DC Comics Goes Batty, Fights BBQ Restaurant Over Trademark

DC Comics Goes Batty, Fights BBQ Restaurant Over Trademark

Had the owner’s of BATS BBQ in Rock Hill, SC, not attempted to file a trademark application for their logo (see image to the left), they probably wouldn’t have drawn the attention of lawyers for DC Comics, who say the bat icon used in the logo is a little too similar to one of the many Batman logos they have already trademarked. [More]

Where Do You Stand On The Geek Squad vs. God Squad Debate?

Where Do You Stand On The Geek Squad vs. God Squad Debate?

For at least two years, a priest in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, had been rolling the streets of his town in a VW Beetle with the words “God Squad” stenciled on its door in a design reminiscent of the logo seen on Best Buy’s Geek Squad vehicles. Now the priest’s car is unadorned after the retail chain got wind of his wheels and issued a cease and desist order. [More]

North Face Reaches Settlement With South Butt

North Face Reaches Settlement With South Butt

Clothier North Face has reached an out-of-court settlement with parody vestment maker “South Butt.” Once again, comedy wins! [More]

South Butt Rebuts North Face

South Butt Rebuts North Face

“South Butt,” sued by North Face for trademark infringement, has filed a delightfully nyah-nyah answer to the apparel maker’s legal claims. While North Face asserts that South Butt is sewing confusion and mistake among consumers, and deceiving them, the parody company, intent on a 1st Amendment defense, insists that that “the consuming public is well aware of the difference between a face and a butt.” The rest of the fun filing, inside… [More]

NYC Police Dept Stops Giving Counterfeit Clothing To Charity

NYC Police Dept Stops Giving Counterfeit Clothing To Charity

It turns out H&M and Walmart aren’t the only two organizations caught destroying clothes they couldn’t sell. Yesterday the New York Times reported that the NYC Police Department has also been destroying clothing that would otherwise be wearable. The big difference this time is that the clothing is counterfeit. [More]

Trademark Wars: SPARC International Tells Small Electronics Website To Stop Existing

Trademark Wars: SPARC International Tells Small Electronics Website To Stop Existing

The whole David and Goliath trademark thing continues with two new players. Meet SPARC International, a self-described “extremely valuable asset” belonging to Sun Microsystems, and SparkFun Electronics, a website where you can buy things to make little robots and stuff.

Brewery Owner Stares Down, Whups Monster In His Closet

Brewery Owner Stares Down, Whups Monster In His Closet

Score a victory for the little guy. Matt Nadeau, the owner of the Rock Art Vermont brewery, which was slapped with a lawsuit by the sue-happy makers of the Monster energy drink for brewing a beer called “Vermonster,” has gotten the bullies to step off.

Monster Energy Threatens Actual Movie Monster (We're Not Kidding)

Monster Energy Threatens Actual Movie Monster (We're Not Kidding)

We’re back to thinking Hansen Beverage Company is being taken for a ride by its legal counsel, Continental Enterprises, with this latest chapter in their trademark bullying saga. An actor named Trygve Lode has been contacted by Continental Enterprises on behalf of Hansen and told to remove all advertising and sales of Monster Energy from his site. The only reference to Monster Energy is the photo above.

Monster Energy Trains Legal Guns On Beverage Review Website

Monster Energy Trains Legal Guns On Beverage Review Website

When you’re working on developing a reputation as a trademark bully, it’s good to go after multiple targets. We guess that’s why the website BevReview.com has received notice that it should remove any advertisement and sale of Monster Energy drinks from its site. The only problem is, it doesn’t advertise or sell drinks—it reviews them. And it didn’t give Monster Energy a good review.

