Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2010 04:47 PM
As much as consumers worry about protecting themselves on the virtual Wild West of social media, brands worry too, particularly when it comes to securing trademarks. Brandchannel readers are well aware of the trademark battles faced by brands; just today, we looked at legal spats involving Starbucks and Lego.
So we were interested to read about TM.Biz, which just launched a proprietary tool for securing trademarks and brands on social media networks, marking a step forward in the war on cybersquatting.
The business model is simple: accounts and search services are free, but there’s a charge for generating reports and reserving names. For now, TM.Biz is targeting corporations, but a service for smaller businesses is on the drawing board.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 10, 2010 11:45 AM
Russell Simmons, who pioneered hip hop with the formation of the record label Def Jam and clothing brands American Classics, Argyleculture, and Phat Farm, has filed suit against The Millwork Trading Co. LTD (Li & Fung, USA), a division of a Hong Kong apparel-sourcing firm.
Simmons claims that Li & Fung USA first approached him about licensing the American Classics brand in 2007, which he describes above as a mass-market brand inspired by Walmart.
Proceeding on good faith, Simmons says he told the company that "Simmons Design Group's main focus was Argyleculture, and that the two brands needed to work synergistically and belonged together." Li & Fung's brand interests, however, apparently favored class over mass.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2010 02:45 PM
The latest chapter in the battle between kids' marketers and America's FTC just saw 48 companies receiving subpoenas – all of them companies that market food to teens and younger kids, including Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Kraft.
These marketers must disclose details (including spending) on campaigns targeting kids by November 1st. The FTC's concern, of course, is America's childhood obesity.
It's the latest volley in the battle between the FTC and kids' marketers. In 2007, the FTC slapped 44 of them with "orders to file special report." This new round grew out of a 2008 report titled "Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities and Self-Regulation."
Since the agency's 2007 inquiry, several marketers have limited their marketing directed at kids — but a dozen have been added this round, and 36 are receiving summons for the second time around. Singled out is Yum Brands, owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 1, 2010 03:30 PM
Here's something European luxury brands don't want to hear — fake designer goods may not be so bad after all.
According to a new study funded by the European Union and just published in the British Journal of Criminology, counterfeit goods have "greatly" improved in quality and seem to promote the brands they're trying to copy. The report concludes that people who buy counterfeits "would never pay for the real thing anyway."
What's more, according to David Wall, a professor at the University of Durham in England and the co-author of the report (dubbed "Jailhouse Frocks"), the real cost of counterfeit goods may be as little as one-fifth of the previously estimated losses.
"It's probably even less," he says. "There is also evidence that it actually helps the brands, by quickening the fashion cycle and raising brand awareness."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 1, 2010 09:00 AM
* Amazon is preparing a subscription service to deliver movies and TV shows online.
* AOL is acquiring Rally Up, a location-based social networking service.
* Apple is expected to unveil a souped up Apple TV with Netflix streaming today.
* Blockbuster tests new “early-delivery” marketing strategy as it tries to stave off bankruptcy.
* BP is selling its Malaysian assets to Petronas.
* Burger King talks about a possible sale.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 31, 2010 12:30 PM
China is a hotbed of economic activity, with an enormous consumer population ready and willing to buy. Yet, as we've reported, sometimes it seems as if China's consumers are becoming less receptive as brands bombard them with new product launches.
Still, companies looking to expand can't help but look to China. Apple, for example, will open 25 stores in China by the end of 2011, primarily to sell its iPhone. The company expects to release its iPhone 4 by the end of this year in China. Sony Ericsson just announced its first smartphone for the Chinese market, in partnership with China Mobile.
In fact, China's mobile market is so tantalizing that it could become the stage for a comeback of sorts for Motorola, the flagging maker of mobile handsets.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 31, 2010 09:00 AM
Brands in the news:
* AIG's sale of Taiwan unit is on the brink of collapse.
* Autodesk will reintroduce its AutoCAD design software for Macs.
* Capital One is preparing customers for end of Chevy Chase Bank name.
* The Emmy Awards may eliminate miniseries and other “long-form” categories after HBO cleaned up (yet again) this year.
* Exelon is buying John Deere's wind energy unit for $900 million.
* Ford sets its sights on India as a market for sales and a hub for technological innovation.Continue reading...
want fries with that?
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 8, 2009 05:37 PM
As all travelers know, finding a fake McDonald's in some international backwater is charming. And, really, those trademark breaches are probably doing the brand more good than harm. But dilution in richer markets, where it actually competes, is something Micky D's finds bracing and worrisome.
Case in point: McDonald's has lost an eight-year (!) trademark battle against Malaysian restaurant (serving Indian food) McCurry, aimed at preventing its use of the "Mc" prefix. Sri Devi Nair, McCurry's lawyer, sums up why this ruling is so dangerous to the McDonald's brand: "This is a precedent for everyone to follow." Continue reading...