Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Trademarkology: The Law of the Brand

Tag Archives: stites

Patriots Trademarks and the Big Game

Posted in Trademarks
Once again, my team is in the Big Game. I can’t help but think back to 2008 when the undefeated Patriots lost to the Giants. Perhaps the fact that they filed trademark applications for “19-0” and “PERFECT SEASON” days before the Big Game jinxed them. Ironically, despite defeat, the Patriots continued to prosecute their trademark… Continue Reading

THE PROCESS of Joel Embiid’s Trademarks

Posted in Trademarks
It seems my step-twins and Joel Embiid have something in common: they all love Shirley Temples. Embiid prefers his made with ginger ale and grenadine and allegedly drank as much as a pitcher a day while recovering from an injury. Embiid’s love of Shirley Temples is so strong that he decided to build a brand… Continue Reading

Using Trademarks for Good!

Posted in Uncategorized
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday marking the birthday and commemorating the life of one of our most venerated civil rights leaders. The Corporation for National & Community Service (a federal agency that operates, promotes, and supports community service programs and activities) encourages everyone to honor Dr. King by marking the… Continue Reading

What Do You Want for Christmas?

Posted in Trademarks
Getting tapped to post on Trademarkology the week before Christmas is quite an honor.  It’s almost as good as being asked by Santa, “What do you want for Christmas?” Speaking of Santa, I was surprised to see just how popular SANTA is in the world of trademarks.  Did you know there are more than 2,000… Continue Reading

NHL Team Trademark Gets Iced

Posted in Trademarks
The National Hockey League is adding a new expansion team in Las Vegas that will play its home games in the impressive new T-Mobile Arena located on the strip.  The new team is scheduled to start playing in the 2017-2018 NHL season.  So, this new team will need a new team name and—you guessed it—trademarks!… Continue Reading

Target Launches Lilly Pulitzer Collaboration and Leaves Shoppers Feeling Blue

Posted in Trademarks
Sorority girls were flocking to Target to pick up the pink, neon green, and orange line of the famous Lilly Pulitzer brand, but felt blue instead. Preppy princesses, myself included, were left empty-handed when the 250-piece limited-edition line sold out practically immediately. What’s a girl to do? Clothing items in the Lilly Pulitzer for Target line were priced… Continue Reading

Death, Taxes, and Goodwill

Posted in Trademarks
Goodwill is a concept near and dear to trademark law. After all, trademarks symbolize the goodwill of the business with which they are associated. Goodwill is an intangible asset that contributes to a trademark owner’s overall worth. In the U.S., an assignment that purports to transfer trademark rights without the accompanying goodwill is considered an… Continue Reading

What’s in a (City) Name?

Posted in Trademarks
Can the name of a city serve as a trademark?  Usually, it cannot.  We are in Pawleys Island, South Carolina this week and there are many businesses here that incorporate the words “Pawleys Island”, including Pawley’s Island Supply, Pawleys Island Realty, and Pawleys Island Mercantile. Pawleys Island Mercantile In fact, on the way into town… Continue Reading

Social Media Accounts and Trademarks

Posted in Trademarks
Can you use a trademark in your Twitter handle? I wouldn’t. But I am a trademark lawyer. There are probably instances when it is okay. If the person using this Twitter handle were my client, my advice would be that this is not one of those instances. Trademarks are commercial symbols that provide “short hand”… Continue Reading

Selling the Sizzle – a Recipe for Legal Success

Posted in Trademarks
All this talk about Pork Week has increased my consumption of barbecue and bacon, replacing the soundtrack in my mind (cue 80’s music) with the familiar sound of the accompanying bacon sizzle.  I experienced the flavors, smells, and business of barbecue last week while attending the National Barbecue Association (NBBQA) National Conference and Trade Show. … Continue Reading

Restaurateurs Squeal When Ramsay Registers “THE SPOTTED PIG”

Posted in Trademarks
Restauranteurs wanted to hogtie Gordon Ramsay when they found out he’d applied to register the mark THE SPOTTED PIG in the United Kingdom.On October 2, 2012, Ramsay, a famous British television chef, applied to register the mark in the name of Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Ltd. A spokesperson for Ramsay said that Ramsay’s restaurant groups regularly sought… Continue Reading

