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trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Taylor Swift, Apple, Spanx and more

Posted by Nicole Briggs on September 19, 2014 06:29 PM

By Nicole Briggs and Courtney Cantor Sohn

Taylor Swift gets unlucky in law with “Lucky 13”: America's sweetheart and her besties at American Greetings are battling it out in the courtroom with California-based Blue Sphere Inc. over trademark infringement and unfair competition for use of the name “Lucky 13,” which AG used for a Swiftian sweepstakes promotion. Blue Sphere owns a company called Lucky 13, and holds registered trademarks bearing the name for clothing, jewelry and paper products. The judge dismissed Swift and AG’s singing for summary judgment, so the case will move forward, and in a Swift-like way, she’ll probably just “shake it off, shake it off.”

Apple keeps USPTO busy: Between filing trademark applications for Apple Watch and Apple Pay, and patents for CarPlay, Touch ID and Deep Audio among others, Apple has been busy on the IP front. Apple Watch and Apple Pay came as a surprise, as the media-coined names “iWatch” and “iPay” never came to fruition. And yet, even though Apple Watch and Apple Pay are descriptive of the goods and services with which they seek registration, a no-no in the trademark registration world, they just may be able to see it through. By filing for design mark with their Apple logo, and disclaiming any right to use the words “PAY” or “WATCH,” they have added a distinction to the marks.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: NFL, McDonald's, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2014 09:36 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple hires Gap's No. 2 marketer as it needs retailers to warm up to Apple Pay and faces delay in getting new iPhone 6 to China, as Samsung releases slew of ads poking fun at Apple announcements.

NFL appoints former FBI director to investigate Rice as AP reports that league saw video in April, and Verizon defends NFL Commissioner Goodell.

McDonald's tests tablet ordering and files trademark for "McBrunch."

RadioShack rescue package is in the works.

Sony reaches deal to carry Viacom TV channels on web.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba on track to beat Facebook's blockbuster public offering for biggest IPO ever.

Audi and Chrysler are fined by pricing regulators in China, where foreign companies are increasingly feeling the heat.

Bonobos seeks to disrupt fashion retail.

Burger King launches black cheeseburger (with black cheese) in Japan, where KFC runs chicken-fried social marketing.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Home Depot, Lego and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2014 09:27 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple sees acolytes start lining up for iPhone 6 as Samsung reveals its latest futuristic devices.

Home Depot tries to reassure customers about possible data breach.

Lego becomes world's largest toy maker on The Lego Movie success.

Lincoln launches promised ad campaign starring Matthew McConaughey.

Neiman Marcus plans to open first NYC store.

MORE BRAND NEWS

About.com brings a fresh twist to native advertising.

Amazon launches streaming box in UK next month.

Baidu launches its own version of Google Glass (which Luxottica head disses) along with computer "brain" and indoor-mapping challenge to Alibaba.

Ben & Jerry's sponsors 9/21 global People's Climate March with 350.org.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CVS, Nationwide, Home Depot and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

CVS Caremark rebrands to CVS Health and launches smoke-enders program as it quits tobacco a month early.

Nationwide unifies brand and debuts new logo in Peyton Manning campaign.

Home Depot investigates potential breach of customer data.

Apple denies iCloud breach in celebrity hack and reportedly signs Nordstrom to new payments platform.

Burger King downplays tax-inversion motive for Tim Hortons deal.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Audi sees strong sales growth despite slowdown in Russia and emerging markets.

BuyPartisan app lets shoppers suss out politics behind brands and products.

Chrysler sees August sales rise 20 percent, led by Jeep.

Coca-Cola partners with Keurig Green Mountain on Honest Tea K-Cup packs.

Darden Restaurants shakes up its board with concessions to Starboard.

Dior rolls out new campaign starring a golden Charlize Theron.Continue reading...

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...

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