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Snickers Has a Cross Section TM Registration!

It is frequently becoming more and more difficult to remember all the topics we’ve covered here over the last — almost — nine years. A recent Snickers end cap display jogged my memory...more

Does Google’s Enforcement Explain New Ads?

Remember this North Memorial Health billboard ad — sporting a plain and literal Google reference — that we wrote about a few months ago, where nominative fair use was pretty clear to me?...more

Are You Leading With Buddha’s Hand Too?

Size and prominence of wording on business signs, product labels and hangtags will often emphasize brand signals. Yet, sometimes decisions are made to scream generic names instead....more

Legitimate Super Bowl Ambush Marketing

Not all ambush marketing is created equal. Some can cross the line and create a likelihood of confusion as to sponsorship. Some falsely advertises. But, some is totally fair use and lawful....more

The Minnesota Miracle That Lasted a Moment?

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Some incredible moments last longer than others, and when the stars are all lined up, they can even translate into a movement. Yet, the blistering loss in Philly proved that our hope of being...more

More Fair Use of the Super Bowl Trademark?

Downtown Minneapolis is starting to come alive for upcoming Super Bowl LII, you can feel the energy building and commerce flowing, new ads and signage being erected almost daily...more

Happy Birthday: TTAB Turns Sixty in 2018

We follow closely and write a lot about what goes on with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); these ironmongers do too, really well....more

Super Bowl Ambush Marketing Games Begin?

We continue to have Super Bowl LII on our minds here in the Twin Cities. It’s hard to avoid thinking about the upcoming “Big Game” with ads like these blanketing our skyway maze...more

1/8/2018  /  , Football , Logos , Marketing , NFL , Trademarks

#SBLII: #HereWeGo?

We’ve come a long way from April 1, 2017, until now, with the steady drumbeat — and ads galore — in preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl LII in downtown Minneapolis...more

Oh Trademark Registration, You’re So Vain?

Ron, you’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you, don’t you, don’t you — actually, it is, or, let’s say, more about your recent in-actions — still, I hope you enjoy this cute little melody....more

Will the Velveeta Brand Melt into Laughter?

What do you think of when you hear the word Velveeta? Me too, childhood — complete with piping hot Campbell’s tomato soup — and perfectly melted grilled cheese sandwiches. Later in life, at least for me, came liquid gold and...more

Classic Trademark Fair Use of Google Mark?

North Memorial Health must be spending significant advertising dollars at the moment, with a variety of ads appearing all over the Minneapolis skyway system, above is one current example....more

Rosland Drops “What’s in Your Safe” Tagline?

Cause and effect is difficult to establish when all the relevant facts have not been assembled. We certainly don’t claim to have all of them here, with Rosland Capital’s current TV commercial. ...more

Branding Stories Around The Lack of Memory

I’ve been meaning to write about a TV commercial for a while, but I keep forgetting to do it. Perhaps I need the very product being advertised in the commercial, because what gained my attention was the clever tagline...more

11/6/2017  /  Advertising , Slogans , Tagline , Trademarks , USPTO

Some Subtle Stories Make Great Trademarks

One of my passions is to find common and favorable ground between legal and marketing types. One of the readings during week three of Seth Godin’s intensive altMBA workshop reminded me of a great example to illustrate how...more

Does getaroom Make U Want 2 BookaRoom?

A tv commercial for yet another hotel booking website just caught my eye, called getaroom...more

Owning a (Wholesome) Four Letter Word

I’m not talking about those kinds of four letter words (by the way, we’re still awaiting the Brunetti decision to learn their fate), so today I’m talking about this wholesome kind...more

What Are You Thinking, Coke Zero?

The above advertising billboard is plastered all over the Twin Cities at the moment, and it got me thinking, so here I am, once again, writing about Coke Zero, remember this can?...more

“Hook and Loop” Meet Chutes and Ladders

Nearly everyone in the IP community is talking about the hilarious viral Velcro music video released last week. Hat tip to Patently-O, Martha, and Brett...more

10/3/2017  /  Advertising , Brand , Generic , Genericide , Trademarks

Making Fair Use of the Super Bowl Trademark

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune continued the growing drum beat of understandable excitement for Super Bowl LII, as it steadily approaches U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis....more

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

Of course, loyal readers have been eagerly awaiting Part III of the series (see Part I and Part II) focusing on Tam’s intersection of federal trademark registration and the First Amendment....more

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

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