When you’re an early adopter of a website, that means you have your pick of usernames. A young lady in Canada registered for Instagram early on, before Facebook acquired the company. Her username was her real first name: Chanel. Eventually, brands began to use the service, and that’s when the fashion house of the same name found that someone had already registered @chanel. Now no one is using that ID. Why? [More]
In 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, deeming the term offensive and therefore not eligible for trademark. In July 2015, a federal court sided with the USPTO and ordered the agency to cancel the team’s trademark. But a ruling this week by an appeals court in Washington, D.C., adds a new wrinkle to this complicated and controversial issue. [More]
When it comes to famous faces, not just anyone can cash in and use those well-known likenesses for their own financial gain. That’s why the highest court in the land has turned down an appeal from clothing companies that wanted to peddle T-shirts bearing the image of reggae legend Bob Marley.
Ages before there was an Internet, and certainly long before Pinterest ever came onto the scene, folks were pinning things — to bulletin boards, to computer dashboards and docks. But the folks at Pinterest believe they have an exclusive trademark of the online use of phrases like “pin it.” Unfortunately for them, a federal judge disagrees. [More]
It might seem pretty obvious that chocolate candy shaped like a bear is quite different from a gummy candy bear, but now it’s official: a judge in German ruled that Lindt’s foil-wrapped, bear-shaped chocolate treats aren’t copying rival candy purveyor Haribo’s gummy bear mascot.
You may recall that we recently tested various burger recipes sent in by readers. What if I took one of those recipes, slapped the name “Morranwich” on it and made it the basis of a billion-dollar burger empire? While the reader whose recipe I used for the sandwich might be really upset, they couldn’t make a copyright claim against Morranwich Worldwide (a division of Cyber Dynamics Systems Corporation) because, as precious as a sandwich recipe might be, it’s not copyrightable. [More]
While Burger King might be technically older than McDonald’s Corp., it’s certainly not older than the Book of Kells, a 9th Century illuminated manuscript of the New Testament Gospels. But when Trinity College Dublin tried to trademark the Book of Kells name and related “BK merchandise,” Burger King’s legal eagles objected, claiming it would infringe on the fast-food giant’s marks. [More]
If you’re the kind of person who favors fruity flavors in your e-cigarette, hey, that’s your choice. But Ferrara Candy doesn’t to be tied to any flavor of vape liquid, and is suing an online e-cig company claiming it infringed on its trademark for Fruit Stripe gum with one of its offerings.
A year after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed the term “Redskin” offensive, and therefore not eligible for a trademark, the Washington NFL team has been dealt another blow in its attempt to protect its brand. This morning, a federal court agreed with the USPTO and ordered the agency to cancel the team’s trademark. [More]
You’ll have to excuse us if we’re not in the greatest spirits today, as we’re in mourning for the loss of Walmart.horse, the nonsense website that Walmart spent actual time and money to shut down and acquire. [More]
First of all, what’s a derby pie? For those not living in or near Louisville, many Kentucky Derby fans say it’s a pie made with bourbon, chocolate chips and pecans. And then there’s one company that says it’s a walnut treat made without bourbon. Thing is, the latter holds the trademark to the phrase Derby-Pie, and it’s not ready to allow others to peddle their own iterations of the traditional dessert with that name.
The “Left Shark” phenomenon that overtook the world after Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show has long since exited the cultural dialog, and yet the battle rages on over whether or not the pop star can claim a trademark on the uncoordinated, anthropomorphic fish. [More]
Last summer, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority sued the small Florida-based Jersey Boardwalk pizzeria chain over the restaurant’s logo, which looks remarkably similar to that of the Garden State Parkway. Earlier this week, a federal court in New Jersey dismissed the suit saying that the pizza chain didn’t have enough contact with the state to allow for the Turnpike Authority to file a lawsuit there. [More]
If you’ve ever dreamed of using the recently approved .sucks top-level domain suffix to make fun of companies that annoy you, your chance is coming up when registration opens later this month. However, a .sucks domain won’t exactly come cheap, so be prepared to be outbid by the company you’d love to skewer. [More]
If Aereo wasn’t dead already, the announcement from TiVo that it’s successfully snagged the former streaming service’s trademarks and customer lists will certainly send any hopes that the company could resurrect itself six feet into the ground. After an assets auction last month where companies picked over Aereo’s bones, TiVo says a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved its purchase of those assets.
If you’re looking for the Walmart website, your instinct would be to simply go to Walmart.com, or maybe Walmart.net, or even Walmart.org… all of which go to the same place. There is currently no reason whatsoever to type the URL Walmart.horse into your web browser, but if you go there, you get pretty much exactly what you’d expect — a picture of a horse and a Walmart store. [More]
When Macy’s Inc. swallowed up a slew of department stores across the land — from Marshall Field’s to Filene’s, Abraham & Straus to Jordan Marsh — it rebranded many of them, turning the formerly regional chains into Macy’s stores. But in a new lawsuit brought by the company that echoes a suit from 2011 that was slated to come to trial soon, Macy’s says the California company behind the resurrection of Hydrox and Astro Pops is infringing on trademarks it held for many of those recognizable brand names.