Red Bull’s Opposition Might Not Have Wings

Posted in Trademarks
It looks like Red Bull GmbH, the maker of the Red Bull energy drink, may have decided to throw its hat into the (bull) ring as a trademark bully. You are likely aware of Red Bull’s main product: an “energy drink” sold in little blue-and-silver cans, whose advertisements claim that it will give you wings. … Continue Reading

The First Amendment, Target, and Rosa Parks

Posted in Trademarks
If you were following two weeks ago, you recall my recap of the Board’s decision to refuse registration to “PRINCESS KATE” and “ROYAL KATE” on the grounds that potential consumers would think of Kate Middleton (actually a Duchess) when they saw the marks i.e. Kate Middleton has the right to control the right of publicity… Continue Reading

Fifty Shades of Trademarks

Posted in Trademarks
Millions have flocked to movie theaters to watch the much anticipated movie Fifty Shades of Grey based on the trilogy by E L James. Whether or not you are into this kind of thing, there is no denying the success of the book franchise and the licensing empire that has followed.  Fifty Shades Limited (which… Continue Reading

Art Imitates Life. Life Imitates….Trademarks?

Posted in Trademarks
What’s your favorite trademark? Would you name your child after it? Naming children after favorite brands was spotted as a trend over a decade ago in the U.S.:  https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20030929/0037233.shtml. But apparently the practice is not so popular everywhere. Last month, a French court barred parents from naming their daughter “Nutella” after the delicious chocolate/hazelnut spread.… Continue Reading

It’s 2015 and Marty McFly was Right: Hoverboards Do Exist

Posted in Trademarks
Yesterday I wrote about the DeLorean controversy and mistakenly posted that flying skateboards do not exist. I stand corrected. As my friend and colleague Justin McNaughton has pointed out, flying skateboards do exist. Marty McFly was right…though, he wasn’t totally right. Flying skateboards are so 2014. Check out our brother blog Tech Attache to find out why: http://www.techattache.com/2014/10/ipfinder-what-intellectual-property-is-in-a-hendo-hoverboard/… Continue Reading

Software Licensing and Trademarks

Posted in Copyright, Trademarks
Amy’s Daughter Kathleen Running Proprietary Software I have noticed a new trend in software license agreements.  It is the inclusion of a provision that permits software companies to use the trademarks owned by its customers for its own marketing purposes. Specifically, many software license agreements now include a “license back” of sorts in rights to use… Continue Reading

DeLorean Flies into the Future with a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Posted in Trademarks
In “Back to the Future II,” Marty McFly uses his fancy flying time machine to travel to the future. Ironically, he travels to 2015, a time filled with skateboards that fly, automated dog-walkers, and self-drying jackets. While we don’t currently have flying skateboards, automated dog-walkers, and self-drying jackets, 2015 does have one thing relating to “Back to the Future”: a trademark infringement lawsuit. Woah.… Continue Reading

Is Taylor Swift Trying to Use Trademark Protection to Monopolize Common Phrases?

Posted in Trademarks
You may have heard already that Mistress of All She Surveys Taylor Swift has filed several applications to register trademarks drawn from lyrics to songs in her boffo album 1989.  Among the marks are “This Sick Beat,” “Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?,” “Could Show You Incredible Things,” and “Party Like It’s 1989.”  By… Continue Reading

Royal Prerogative

Posted in Trademarks
A decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board came to my attention today that relates to my earlier blog entries concerning McDonald’s in that it involves the prerogatives of fame, in this case, a royal prerogative.  In Nieves v. Nieves LLC, the Board agreed with the Trademark Examiner that the marks “PRINCESS KATE” and “ROYAL… Continue Reading

When Does a Trademark Qualify for Copyright Protection?

Posted in Copyright, Trademarks
My father is an attorney who has practiced law for more than forty years.  Despite his broad legal knowledge and the fact that his only daughter is a trademark lawyer, he continuously interchanges the words “trademark” and “copyright.”  I notice this in others and it reminds me of my time practicing at a firm in… Continue Reading