trademarks

afagen

Supreme Court: It’s Unconstitutional To Reject Potentially Offensive Trademarks

The Supreme Court has struck down a longstanding clause in federal law that prohibits the Patent and Trademark Office from registering trademarks that “disparage… persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” [More]

Small Bakery Changes Name After Legal Threat From Pillsbury Doughboy’s Lawyer

Small Bakery Changes Name After Legal Threat From Pillsbury Doughboy’s Lawyer

A small bakery that hasn’t even been open for a year is already having to spend thousands of dollars to change its name after General Mills took issue with the shop’s use of the term “doughboy.” [More]

Google Maps

The Eagles Accuse ‘Hotel California’ Owners Of Making Money Off Band’s Song

When you think of “Hotel California,” your head probably fills with snippets of the classic 1976 Eagles song — the seductive 12-string intro that every 13-year-old tries to learn, the epic guitar battle between Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Or maybe you think of the completely unrelated Hotel California in Mexico, which the Eagles have accused of trying to cash in on their hit song. [More]

Mars Inc. Lawsuit Claims Consumers Might Confuse Chocolates For Supplements Brand

Mars Inc. Lawsuit Claims Consumers Might Confuse Chocolates For Supplements Brand

My, what a difference a few letters can make: Mars Inc. — maker of candy bars, chewing gum, and dog food — is suing Wisconsin chocolate company CocoVaa, claiming its brand could “confuse and deceive” consumers into thinking it is related to CocoaVia, a line of cocoa extract supplements and snacks produced by Mars. [More]

Faux Fish Company Ordered To Stop Using “Chickpea Of The Sea” Name

Faux Fish Company Ordered To Stop Using “Chickpea Of The Sea” Name

As more and more companies jump on the fake meat bandwagon, producing meatless burgers that bleed and now “vegan sushi” meant to mimic the experience of eating fish, it isn’t just consumers that are paying attention: established names in the meat industry are on the lookout for imitators, and ready to protect their trademarks. [More]

Eric Kilby

Tasty Burger Files Formal Opposition To Chipotle’s Tasty Made Trademark

Back in August, East Coast burger chain Tasty Burger sent a cease-and-desist letter to Chipotle over its trademark for the company’s new burger venture, Tasty Made. Now that the latter has opened its first location — in Columbus, OH, as of yesterday — Tasty Burger says it’s making its opposition to that trademark formal. [More]

Lucasfilm Sues Operator Of “New York Jedi,” “Lightsaber Academy” Programs

Lucasfilm Sues Operator Of “New York Jedi,” “Lightsaber Academy” Programs

The term “Jedi” has been around for nearly 40 years and phrases like “Jedi mind trick” get thrown around so frequently you might forget that it’s a term that George Lucas created — and trademarked — for use in the Star Wars universe of movies, books, TV shows, variety specials, and merchandise. Which is why Lucasfilm — now a subsidiary of Disney — is suing the operator of programs that teach students how to use their lightsabers. [More]

Leanne J

Jury Decides Costco Owes Tiffany $5.5M Over Alleged Copycat Rings

Since 2012, Costco and Tiffany have been fighting in court over the question of whether “Tiffany” describes a jewelry company and a prestigious brand, or a just a style of diamond solitaire ring. The case finally reached a jury this month, and the jury’s verdict is that Costco owes Tiffany $5.5 million in compensation, and an amount yet to be decided in punitive damages. [More]

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments On Validity Of “Scandalous, Disparaging” Trademarks

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments On Validity Of “Scandalous, Disparaging” Trademarks

Federal law prohibits the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office from registering trademarks deemed “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous,” or that “disparage… persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” This has resulted in disputes like the cancellation of the Washington Redskins trademark. This morning, the nation’s highest court agreed to hear arguments in a case seeking to throw that rule out. [More]

TopShop Stops Selling $700 Jacket That Uses Band’s Logo Without Permission

TopShop Stops Selling $700 Jacket That Uses Band’s Logo Without Permission

If you’re going to make a shirt using a trademarked name and logo, you’d better have permission from the trademark holder. Just ask TopShop, which was called out for selling a $700 leather jacket, complete with an apparently unauthorized use of name and logo for the band Against Me! [More]

piratejoes.ca

The Battle Between Trader Joe’s & Pirate Joe’s Rages On

Can you effectively recreate a supermarket by buying a bunch of that store’s products, shipping them across the border and selling them in a store with a deliberately similar name? That’s the question at the center of a years-long legal battle between Trader Joe’s and its Canadian lookalike Pirate Joe’s. [More]

Jason Mrachina

Oakland Raiders File Trademark Applications For “Las Vegas Raiders”

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]

jetsetpress

Citi Can’t Stop AT&T From Saying “Thanks”… For Now

Two months ago, Citi sued AT&T — not over some huge multimillion-dollar account or bad business deal, but over AT&T’s daring use of the word “Thanks” in a new loyalty program. The bank asked a federal court to bar the phone giant from using the disputed term pending the outcome of the case, but the judge has shot that request down. [More]

Eric Kilby

East Coast Chain Tasty Burger Says Chipotle’s Tasty Made Is Ripping Off Its Name & Logo

While there may be some Chipotle customers who are excited to try the company’s new burger concept, dubbed Tasty Made, there’s at least one party that’s not so jazzed: an East Coast burger business called Tasty Burger that claims Chipotle is ripping off its name and logo. [More]

Glyn Lowe Photoworks

USPTO: Whole Foods Can’t Prove It’s The “World’s Healthiest Grocery Store”

If you want to go around telling everyone you’re the best cheese-eater this side of the Mississippi, well, that’s one thing. But if you’re a major grocery chain, you can’t just claim to be the world’s healthiest without the proof to back that up. [More]

FailedImitator

Converse Wins Trademark Battle Over Chuck Taylor’s Sole

As Converse’s Chuck Taylor sneakers have become as ubiquitous smartphones these days — heck, even your grandma might own a pair — parent company Nike has been trying block other retailers from cashing in on that popularity and selling copycat sneakers. The company just won one trademark battle over Chuck Taylor’s sole design, but is promising to keep fighting after an industry group said other aspects of the shoe’s style aren’t covered by the same protection. [More]

Brandon Evershed

Park City Residents Don’t Want Ski Resort To Trademark The Name “Park City”

When you have a business that’s in a popular tourist location, naming your establishment after the city is an obvious way to align yourself with that hotspot, thus, attracting said out-of-towners. That’s why one ski resort’s trademark application for the name “Park City” has the city’s other residents worried for the future of their businesses. [More]

Citi Is Suing AT&T Over The Word “Thanks”

Citi Is Suing AT&T Over The Word “Thanks”

Last week, AT&T launched a new loyalty program dubbed AT&T Thanks, offering rewards to customers, especially those who bundle together wireless and pay-TV services from the company. This morning, Citi fired back at the Death Star, alleging that AT&T is stomping all over Citi’s “ThankYou” trademark. [More]