Best Global Green Brands 2014

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Coinye Gets Caught, Seattle's 12, Washington ____ and more

Posted by Nicole Briggs on August 22, 2014 07:14 PM

From the lyrics of Yeezus himself, “Oh when it all, it all falls down, I’m telling you all, it all falls down," and earlier this week it all fell down for the virtual currency Coinye in Kanye West’s triumphant trademark-infringement lawsuit.

Back in January, the famous rapper sued websites involving the operators of Coinye, the logo for a web-based currency. Coinye featured a cartoon likeness of Kanye West, in half-man, half-fish form, wearing West's signature shutter sunglasses.

On Wednesday, West won a default judgment against the operators of Coinye when the defendants failed to timely respond to the allegations, and permanently banned them from the “Kanye West” mark or any parody of it. In July, cases against four other defendants were settled out of court.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Redskins Appeal, Tesco Dashed, Don't Cross Warner Bros.

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on August 15, 2014 04:04 PM

It's a busy time for trademark watchers, as brands including the Quaker Oats-owned Aunt Jemima and the Clif and Kind health bars have found themselves tussling over trademarks. Some other trademark news of note:

As expected... The Washington Redskins are appealing a federal decision to cancel the team's trademarks. “We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision,” Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins, stated. Fierce lobbying on both sides includes a new video supporting the team's controversial name, counteracting a video during the Super Bowl protesting the name.

Tesco hopes dashed: European supermarket giant Tesco was rebuffed in its attempt to trademark the blue dashes underlining its iconic wordmark, as the UK's Intellectual Property Office ruled that the logo's Tevrons (as Tesco insiders call them) were too simple and not distinctive enough to merit trademark protection. While simplicity may be the ultimate sophistication, for trademarks, it's better to be complicated.

Who wants to live forever? In the midst of the mourning over the passing of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall this week, Mondaq.com took at look at the actors' respective personal trademark registrations and praises both for savvy personal brand management. After all, patents expire and copyright runs its course—but (only) trademarks can last forever...Continue reading...

what's in a name

Is Your Brand FUCT? Lessons Learned from Scandalous and Disparaging Names

Posted by Courtney Cantor on August 13, 2014 12:33 PM

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has shot down a registration by the streetwear brand FUCT for the term "FUCT" for "athletic apparel," finding that the word is the phonetic equivalent (past tense) of that oh-so popular curse word sometimes called "the F-word" in polite company.

US Trademark Law prevents the registration of any trademark that "consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute," but what's "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous" is open to interpretation, of course.

The famed clothing brand French Connection faced no hardships in the US when registering for FCUK because it was an "acronym" for the brand's "French Connection UK" moniker, even though FUCT's trademark filing argued that it's a coined word and an acronym for "Friends U Can't Trust."

It is not uncommon for a company to push the boundaries of decency in its pursuit of a provocative brand name or logo, as FUCT founder Erik Brunetti (who last year published a book with Rizzoli about the brand's evolution as an in-your-face icon of skateboarding, graffiti and street culture) has stated was his intention. After all, as the popularity of TMZ and the Kardashians have shown us, the public is often captivated by a little bit of scandal.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Target, Redskins and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2014 09:05 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon takes on Square with launch of Local Register, a mobile credit-card reader and mobile app.

Hyundai offers settlement in Korea of SUV-mileage suit.

Target plans supply-chain reset to help fix Canada woes.

Tata Motors unveils first new model in home market of India in four years after Nano falls flat.

Washington Redskins launch campaign to defend name.Continue reading...

retail watch

Earth to Ralph Lauren: American Indian Iconography is a Hotbed for Scandal

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 15, 2014 06:33 PM

The Redskins are of course the most prominent offenders in the ongoing PC battle over American Indian slang, as recent months have seen the NFL team under increasing pressure to drop its name and logo. It's a debate that culminated with the US Patent and Trademark Office's recent decision to cancel the team's trademark.

But tailing the football team is a wagon train of scandals involving celebrities and brands criticized for recently using Native American headdresses as fashion accessories. These cases make Ralph Lauren's ongoing obsession with using Native American headdress iconography all the more confusing. Is the brand just begging to be added to the criticism?

Those who have found themselves apologizing for the misuse of Native headdresses include music icons Pharrel and Gwen Stefani. Chanel "deeply apologized" after its headdress scandal and Victoria's Secret "sincerely apologized" after a similar event. Even lesser-knowns have come under fire, such as the daughter of Oklahoma's governor.Continue reading...

sporting brands

World Cup Branding: adidas Animates Argentina v Holland Semi-Final

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2014 11:14 AM

No confirmation on adidas signing on to replace soccer-bullish Nike as Manchester United's official kit-maker, but the FIFA sponsor just released an animated video ahead of the Argentina vs. Holland semi-final with its "all in" tagline: "Messi or RVP. Robben or Di Maria. Destiny is at their feet. This is the World Cup semi-final. It's now or never. all in or nothing."

Check it out below, along with the adidas #VAMOSLEO Lionel Messi app (vs. the Nike football app), McDonald's #FryFutbol recap of Brazil's crushing defeat by Germany, and more sports branding headlines.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple iWatch, Bezos Defends Amazon Fire Phone and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 20, 2014 07:30 AM

TOP STORIES

At Cannes Lions, Unilever CMO Keith Weed bans word “consumer” in people-first focus; Beats CMO explains Apple acquisition; Facebook’s Sandberg promises no ads in messaging; Microsoft launches suite of ad targeting tools; and Google, Publicis and Conde Nast announce “La Maison” content partnership.

Sprint moves closer to $40 billion T-Mobile financing, as T-Mobile CEO apologizes for insulting rivals.

Apple's looming smartwatch will reportedly include 10 sensors to track health and fitness.

American Apparel CEO ouster could trigger loan defaults.

Amazon Fire Phone described as "chocolate ice cream" to WSJ by Jeff Bezos, who also defends move to New York Times.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Adobe turns iPad into drafting board with smart stylus.

Ben & Jerry’s is releasing Saturday Night Live-themed flavors.

BMW aims to make the MINI more masculine in China.

Cadbury customizes chocolates based on Facebook preferences.

Cheerios considers reviving 1980’s campaign to promote new dayparts.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Harley-Davidson Goes Electric, American Apparel Frees Dov and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 19, 2014 08:52 AM

TOP STORIES

Harley-Davidson unveils first electric motorcycle with Project LiveWire experience tour of America's fabled Route 66.

T-Mobile is offering free music streaming via Rhapsody, Spotify and Pandora, and loaner iPhones for a week to test its network.

Lego mixes bricks with clicks for Lego Fusion.

American Apparel ousts controversial CEO Dov Charney.

Yo one-word messaging app, designed in eight hours, raises $1 million in funding.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AMC’s The Walking Dead producer accuses Game of Thrones network HBO of promoting piracy.

Bridgestone signs on as top Olympic sponsor.

Feed the Children has a new logo.

Google touts search ads for lifting brand awareness.

Haggar bets on vintage fashion to revitalize brand.Continue reading...

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