S. Reg. No. 54,041 – a more than 100 year old trademark registration from 1906....more

9/3/2014 - Brand Hersheys Trademarks

Another Real Lulu: Anatomy of an Affidavit

On Tuesday of this week, we discussed the trademark infringement case filed by Lulu’s Market & Deli against Lulu’s Public House (depicted above), here is a link to a pdf of the Complaint. As you will recall, we...more

8/29/2014 - Grocery Stores Infringement Injunctions Restaurant Industry Trademarks

A Real Lulu of a Trademark Infringement Case

It’s that time of year again, the Minnesota State Fair is here, and trademark issues abound, again....more

8/26/2014 - Trademark Litigation Trademarks

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