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Game-maker Sues Lucasfilm over Han Solo Movie

You may have heard of a little movie called Star Wars. If you haven’t, well, I’ve got some movies for you to borrow. The film was released in 1977, and soon spawned a trilogy of movies that are among the most popular film...more

Warby’s Fast Food: Can Arby’s Take a Joke?

Maybe you’ve heard of Warby Parker. The eye wear company has become quite successful in a previously monolithic industry. But a tongue-in-cheek advertising effort for a new onion ring monacle might just cross the line into...more

USPTO Adds New Tool to Fight Fraud

Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced a new pilot program to help fight fraudulent trademark applications. Specifically, the new program addresses situations where the applicant provided the USPTO with a...more

The Sweet Smell of Registration

Last year we took a whiff of Hasbro’s application to register the smell of its Play-Doh® for “toy modeling compounds.” We didn’t think the application was ripe for a functionality refusal, but a refusal on the ground of a...more

Hands Off Jay-Z’s Hand Gesture Trademark

Words and pictures are so 2017. This year, it is all about the non-traditional trademarks (i.e., something other than brand names and images). In the past, we’ve covered a variety of these types of trademarks, from colors to...more

The Elvis Presley Estate Loses Bid to Block ELVIS JUICE Beer

Trademark disputes involving breweries are nothing new, with breweries battling each other, wineries, and even cities over trademarks. We can now add estates of dead celebrities to the mix, as the Estate of Elvis Presley...more

Oliver Babish: Fictional Lawyer, Accurate Advice

Nearly four years ago, Friend of the Blog Derek Allen and I published an article on our Top 10 Fictional Lawyers of all time. Part 1 and Part 2 are etched in the tomes of Duets Blog for your perusal and criticism. It was...more

12/20/2017  /  Television Shows

Trademark Enforcement in the Social Media Age

Attorneys in general, and trademark attorneys in particular, have a reputation for heavy handedness. The traditional weapon of choice for these legal pugilist has been, and continues to be, ye olde cease and desist letter. A...more

Beer Brand Battles: David Takes on City Hall (with Goliath on the sidelines)

The City of Portland is known as a hub for craft beer, and its local government couldn’t be prouder. The Travel Portland website proudly proclaims that Portland is “home to more breweries than any other city on earth.” Yet...more

Gucci: The Other Stripe Mark

Normally when we talk about stripes trademarks, we’re talking about iconic sportswear brand adidas. An avid litigant with respect to use of “three stripe” designs on footwear and clothing, adidas is a regular feature here at...more

Former Rutgers Player Sues Alma Mater Over Nickname

Moving along from Steve’s post on our alma mater of the University of Iowa, a former Rutgers football player has a more negative view of his former school. A few years ago, the Rutgers football program started allowing...more

An Iowa Rivalry Mixes Football, Farming, and Trademark Disputes

It sure feels like fall already. Apart from the fifty degree walk with my dog this morning, we’re now entering the second week of college football. Regular readers might have noticed that our blog has a couple of Iowa Hawkeye...more

Game Over for Nestlé? Atari Sues Over “Breakout” Kit-Kat Ads

For most of us, video games and candy go together perfectly, but that doesn’t mean they always get along. In fact, last week the “original” video game company, Atari Interactive, sued food and candy behemoth Nestlé in...more

Trick or Trademark? Mars Says Hershey’s Can’t Own “SCARY” Candy.

Sandwiched between 90 degree days in a Minnesota summer, the idea of Halloween wasn’t on my radar – until I learned about the latest dispute between candy giants Mars and Hershey’s....more

Is Foster’s Australian for False Advertising?

While trademark infringement is the headliner for claims brought under the Lanham Act, the law also precludes false advertising and unfair competition. Most states also have laws addressing deceptive trade practices...more

USPTO Proposes Cheaper, Faster Cancellation Option

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office register contains a lot of dead weight. In order to obtain a trademark registration and maintain the registration, the owner must use the mark in U.S. interstate commerce (as always, with...more

Welcome to the (Courthouse) Hotel California

While it may be a lovely place, the Eagles are not too keen on a small hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico and its use of the name HOTEL CALIFORNIA. After opposing the hotel’s trademark application last January, the band earlier...more

While the Slants are in the Spotlight, Chief Wahoo is on Deck

Throughout the past decade, attorneys, judges, plaintiffs, and defendants have invested thousands of hours in the fight over offensive trademarks. Most of the public is aware of the controversy surrounding the Washington...more

Help! Someone Copied My Stuff!

At some point in this digital age, almost every individual or business in the creative space will discover that somebody has copied them. You may see it yourself, or you may get the stomach-dropping “Doesn’t this look an...more

Hasbro thinks the Smell of Play-Doh Is a Trademark, will the USPTO Agree?

As we have discussed previously, trademark protection isn’t an exclusive club for words and pictures. Shapes, sounds, and even the tactile feel of a product can all qualify for trademark protection. And as a recent...more

The Big Ten and the NCAA Tip Off for MARCH Marks

You don’t have to be a sports fan to be aware of MARCH MADNESS, the name associated with the annual tournament to determine the college basketball national champion. The tournament is organized by the National Collegiate...more

Trademarks First!

President Trump has been in office for less than a month. Yet it would be fair to say that his time in office has been, if nothing else, eventful. While the more important aspects of his policies have received far greater...more

Song Titles and Trademarks: The Eagle(s) Have Landed

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of “classic rock,” there are some songs that everybody knows. The song Hotel California by the Eagles is one of those songs. Not everyone likes the Eagles (looking at you, Dude), but most...more

The Chargers leave San Diego, but will they leave the brand too?

According to recent reports, the Chargers will announce this week that they are leaving sunny San Diego for also sunny Los Angeles. Over a short two year span, Los Angeles will have gone from zero NFL teams to two NFL teams,...more

Second Circuit Agrees: Louis Vuitton Can’t Take a Joke

If you’re still looking for holiday gift for that special someone, the Second Circuit has your back. Fresh off the docket, the Second Circuit gave its blessing to My Other Bag’s line of parody canvas tote bags. For additional...more

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