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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

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

3:16 as a Trademark?

Over the weekend, IPBiz reported that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has filed an application to register 3:16 as a trademark for clothing items. A Google search confirms that 3:16 has religious significance as it is...more

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

Looking forward to sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (counsel for Simon Tam, where our friend Ron Coleman is a partner) to discuss “Trademark Registration and the First Amendment,” on September 28th at...more

It’s as Suggestive as a Butter Knife for Steak

We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Spectrum of Distinctiveness for trademarks, and the all-important difference between suggestive marks and merely descriptive ones, with only the former being allowed...more

Acceptable Identification of Goods/Services

Beef jerky is one of my favorite snacks, so while strolling through the Minneapolis skyway, I captured the above floor-to-ceiling advertisement to tell another trademark story....more

A Steep Climb to Own a One Word Mark?

The grocery aisles are fertile grounds for my keyboard, as you know. And, while I’m generally far more interested in coffee grounds than tea leaves (unless we’re speaking of the iced variety or reading between the lines of...more

Chartreuse Color Trademark Still on the Loose

Back in December we wrote about a trademark infringement case (Weems v. Plews) involving claimed exclusive rights in the color chartreuse as applied to various kinds of hoses....more

Here’s to Calling the Kettle, Brand Too?

The teapot read my post from last week and is not only calling the kettle black, but brand too...more

What Does Snapchat Need to be Identified?

My daughter captured this striking photo on a recent trip to Times Square in New York City...more

USPTO Pulling Up the Ladder on Picture-Word Equivalency in Assessing Trademark Rights?

A recent stroll through the Minneapolis skyway and the above construction billboard reminded me that we haven’t discussed the picture-word equivalency doctrine in trademark law for some time....more

Who’s Watching (What) You Create?

This past weekend, with what appears to be our first lasting snowfall, I enjoyed following my daughter around the chilly alleys of downtown Minneapolis while she created for her photography class. As you can see from the...more

Just Wait Until the USPTO Lays Its Hands on These Single and Dual Color TM Applications

Back in 2009, we wrote about what was then Kimberly Clark’s pair of single color purple trademark registrations in connection with “gloves for medical and surgical uses” and “disposable nitrile gloves for general use,” now...more

The World’s Healthiest Trademark Puffery

Above the Law recently published a Techdirt story reporting that the USPTO denied Whole Foods‘ attempt to federally-register the laudatory trademark: “World’s Healthiest Grocery Store“....more

2(c) or Not to See Political TM Speech?

That is the question, at least for the day. It’s also a question we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will address. In particular, does a careful focus on the USPTO’s routine application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act,...more

Trademark Goods/Services Limitations, Why Not Exclude Any Federal Unlawful Activities?

Those involved in the cannabis industry — where certain activities are legal in some States, but unlawful under federal law — continue to search for creative strategies and solutions in protecting their trademarks and service...more

One Trademark Certainty in Uncertain Times

Watching the morning news for even a few minutes can leave one struck by how we truly live in uncertain times. I suppose every generation has too, but is it more striking at this moment? There are plenty of examples to...more

Look-For Advertising Sans the Clunky Words

We’ve written before on the subject of non-traditional trademarks and how look-for advertising can be quite helpful in not only educating consumers that a color or other design feature should stand out in their mind as...more

Madonna Not Scandalous for Wine Anymore

The headline might be considered old news to some, but since intellectual property attorneys from around the world will be descending upon Minneapolis for the remainder of the week, and since I’ll be speaking tomorrow at the...more

A Missed Step in Branding Fitness Trackers?

I’ve been wearing one of these little guys on my wrist for almost a year now. Love it. The personal awareness it raises for me in the areas of sleep, diet, and activity, has been profound....more

ELLE Fails to Un-ring Bell, DJ Action Sticks

Question for the day, how common is the given name Elle? I’m really not sure, I don’t believe I’ve ever personally known anyone with that name, and Mongabay doesn’t even include Elle in its listing of girl’s first names, but...more

How Many Ways Can a Trademark Be, Cool?

To the extent you’re also all about brands and trademarks, and you imagine a trademark story with each brand you might encounter, I suppose there are an infinite number of ways, right?...more

1/18/2016  /  Brand , Trademarks , USPTO

Watch the Informational Refusals, Please!

Let’s suppose you conduct sightseeing tours using a tram car, maybe on the boardwalk in New Jersey. Maybe even a famous tram car service you’ve operated since 1949?...more

1/11/2016  /  Service Marks , Sound Marks , Trademarks , USPTO

Jelly Belly Seeks Registration of Candy Shape

Last week Jelly Belly Candy Company filed a non-traditional trademark application with the USPTO to federally register the shape of its Jelly Belly candies. The claimed mark is drawn like this...more

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