Trademark Watch: Trump Wants Out, Google Gets Glass and Pink Goes Black


Brands should know better than to stand in the way of The Donald. The real estate magnate turned political pundit recently filed a lawsuit that demands that his name, “Trump,” be removed from the facade of two of his former Atlantic City casinos, of which Trump himself no longer has any ownership. 

The lawsuit against Trump Entertainment Resorts, a descendant of the corporation he once owned, is being charged to remove the Trump name from its properties and business name “because it has allowed its two Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal, to fall into disrepair, tarnishing his personal brand and confusing customers,” according to CBS News

Trump Plaza, which is set to close in September, is just one piece of the crisis unfolding in debt-stricken Atlantic City, and Trump, who went through three bankruptcies while in AC, clearly wants to wash his hands of the seaside resort town.[more]

More Trademark News:

China, the land of rogue trademarks: Tesla finally settled a trademark dispute in China that slowed the auto brand’s expansion into the country. Zhan Baosheng, owner of a skin-care company, who registered the marks and domains in China, agreed to cancel his trademarks and transfer the domain names to Musk’s brand for an undisclosed dollar amount. 

Everything’s not coming up roses: Victoria’s Secret took a hit below the garter belt after it lost a lawsuit in the UK over its use of “Pink.” Thomas Pink, a London-based retailer, challenged the lingerie chain over the name of its teen-focused sub-brand, Pink, saying it was too close to the formal wear retailer’s trademark. 

Rise as none: Brigham Young University recently had to pull its new sports merchandise off the shelves after it found out that its “Rise As One” slogan was trademarked earlier this year by Budweiser for use in its marketing campaigns. 

Roobios is the champagne of teas: Just as only grapes from the La Champagne region in France are allowed in making “real” champagne, now the term “rooibos” can only be used on products that come from the South African region thanks to an agreement with the European Union that awarded the South African manufacturers geographic indicator status. 

Two words: Lame Duck: A&E’s insanely successful reality show “Duck Dynasty” is being hit with a lawsuit for using the phrase “My favorite color is camo” on merchandise. According to the suit, Hajn, LLC trademarked the phrase in 2011, and it is currently used on merchandise sold throughout Florida. 

Whatever Google wants, Google gets: Google’s effort to trademark “Glass” has cleared a major hurdle after public records show that Google now owns the rights to two of the companies’ “glass” trademarks that were challenging the technology giant’s filing. 

Blame Canada: Following China’s lead, Canada is updating its trademark law—but changes will allow trademarks to be registered even if there is no intent to ever use them. Good luck dealing with all those trademark squatters and pirates that China’s recent amendments just got rid of.

What a con: San Diego Comic Con has issued legal threats to Salt Lake Comic Con for using the “Comic Con” phrase to describe its meetup of comic and gaming enthusiasts. While the San Diego tribe claims that it owns the Comic Con mark, it has previously lost a similar argument with Chicago’s Comic Con event. 

Move along, no fashion faux-pas here: Diesel has filed a suit against Germany’s Black Forest Games for its attempt to trademark “Dieselstormers” for its new video game. While the Diesel brand almost exclusively resides within fashion, the brand’s trademark does cover miscellaneous categories, including gaming. 

I’m with the band: Musician Lenny Kravitz is suing Cinder Block LLC for trademark infringement after the company continued to use the singer’s name on merchandise after their licensing agreement ended in March 2013. 

—Jerome is an aficionado of good times and fine trademarks. You can follow him on Twitter: @jeromemcd