News & Analysis as of

Personal Brands

Master of Your Domain – ACPA Damages Sought by Greg LeMond

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

You might want to think twice before registering a domain name containing a competitor’s personal name or trademark. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond put his “pedal to the metal” recently, suing two Minnesota...more

MarkIt to Market® | June 2017

The June 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® discusses bad word brands, strategies for dealing with trademark office suspensions, and lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods. Please see full Newsletter below for...more

Lettre d’actualité IPMT: #15 - May 2017

by Hogan Lovells on

Brevets - Sort des redevances de licence de brevet et nullité du brevet Le Tribunal de grande instance de Paris applique les règles dégagées par le CJUE dans l'arrêt Genentech Inc c. Hoechst GmbH et Sanofi-Aventis...more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 3)

In this three-part series, we identified three distinct seasons in the lifecycle of an eponymous brand: (1) Choosing the Brand, (2) Commercializing the Brand, and (3) Legacy of the Brand. In Part 1, we discussed what is at...more

MarkIt to Market® | April 2017

The April 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® discusses navigating the lifecycle of an eponymous brand and lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods. Please see full newsletter below for more information....more

Navigating the Lifecycle of an Eponymous Brand (Part 1)

In Steven Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he espouses the idea that "all things are created twice … a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation" (see link here). This idea applies aptly to...more

Just Like You and Me: Difficulties with Celebrity Trademark Applications

by Knobbe Martens on

Under U.S. trademark law, any person (including a celebrity) can obtain a trademark registration for their name if they can establish that the public recognizes the name as a source identifier for certain products or...more

Trademarking Your Name Can Drive You To Drink: The Risks and Benefits of Naming a Beer After Yourself

by Bowditch & Dewey on

You have worked hard, you are proud of your beer, and you want the market, if not the world, to know that it is your product. At the end of the creative process, like any other artist or craftsperson, you have the urge to...more

Ross’s Top 10 Law Firm Domain Name Mistakes (Part II)

by Ross Fishman on

Last week I discussed Ross’s Domain Name Rules 1-5, how to ensure that your website is easy for prospects to find, and that you’re using best practices in selecting your domain name. Here are Ross’s Rules 6-10; I hope it’s...more

The Designer Formerly Known As…Intellectual Property Issues Arising From Personal Names As Fashion Brands

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Kate Spade, Paul Frank, Joseph Abboud, Catherine Malandrino, and Karen Millen—aside from being well-known designers, all have something else in common; they no longer own the right to use their personal names as their brands....more

What's in a Name?: An Overview of the TTAB's Recent Surname Decisions

Barr. Aldecoa. Hechter. Adlon. Kepler. Butterfields. What do these words have in common, you may ask? They were all recently found to be "primarily merely a surname," and refused registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

MarkIt to Market® | January 2017

The January 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes an overview of the TTAB's recent surname decisions, the changes made by the USPTO to their trademark processing and services fees, and lists the new gTLD...more

Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been cracking down on brands for paying Instagram users to endorse their products or to share brand content without disclosing the relationship. Indeed, the recent settlements entered...more

Celebrity Brands: The Line Between Fair Use and Infringement

by Jaburg Wilk on

All brand owners are faced with difficult decisions regarding how aggressively to police their brands. The decision is particularly difficult when the unauthorized use is by a loyal customer or fan. While some traditional...more

Michael Jordan’s Great Win in China—or Is It?

On December 8, 2016, Beijing time, the China Supreme People’s Court issued a public decision granting Michael Jordan a win in his four-year battle over the right to own his name in Chinese characters. But the win was not a...more

Who’s the PATRÓN Anyway?

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

PATRÓN (meaning “boss” or “landlord” in Spanish) is a pretty famous brand name of tequila (federally-registered since 1993), and don’t forget this gem from the archives...more

Law Firm Holiday Cards – Do’s and Don’ts

by Ross Fishman on

Q: Are holiday cards effective? A: I think that they can be considered one more nice way to stay in touch, to send a friendly communication to a large number of clients and prospects all at once. Of course, I said that...more

Half Baked: The Brave New World of Branding Weed

by Lewitt Hackman on

In last week’s election, California voters passed Prop 64, which means recreational marijuana can be sold and used by persons over 21 within the state. But don’t get excited about the gold rush just yet. Recreational...more

Court Holds That Fashion Designer Karen Millen Cannot Use Her Name in Connection with Future Clothing Lines

by Knobbe Martens on

A recent UK court held that Karen Millen, a fashion designer and co-founder of the Karen Millen brand, was prohibited from using her name, KM or K.Millen or any other confusingly similar names in connection with clothing and...more

Marketing your brand with influencers? Make sure the FTC hits the “Like” button

Brand owners and their attorneys are grappling with an important question: how to disclose their connections to luminaries like PewDiePie. If you haven't heard of PewDiePie, don't worry—he's a 26-year old Swedish...more

Franchisee d/b/a Franchisor’s Trademark: The Fictitious Name Registration

by Butler Snow LLP on

The fictitious name, also known as the d/b/a, doing business as, trade name or assumed name. Every franchisee uses one and, in almost all cases, it’s the franchisor’s trademark. And while it may be considered “fictitious,”...more

Smiling Lawyers on Your Home Page

by Ross Fishman on

Smiling lawyers – the latest website home page cliché. For 25 years, I’ve been railing against the obvious, literal visual “Law” clichés — the gavels, globes, columns, skylines, buildings, handshakes, blurry lawyers...more

Are Online Trolls Ruining Social Media Marketing?

Earlier this year, I helped moderate a lively panel discussion on social media business and legal trends. The panelists, who represented well-known brands, didn’t agree on anything. One panelist would make an observation,...more

Social Links: Social’s potential to upend the investment industry; online ad fraud; a proposal to fix Twitter

Social media has upended a number of industries. Is Wall Street next? Facebook is getting into the video game live-streaming business....more

Social Media Competitions in the UK: Play Fair

With 1.65 billion users on Facebook, 332 million users on Twitter and 400 million on Instagram, it is unsurprising that many companies are seeking to increase brand awareness and customer engagement by running competitions...more

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