You won’t find little, pale-yellow packets of Splenda at Dunkin’ Donuts, but you will find little pale-yellow packets of a knockoff version of the sweetener. Heartland Consumer Products, the company behind Splenda, is taking Dunkin’ to court, claiming the coffee-and-donut chain is misleading consumers into thinking they are getting the real Splenda when it’s just a knockoff. [More]
Coffee and bongs: While you might not expect the two things to be related, they are. Or at least, they were in a recent copyright lawsuit that saw coffee giant Starbucks sue the maker of frappuccino-shaped bongs. [More]
For years, Amazon and Apple have fought their own battles when it comes to counterfeit products: third-party retailers selling lookalike Apple accessories and companies hawking fake name-brand products on the e-commerce site. Now, the two issues have come together, with a lawsuit claiming that 90% of the supposed Apple power accessories listed on the site are fake. [More]
Even though the Oakland Raiders have not yet received the NFL’s blessing to relocate (again), the team appears to be protecting a potential Las Vegas future from potential trademark raiders. [More]
“Immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous”: those are the adjectives a Native American tribe in North Carolina chose in a recently filed lawsuit to describe Anheuser-Busch InBev’s use of the official tribal logo and slogan in a local ad campaign. [More]
Five years ago, China’s Zhongshan Pearl River Drinks filed trademark applications for “Face Book” branded beverages and snacks, hoping to ride the wave of popularity for the social media platform even though it’s banned in the country. Today, a court in Beijing handed the real Facebook a rare victory for this sort of trademark case, revoking this use of the famous brand. [More]
We’ve all seen local bakeries and supermarkets selling cakes decorated with the images of trademarked cartoon/movie/comic characters and not many people seem to care that the decorator may not have permission to use these images. But there’s also a difference between someone’s hand-iced Captain America cake and a company that uses movie stills and promotional art to make pre-fab cake frosting sheets. Thus, Disney, Lucasfilm and Sanrio — tired of seeing cakes featuring the unauthorized faces of Yoda, Iron Man, and Hello Kitty — have teamed up to sue two Michigan men for trademark and copyright infringement. [More]
If Amazon doesn’t sell a specific product I’m looking for, should it simply tell me “Sorry, nothing here” or should it bring up a slate of other, possibly similar, competing products? To one high-end watchmaker that’s been involved in a four-year legal battle with Amazon, these questionable search results aren’t just an annoyance but constitute trademark infringement. And yesterday, a federal appeals panel said Amazon must face this trademark complaint in court. [More]
The folks at IMAX need to learn when to take a compliment. When someone name-drops your brand as an aspirational standard, you should smile and appreciate the respect. What you shouldn’t do is demand that a news website retract an entire story just because someone mentions your brand. [More]
A Seattle artist suing a pet company for allegedly cutting her out of a deal to license a line of plush “Angry Birds” pet toys to Rovio, creators of the popular video game, has won a battle in her legal war. A federal judge has refused to dismiss her lawsuit, saying she’s made a case for her claim that she retained intellectual property rights in the “Angry Birds” trademark.
Just like some street vendors make a living selling lookalike Cartier and Omega watches for cheap, some folks are selling — or even giving away — knock-off digital watch faces for Android-powered smartphones. And the watch companies are going after these people with the same zeal as they chase the “Cantier” and “Omego” sellers from sidewalks. [More]
While NYC pastry chef Dominique Ansel may have trademarked the word “cronut” to describe the cross-breeding of a croissant and a donut, he’s certainly not the only person to have made or sold them. Now his lawyers are sending cease-and-desist notices to bakers to get them to stop calling their creations “cronuts,” even if they’ve never used the word on their menus. [More]
What’s in a name? Well, if that name happens to be PODS about $62 million. That’s how much the storage and moving company was awarded in damages from a trademark infringement lawsuit against U-Haul. [More]
Pirate Joe’s is a small retail store in Vancouver that sells only one line of merchandise: stuff purchased from Trader Joe’s and trucked across the border. People in Vancouver love Trader Joe’s, see, but the chain has no Canadian stores. Pirate Joe’s fills in the gaps for customers who don’t want to travel across the border but who really want pecan praline granola and chocolate-covered potato chips. [More]
For decades, Sears has been using the trademarked brand name “DieHard” on its car batteries and auto parts. Now the retail relic has filed a trademark infringement suit against a company that makes a sexual enhancement spray under the same name.
Last spring, we wrote about Subway sending out cease-and-desist letters to sandwich shops that dared to use the term “footlong.” Now, Casey’s General Stores, a regional convenience store chain, has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging the fast food Goliath’s claim to exclusivity on the word.