Brewer Sued By Monster Energy Drink Asks America For Help

Brewer Sued By Monster Energy Drink Asks America For Help

Matt Nadeau, the owner of a tiny Vermont brewery being sued by the makers of the Monster energy drink for brewing a beer called “Vermonster,” has taken his case to the people. He says that trademark attorneys keep telling him the law is with him, but that he should just give up because it will be too expensive to litigate. “This is just about principle,” Nadeau told the AP. “Corporate America can’t be allowed to do this, in this day and age. It’s just not right.”

Apple Bites Down On Aussie Grocer's Logo

Apple Bites Down On Aussie Grocer's Logo

When is a “W” not a letter? When Apple Inc. says it’s a piece of fruit, that’s when. The iPod-maker and self-declared ruler of all things pomaceous has decided that the stylized W adopted by Australian supermarket chain Woolworths as its logo looks a little too much like Apple’s own logo, and that’s reason enough to claim trademark infringement.

Call Yourself A 'Frugalista,' Get A Free Cease And Desist Letter

Call Yourself A 'Frugalista,' Get A Free Cease And Desist Letter

Miami Herald personal finance blogger Natalie McNeal is going all “Highlander” with her “Frugalista” moniker. As in, there can only be one. She trademarked the term and had a lawyer send out cease and desist letters to at least one other Frugalista.

Monster Cable Awakens From Slumber, Sues Another Company

Monster Cable Awakens From Slumber, Sues Another Company

Well, that didn’t last long. Back in January, we were hopeful that Monster Cable had seen the error of its stupid ways and stopped suing everyone but the dictionary for using the word “monster” in their title. They were just hibernating, it seems, and now they’re back and bullying another company—this time a family-owned transmission manufacturer in Florida named Monster Transmission.

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

A well-respected lawyer has a simple message for corporations: stop suing disgruntled customers who start websites to air their grievances. Though William Pecau of Steptoe & Johnson thinks that online gripers are “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands,” he also realizes that “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” Pecau goes on to explain exactly why most online gripers are safe from over-hyped takedown notices

Reverend Run's Daughters Keep Stealing This Guy's Ideas

Reverend Run's Daughters Keep Stealing This Guy's Ideas

Angela and Vanessa Simmons, daughters of Reverend Run of Run-D.M.C., are following the Hot Topic business model of ripping off the designs of other people. In this case, their fashion line Pastry keeps putting out t-shirt designs that are uncomfortably similar to the tees that Johnny Cupcakes puts out first. Last Spring, he had his lawyer contact them about trademark infringement, but he says that hasn’t stopped them from using his line as a free design resource. Classy!

T-Mobile C And D's Blog For Using Magenta

T-Mobile C And D's Blog For Using Magenta

Citing trademark infringement concern, T-mobile is demanding that gadget blog site Engadget Mobile stop using magenta in its logo. In a letter posted sent to Engadget, T-Mobile pronounced, “Based on the different character of the goods and services offered by the Deusche Telekom Group and Weblogs, we assume that it is in the best interest of both of our entities to ensure that the particular services can be clearly separated and that consumers are not confused…” And it’s not an early April Fool’s joke, they say. It’s not totally unreasonable, there is precedent for this sort of thing. Like the time T-Mobile sued a small a book-on-demand-publisher for having magenta in its logo.

Plastic Surgery Company Sues Consumer Site For Negative Customer Reviews

Plastic Surgery Company Sues Consumer Site For Negative Customer Reviews

Lifestyle Lift claims it’s a “minor one-hour procedure with major results,” but a lot of customers who have paid for the procedure have been left unhappy, and they’ve consequently posted reviews about it on a plastic surgery review blog called RealSelf. Lifestyle Lift has sued RealSelf, claiming trademark infringement, and now RealSelf has countersued, claiming Lifestyle Lift padded RealSelf’s site with shill reviews.

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/13/pillsbury-has-told-a/

Pillsbury has told a New York food co-op to stop using the phrase “bake-off” because they own it. Pillsbury coined the phrase back in 1949 (according to this unverifiable web source), and then trademarked it in the early 1970s (according to another). Now you know. (Thanks to Sarah!)