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Are pretzel crisps crumbling into genericness?

Marketing types and legal types who review labels, be well advised to choose words used carefully. In other words, if you believe you own rights in Pretzel Crisps as a trademark, it’s not wise to use the number of...more

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part II

As the drum roll proceeds to the upcoming Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis and sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (and Simon Tam fame) on Thursday September 28, in a few days, I’ll be making a stop...more

A Special Thank You to Suzan Shown Harjo

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the filing of the petition to cancel the R-Word registrations held by Pro-Football, Inc., the NFL franchise playing near the Nation’s capital....more

2017 Minnesota State Fair Comes to a Close

Well, it’s official, the 2017 Minnesota State Fair is almost in the books now, it came and went, without the longstanding Original Deep Fried Cheese Curds stand (notwithstanding a heroic #savethecurds campaign); it was...more

R-Word Looking Scandalous in Maryland

Daniel Snyder, NFL owners, FEDEX, and other NFL sponsors, take note, breaking news from courageous Neal M. Brown, Ed.D., Head of School, Green Acres School in Bethesda, Maryland, about twenty miles from FEDEX Field...more

8/30/2017  /  Disparagement , FedEx , NFL , Redskins , Slurs , Trademarks

No Underestimating The Value of Trademarks

That’s our motto here, but we live, eat and breathe trademark protection, so no surprise. Our friends in the creative and design community also know the value of trademarks. ...more

Joust Do It? A New Form of Nike Battle Cry?

By now, you’re familiar with my enjoyment in capturing and sharing new billboard signage that hits the streets of the Twin Cities. Question, what tagline might have inspired this one?...more

3:16 as a Trademark?

Over the weekend, IPBiz reported that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has filed an application to register 3:16 as a trademark for clothing items. A Google search confirms that 3:16 has religious significance as it is...more

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part I

Looking forward to sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (counsel for Simon Tam, where our friend Ron Coleman is a partner) to discuss “Trademark Registration and the First Amendment,” on September 28th at...more

“Not So Fast,” Mr. THRILLED Daniel Snyder

Lee Corso (former coach and ESPN football analyst) frequently utters this famous sports media catchphrase on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program: “Not so fast, my friend!”...more

It’s as Suggestive as a Butter Knife for Steak

We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Spectrum of Distinctiveness for trademarks, and the all-important difference between suggestive marks and merely descriptive ones, with only the former being allowed...more

The Brand With 3 Stripes, Bands, or Stitches?

We’ve written a lot over the years about Adidas’ three-stripe non-verbal, non-traditional trademark. Turns out, Adidas actually owns a federally-registered trademark for the verbal, spelled-out, look-for advertising...more

Nominative Fair Use of Ride-Share Logos?

Earlier this year, we contemplated a suitable, accurate, and efficient generic name for the service category created by the highly-disruptive Uber brand: App-Based Ride Service....more

Section 2(a), a Happy-Talk Clause, Really?

We can be certain of one thing for sure, the Supreme Court’s decision today, striking down the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act will be analyzed for some time....more

Acceptable Identification of Goods/Services

Beef jerky is one of my favorite snacks, so while strolling through the Minneapolis skyway, I captured the above floor-to-ceiling advertisement to tell another trademark story....more

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

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