Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Category Archives: Trademark Basics

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Benefits of Registration

Posted in Brands, Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Recently, Amazon rolled out its revamped brand registry. This is a recent example of an online marketplace encouraging intellectual property owners to embrace the platform by taking steps to protect such owners’ rights. Amazon encourages participation in the brand registry by noting that those who enroll “can work together [with Amazon] to reduce potential intellectual… Continue Reading

When Brands Go Bad

Posted in Brands, Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Have you ever looked at a product and thought, “what an awful name”?   If you did, I bet you did not buy that product.  A good name for your business or product is essential to success.  The recipe for finding this golden nugget involves equal parts creativity and research.  On the creative side, you have… Continue Reading

Florida judge “refuses to put a bazooka in the hands of a squirrel” in uber fight

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Judge’s words, not mine.  UBER and UBER PROMOTIONS are facing off in Gainesville, a city rated “5th meanest city” by the National Coalition for the Homeless, twice.     This is a sad and preventable story of a small company that didn’t bother to file a trademark registration.  The small company asked a judge to… Continue Reading

.SEX Top Level Domains Now Available – But Why?

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
On October 5, 2015, ICANN opens the door for trademark owners to register their marks in connection with the new .SEX top-level domain.  This is called a “sunrise” period and permits domain name registrations before the top-level domain goes active. Why would anyone want to register their trademark in connection with the .SEX top level… Continue Reading

FACEBOOK VS. DESIGNBOOK: The Vermont Trademark Wars, Part III (Take our survey too, please)

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
FACEBOOK continues its rampage against books, and Vermont gears up for another trademark battle.  For those of you who may not know, books were common in the last few millenia as written or printed works consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers (kind of like a bunch of Kindles… Continue Reading

RadioShack Trademark Up For Sale; Even This One Has Goodwill

Posted in Brands, Trademark Basics, Trademarks
So much for being mercilessly gouged for obscure cords and batteries in sketchy strip malls across the country.  According to its website, RadioShack “is a leading national retailer of innovative technology products and services.”  What comes to mind when you think of RadioShack? In March, RadioShack’s bankruptcy judge approved a plan to sell (i.e., keep open)… Continue Reading

Weak Trademark? You May Still Make the Practice Squad

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
The strength of a football player can be categorized in three groups. The strongest players make it on a NFL team’s roster as starters or backups. Weaker players are relegated to a team’s practice squad. The weakest players do not play in the NFL and pursue careers that require no athletic ability, like trademark law. The… Continue Reading

Back To Basics: Trademark Use In Commerce

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
While we usually report on “sexy” trademark topics on the Trademarkology blog (e.g., Deadmau5’s catfight with Ferrari, Prince’s breakup with his record label, Thomas Pink’s panty raid on Victoria’s Secret), a recent question from a law school student made me revisit one of the fundamental issues in trademark law: use in commerce. A trademark must be… Continue Reading

Parody Merchandise Shopping Spree

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
As I have previously mentioned, one of the most common reasons your trademark application may be rejected is “likelihood of confusion” between your trademark and an existing trademark. According to the Trademark Office, “likelihood of confusion” exists between trademarks “when the marks are so similar and the goods and/or services for which they are used… Continue Reading

Nashville’s Baja Burrito Wraps Up Trademark Protection For Its Franchises

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
A couple months ago, I explained how the franchising experience of one of my favorite Nashville fast casual dining options – Calypso Cafe – provides valuable trademark lessons to start-up companies. This week, I will turn my attention to another one of my favorite local dining options that decided to franchise: Baja Burrito. Baja Burrito was one of… Continue Reading

Trademark Searching Like A Rock Star

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Regular readers of the blog will know that I’m currently watching a lot of Music Choice on cable TV due to its magical ability to soothe my 2-month old daughter. In the process, I’m stumbling across random bits of trademark news. A couple weeks ago, the Music Choice “Did You Know” trivia referenced Prince’s decision… Continue Reading

The 7th Consideration- Prepare Your Trademarks for Agent Battle

Posted in Brands, Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Deep in the recesses of the federal government in a department of which few have heard, is as even lesser-known government agent, who simply goes by “Battle.” He is an independent operator–the only man tasked with a critical mission. That mission? Reviewing the 30,000 or so beer label applications that are filed each year with… Continue Reading

Stretching Trademark Law

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
Hi. I’m Mari-Elise, and I’m your newest Trademarkologist. Allow me to quickly introduce myself. My favorite things include practicing trademark law, cooking, University of Louisville athletics, and coffee. Oh, and I LOVE yoga. I’m completely hooked — on Bikram, in particular. For those of you unfamilar with Bikram Yoga, yogi Bikram Choudhury created the “Bikram” style of hot yoga, which… Continue Reading

Why “Boston Strong” is not a Federally Registered Trademark

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
In the wake of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, two Emerson College students, Christopher Dobens and Nicholas Reynolds, began marketing t-shirts with the slogan “Boston Strong” hoping to raise a few hundred dollars for the victims of the attack. Despite their modest goal, the slogan became the rallying cry for survivors and victims of the tragedy, and… Continue Reading

Use Your Trademarks Properly with INTA’s ACID Test

Posted in Trademark Basics, Trademarks
A federally registered trademark is a valuable asset for your business and should be properly cared for. If a trademark is misused by its owners (or others), it can be lost. Therefore, you must constantly police how and where your trademarks are being used. Luckily, the world’s preeminent organization for trademark owners and professionals, the International Trademark Association… Continue Reading