Parody Trademarks

News & Analysis as of

Trademark Review | June 2015

Is PRETZEL CRISPS a Generic Term? Federal Circuit Resets Standard for Genericness - In an earlier precedential decision, the TTAB held there was a dichotomy in the standard for determining whether an applied-for mark...more

TTAB Balks at Parody Argument in Yankees Trademark Case

In honor of Foley Hoag’s new New York office, we here at the Boston office reluctantly present a victory by the New York Yankees — albeit not one won on the baseball diamond. In a trademark opposition that has been...more

The Juice Runs Out for Yankee Parody Trademarks

A good general business practice is to apply to register trademarks early. You’ll find out if there is an issue. You’ll have time to change rather than having to take everything off the shelf under the threat of a lawsuit....more

The House That Juice Built: TTAB Denies Registration To Parodies

On May 8, 2015, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued a resounding blow to trademark applicants who seek to register others’ trademarks as parodies. In New York Yankees Partnership v. IET Products and...more

Imported from “Dertroit”

Readers of the blog know the dangers of selling unlicensed apparel and the oft-litigious stance of Major League Baseball when it comes to defending its marks.  But a recent viral t-shirt phenomenon may just be one time the...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

Crafting an Effective Fair Use Defense

The beer industry is rife with trademark legal issues. We’ve discussed quite a fe here, including disputes over brewery names, attempts to register as a trademark the design of a beer glass, or the longstanding issue of...more

(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

The Art of Parodying a Global Mega-Brand

In February 2014, comedian Nathan Fielder orchestrated an ambitious publicity stunt – he crudely poked fun at global mega-brand Starbucks. His elaborate prank could have been a costly one. Fielder treated a long queue of...more

Pun Marks Are Fun Marks! Then Why Is Chewy Vuiton OK, But Not Ben & Cherry’s?

Last year a California porn studio, Caballero Video, paid dubious homage to Ben & Jerry’s® (“B&J”) when it launched a “Ben & Cherry’s” film series. Even the less explicit titles in the series, such as BOSTON CREAM THIGH...more

Ballin’ Spoofers Ain’t Homies of Luxury Brands

As hipsters continue to rule the world, parody shirts, hats and other apparel have become increasingly prevalent, much to the dismay of luxury brand owners. Here are some recent examples...more

Need A Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift? Be Careful!

Do you need to buy a last minute Valentine’s Day gift? You may be thinking of picking up the best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey. Be careful – you need to read this post so that you are not confused and buy something else....more

Controversial Film “Escape From Tomorrow” Shows Need to Protect Intellectual Property

“Escape From Tomorrow,” one of the most controversial films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, has put copyright and trademark law, as well as the question of what constitutes parody, in the spotlight. The film reminds...more

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