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.
Even though people have been using the phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong” for two decades, Nintendo has just gotten around to filing a request with the Patent and Trademark office to slap a little “TM” on those words.
Fifty-three years ago, the Dodgers told the borough of Brooklyn to shove it up its nose with a rubber hose and lit out for the warmer climes of Los Angeles. Now they’ve returned — well, at least their lawyers have — to file a trademark infringement complaint against a local burger company for daring to use a similar font and the word “Brooklyn.”
It’s a battle of biblical proportions as one IHOP — better known as the International House of Pancakes — fights another IHOP — the International House of Prayer — over the use of those four famous letters.
So apparently a lightsaber isn’t a laser, it’s a “blade of pure plasma energy emitted from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field,” but whatever, George Lucas says Wicked Lasers, based in Hong Kong, is violating LucasFilm’s trademark by selling lasers that look like lightsabers.
On Thursday, we wrote about the NY Times Company threatening to sue custom-apparel company Neighborhoodies over its use of the logo for the long-dead New York Herald Tribune newspaper. And now that the ‘hoodies have made it clear that they have no intent on complying with the Times’ cease-and-desist order, the media giant has made an end-run around the shirt sellers, threatening legal action against the company that hosts Neighborhoodies’ site.
The New York Herald Tribune hasn’t been published since the late ’60s and it would likely not be remembered by most were it not for the now-iconic image of original manic pixie dream girl Jean Seberg attempting to sell copies of the paper on the streets of Paris in the 1960 film Breathless (or Ã€ bout de souffle for those who insist on such things). Regardless, the New York Times company apparently has a pending trademark on the logo and will sue you if you try to use it.
Subway has been sending legal letters to sandwich places informing them that Subway “has applied for the trademark FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches,” and instructing them to stop calling their sandwiches “footlongs” or else.
A burger place in Nelson, NZ called “Seabreeze City Takeaways,” had a burger on their menu called the “whopper,” for 12 years before someone told Burger King, and now the chain is threatening to sue.
McDonald’s has nothing better to do than sue a 19 year old whose last name, McClusky, was the inspiration for the name of an event she puts on to raise money for the Chicago chapter of Special Olympics. The event is called McFest, and it has raised $30,000. Trouble is, McClusky has now spent $5,000 of it defending herself against McDonald’s legal assault.
Phillip K. Dick wrote a book called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” which is too long to put in the title of this post, but was adapted into the film Blade Runner (which is awesome.) In this book, the android model in question is called the “Nexus-6.” Google’s phone, which runs an operating system called “Android” is called the “Nexus One.” This has pissed off Phillip K. Dick’s daughter.
Since last year, a small company called Psystar has been selling Mac clones that, in some cases, are more powerful than Apple’s own computers in the same price range. Now, the company has hit on another way to spread the OS X love: It will begin licensing its software to other companies that want to build and sell ersatz Macs. There are just a couple of problems that potential buyers might want to be aware of: Apple hasn’t given Psystar permission to do this, and is in the process of suing the company for copyright infringement. Oh, and Psystar is also in Chapter 11.
Is The North Face‘s near total overpriced puffy jacket dominance threatened by an 18-year-old college student who sells parody t-shirts, fleece jackets and shorts? Apparently!
Don’t think you can call your place “Nicky’s In-N-Out” and include a certain familiar-looking big yellow arrow in your logo and get away with it. In-N-Out — the beloved California burger chain — has settled a trademark lawsuit against a Chicagoland copycat gyro joint.
Taking a page out of Monster Cable’s playbook, Abercrombie & Fitch has threatened to sue merchants in Hollister, California who sell clothes bearing their town’s name. A&F claims that local merchants putting “Hollister” on their clothes will confuse notoriously inept surfers who can’t distinguish between a town and A&F’s Hollister Co. line. So what happens if the locals defy the upscale bully? According to David Cupps, Abercrombie’s general counsel and harasser-in-chief, “If they try, they would get a call and much more.”
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…