Last week, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office petitioned the Supreme Court to chime in on a case involving the trademark application for a rock band with a racially charged name. Any SCOTUS ruling in that case would have an impact on the similar ongoing dispute over the trademark for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, but rather than hope for a favorable result with that petition, the football team has filed one of its own. [More]
what’s in a name brand?
While the law prohibits the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from registering “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous” or disparaging trademarks, a federal appeals court recently ruled that this law is too restrictive and unconstitutional. Now the USPTO is asking the nation’s highest court to chime in on an issue that could impact countless rejected or cancelled trademarks, including that of the Washington Redskins. [More]
With AT&T now owning DirecTV and still operating its U-Verse network, the company has two separate pay-TV brands. But that won’t last forever, with AT&T telling employees that both brands will eventually be phased out in favor of a new, unified name covering both satellite and cable TV service. [More]
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]
Costco members know they can often get a decent price on name-brand kitchen staples by shopping in bulk at the warehouse store. But if you’ve been ignoring the company’s store-brand Kirkland Signature line of products, you might be passing up on a chance to save even more without sacrificing quality. [More]
Twenty-Five years ago, David Tran’s Huy Fong Foods began selling its now-famous Sriracha hot sauce. Now the “sriracha” name shows up on Heinz ketchup, the Taco Bell menu, Pizza Hut crusts, potato chips from Pringles, and numerous other items. But Tran and his company don’t see a dime for any of those products because he didn’t think to trademark the word back in 1980. [More]
Last week, we quizzed readers on the correct way to write the names of several retail businesses that abuse or play with punctuation. An awful lot of you gave it a shot and some of you did very well, but the results show that there is a lot of confusion out there for some of the country’s biggest retail brands. [More]
When we eventually hit the lottery and fulfill our dream of opening the world’s largest chain of Skee Ball parlors, we’re going to name it “Consumerist’s’s’s’s” in honor of all the inexplicably abandoned apostrophes that rightfully belong in retailers’ names but have been left to die by marketing executives or company owners who didn’t want to seem too possessive. [More]
It’s not surprising that a company that thought “Xfinity” sounded like a good name for a broadband Internet service and not a strip club with a cheeseball neon sign has come up with an eye-roll-worthy name for the ultra-high speed broadband tier it has yet to reveal. [More]
We can’t imagine anyone with even the most basic grasp of the English language would confuse Hershey’s Almond Joy with “Ganja Joy,” an edible marijuana product. Nor do we think anyone will mistakenly buy a “Dabby Patty” thinking it’s a York peppermint patty. But we don’t work for the Hershey legal department, which has sued a Colorado company over punny pot product names that the chocolate goliath believes are too close to its trademarked brands. [More]
Nearly 19 million Americans took advantage of a coupon or manufacturer’s discount on prescriptions last year. But what many of those people may not have known is that, while they did pay less for brand name pills, they could have gotten a generic for even less.