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Calling Non-Traditional Trademarks By Name

Things that are worth talking about need names. Good, distinctive names are best. As you may recall, last year we wrote this about non-verbal logos needing names...more

4/14/2014 - Automotive Industry Toyota trademark USPTO

Ola Crapola!

Crapola sounds like something worth saying on the way to Chicago, after discovering the size of your PowerPoint file is too large to get through the recipient’s firewall, and then realizing the USB flash drive containing your...more

4/7/2014 - Brand Generic USPTO

Victoria’s Secret Defends Dream Angels?

How important is the DREAM ANGELS brand to Victoria’s Secret? Victoria’s Secret has a robust portfolio of federally-registered trademarks to protect the DREAM ANGELS sub-brand for undergarments and a line of personal...more

3/10/2014 - Lanham Act Patent Trial and Appeal Board Retailers Trademark Litigation Trademarks USPTO Victoria Secret

Crisps = Chips = Crackers?

Seeing these on the store shelf this weekend reminded me that we are still anxiously awaiting the USPTO’s decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) as to whether the words “pretzel crisps” will be found...more

1/14/2014 - Inherently Distinctive Trademark Opposition Proceedings Trademarks USPTO

Touch Trademark Update

‘Tis the Season for billboard ads like this, sorry Nancy. Anyway, it reminded me of a very early post of mine on touch trademarks, here on DuetsBlog. That early blog post noted Diageo’s federally-registered...more

12/16/2013 - Advertising Billboards Marketing Trademarks USPTO

Hanging Around Trademark Disputes

When you hang around trademark disputes long enough you start to see patterns, at least, at the ends of the spectrum (or not). We have spilled much digital ink over allegations of “trademark bullying” — something that...more

12/3/2013 - Trademark Bullying Trademarks USPTO

A Pair of Cheesehead Trademarks to Grate?

As a frustrated and bored Minnesota Vikings fan, Monday Night Football last evening caught my attention with the division battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. In case you missed it, the Packers lost to...more

11/5/2013 - Sports Trademarks USPTO

Google’s Latest Trademark Bugaboo?

Fame tends to attract attention, and imitation, especially unwanted imitation from, well, even pests. The Google trademark appears to have obtained such a high degree of fame that no third party can include the word “Google”...more

11/1/2013 - Google Lanham Act Logos Trademarks USPTO

What Does the Suffix Say?

Ylvis, the Norwegian music/comedy duo, recently revealed the secret of the fox to more than a hundred and twenty-three million viewers on YouTube (as of this posting), answering the vexing question: What does the fox say?...more

10/15/2013 - Intent-to-Use Trademarks USPTO

Millions of False TM Notices to Remove?

A hot dog is a type of sandwich, and “footlong” denotes a type, category, or class of sandwiches (those measuring about a foot in length), making ”footlong” a generic term and part of the public domain – incapable of serving...more

9/9/2013 - Generic Subway Trademarks USPTO

Airing Your Kinky Trademark Laundry: Distinguishing Between Consent Agreements and Concurrent Use Agreements

Last week I captured a few eye-popping photographs of a delivery truck parked in downtown Minneapolis promoting Kinky Liqueur, “a delightfully fruity fusion of super premium vodka“...more

8/22/2013 - Consent Agreements Contract Interpretation Trademarks USPTO

The Budweiser Bowtie Can Shape Trademark

Launched a few months ago, it’s called the bowtie can, because it appears to emulate Budweiser’s well-known bowtie brand icon, but the formal description of the Anheuser-Busch beer can at the USPTO is a bit more clumsy and...more

8/12/2013 - Anheuser-Busch Brand Trademarks USPTO

Will Tire Tread Trademarks Gain Traction?

Here is to sharing a photo I took using my iPad on a recent Canadian fishing trip, and yes, there is a trademark story here to share as well, not just a beautiful sunset positioned behind this ATV tire....more

8/8/2013 - Design Patent Trademarks USPTO

Harley-Davidson Logo Rides Without Words

The well-known, if not famous, Harley-Davidson logo is on the left below, but what is on the right? Might Harley-Davidson also be in the business of renting storage garage units for motorcycles among other outdoor...more

7/8/2013 - Brand Color Marks Fluid Trademarks Harley-Davidson Licensing Rules Logos Patents PTO Trademarks USPTO

Anatomy of a Trademark Warning Ad

For those attending the HOW Design Live Conference in San Fransisco, you may have noticed the inside cover of HOW’s Special Issue on Interactive Design and Typography, most likely penned by a nervous trademark type...more

6/25/2013 - Generic Trademarks USPTO

This Mac Needs a Knife Too

Louis Armstrong first performed “Mack the Knife” in 1956, a year later McDonald’s introduced the Big Mac, and then, Bobby Darin’s version of ”Mack the Knife” became a chart-topper in 1959....more

6/17/2013 - McDonalds Trademarks USPTO

Happiness is a Federally-Registered Mark

It should be no surprise that the famous Coca-Cola brand name is federally-registered. One of the many significant benefits of federal registration is the USPTO’s obligation to refuse registration of third party marks that...more

6/5/2013 - Coca Cola Filing Fees Registration Trademarks USPTO

Crushing a Perfectly Good Brand Name?

Remember how important it is to stay on the right side of the suggestive/descriptive line when it comes to making proper use of a brand name?...more

2/25/2013 - Brand Trademarks USPTO

The Soft Underbelly of Turtles Candy: Is the U.S. Trademark at Risk of Genericide?

It has been a while since we’ve added another page to the Genericide Watch, so a little trip to Candyland, the Twin Cities’ local iconic and old fashioned candy shop, didn’t disappoint...more

1/7/2013 - Brand Generic Trademarks USPTO

No Plaque on This Scope Bottle Trademark

Would you place this mouth wash bottle on your bathroom counter or hide it under the counter? The answer to this question, it appears, can have a material impact on whether the shape and design of the bottle functions as...more

12/18/2012 - Proctor & Gamble Trademarks USPTO

Red Solo Cup Inspiration?

Marketing types, it may well be obvious to some, but it is always important to consider the source of inspiration for the branding and marketing of the products and services you promote....more

11/20/2012 - False Connection JImmy Buffett Lanham Act Right of Publicity Toby Keith Trademarks USPTO

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