Trademark

09Aug 2018
The-Top-Computer-Companies-In

In 2013, we wrote about the branding wars between candy bar makers.  These disputes are good measure of the boundaries between 3-D trademarks that have acquired distinctiveness (registrable) and those that are functional (not registrable). In 2006, Nestlé was granted trademark rights in the “distinctive” shape of its KitKat bar in various European countries.  But […]

07Jun 2018
R is for Registered

The distinctive smell of Play-Doh evokes memories of many happy hours of childhood play, those of my children and mine. Perhaps, if you played with the colored “doh,” you probably share similar nostalgia.  Hasbro has been making Play-Doh since the 1950’s and its distinct odor is not natural but a fragrance that Hasboro added to […]

11Feb 2018

Understandably, the solo inventor wants to focus on her invention.  Does it work as designed?  Who shall I hire to create a prototype? Where shall it be manufactured?  How and when shall it be protected by patent? Can I afford it? These are important concerns but they should not be the only ones. Assuming that […]

08Feb 2018
The-Top-Computer-Companies-In

Marijuana has become big business. We never thought it would happen but now  29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and eight states have legalized pot for recreational use. But alas, federal law, still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that cannabis […]

11Jan 2018
Copyright

  Dear Doc:   Last I heard, “Slants”, a term some Asians apparently find offensive was deemed to be a registrable trademark by the United States Supreme Court because they think that free speech under the First Amendment protects all sorts of offensive speech (but not the giant Ten Commandments that was put up at […]

21Jul 2017
TM is for Trademarks

The Washington Redskins NFL team has been fighting for years to maintain its registered trademarks containing the term REDSKINS. Its on and off again fight has been hotly debated in public, press and the courts. Finally, the United States Supreme Court has weighed in.  Funny enough, the case before them was not that of the Redskins but […]

09Jun 2017
The-Top-Computer-Companies-In

Mr. Chris Gillespie must have thought he had a brilliant idea when he registered multiple domain names that included the term “Google,” such as “googledisney.com,” “googleBarackObama.net,” “Googlenewtvs.com” and others. Did he truly believe that Google would not sue him?   Or was this part of a grander scheme?  Think about the implications of provoking Google to […]

09Mar 2017
The-Top-Computer-Companies-In

Trademark owners have a duty to defend their trademarks against possible and actual infringement. Ignore infringers and your trademark rights may evaporate.  Defending trademarks, however, is a full time job and not for the weak of heart (or wallet).  The beverage industry is a breeding ground of intellectual property disputes and trademark owners aggressively defend […]