Advertising Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

Use of Competitors’ Trademarks as Google AdWords is not Infringement

The British Columbia Supreme Court has decided that the use of a competitor’s trademarks in Google AdWords does not constitute infringement. In Vancouver Community College v Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc.,...more

Contributory False Advertising Liability Is Officially a Thing in the Eleventh Circuit

On August 7, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling on a question that the Court determined to be one of first impression, has ruled that a cause of action for contributory false advertising can be maintained under...more

Beer for Breakfast: Lessons in Co-Branding from General Mills

Yesterday General Mills announced that it had partnered with Fulton Brewery to create HefeWheaties: a limited edition brew. The beer is a Hefeweizen, which is traditionally a wheat-based beer, making it a perfect canvas for...more

Socially Aware - Volume 6, Issue 3 - July/August 2015

Welcome to the newest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award winning guide to the law and business of social media. In this edition, we present a “grand unifying theory” of today’s leading technologies and the legal...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 07

Happy summer! We are seeing some great new styles this summer here on Madison Avenue, and of course, there are a number of hot legal issues to consider as we head into the fall. Our latest issue discusses the applicability of...more

At The Corner of Trademarks and Confusion

Even in the age of the Internet, the geographic use of a trademark is an important consideration in determining whether your mark is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of your goods or services. Geographic...more

Are You Ready for the Attack? Online Brand and Reputation Protection

It starts with an inaccurate, possibly fake, online review. Then a post appears on a consumer complaint forum. Suddenly, there is a surge of false postings about your company on social media sites. Invariably, these anonymous...more

May Court Decision Round-Up

Nedschroef Detroit Corp. v. Bemas Ents. LLC, Case No. 14-10095, 2015 WL 2453511 (E.D. Mich. May 22, 2015). U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Nedschroef Detroit Corp...more

Modern Hieroglyphs: Intellectual Property Signs of the Times

You see them every day; those funny-looking characters and symbols splashed all over goods and advertisements.  ?.  ?.  Our friends “TM” and “SM” and even ?.  Like modern hieroglyphs, we know that these symbols have some...more

Advertising Law - May 2015

Amazon Sues Over Fake Reviews - In a new lawsuit, Amazon targeted one individual and four companies that allegedly wrote and posted fake reviews on the e-commerce giant’s site. Amazon’s Conditions of Use expressly...more

I Second that e-Motion: Protecting Motion Marks

Grabbing and keeping the consumer's attention can be difficult, especially in the online marketplace where advertisements and surveys obscure content on the screen and distract the viewer. Most marketers know that animation...more

Parody Or Rip Off?: Don Henley Won’t Take It Easy

Former Eagles drummer and co-lead singer Don Henley has just agreed to settle a lawsuit that he filed against Duluth Trading Co., the clothing retailer best known for its goofy cartoon ads on television. ...more

The Dark Knight, Black Panthers, Ghosts and Ginger Rogers: Increasing Protection for Use of Trademarks in Promotions for...

Content creators of all stripes strive for realism in their depictions of the world. This is for good reason – media is more effective, and more immersive, when viewers recognize it as a reflection of the real world. Despite...more

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

IP Newsflash - March 2015 #3

FEDERAL CIRCUIT CASES - Federal Circuit Reverses $61 Million Judgment Based on Erroneous Claim Construction - Despite the Supreme Court’s recent Teva v. Sandoz decision that factual findings by a district court...more

“March Madness”: Protect Your Business From The NCAA

The NCAA Tournament is here, and many local businesses will want to capitalize on this exciting time for basketball fans by using the well known “March Madness” slogan to advertise March specials. Think twice before your...more

…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.” Brackets are being completed, college jerseys are being pulled...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

Advertising Alone Does Not Demonstrate Use of a Service Mark in Commerce for Purposes of Obtaining a Federal Registration

Here’s a common scenario: Your business has come up with an idea for a new service offering, and you or your marketing department has created the perfect brand for it. Now what? Because you have a great relationship...more

Federal Circuit Confirms That Advertising Services Is Not Use in Commerce

In Couture v. Playdom, Inc., the Federal Circuit held that the use of a mark on a website to offer services is not use in commerce sufficient to support an actual-use service mark application. As a result, the Court affirmed...more

Intellectual Property 2014 Year in Review

The year 2014 saw some important developments in the area of intellectual property law. A number of intellectual property-related issues even made national headlines. Who can forget the public debate over the rightful...more

Court Interprets Quebec French Language Sign Requirements, Trade-mark Exception

A recent, lengthy decision gives interesting guidance on Quebec language legislation as to the rules applicable to the predominance of French, the use of trade-marks on signs and in particular the protection for unregistered...more

Samsung Boards Brandverbing Bandwagon

Samsung appears to be the most recent brand to board the brandverbing bandwagon with its Galaxy Note 4 advertising campaign, asking the critical question: Do You Note? Samsung has federally-registered in the U.S. the...more

Get to the Chopper: A Service Mark on a Helicopter?

When a business uses its trademark in connection with an ordinary billboard advertisement, should it try to register the billboard as another trademark unto itself?  I venture that nearly every trademark attorney would say...more

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