Author Archives: escottjohnson

Can “the” competitor’s shout-out to your brand constitute trademark infringement?

A trademark owner must protect its brand by stopping confusingly similar uses of its trademark whenever possible.  Nike and Under Armour are direct competitors so confusion among sportswear buyers confronted with a knock-off brand is likely. Or, maybe the consumers enjoy the grudge match and aren’t confused. But ignore the threat at your peril. E.Scott Johnson was quoted […]

Welcome Home Maryland Filmmakers- Our Film Incentive Program is Back in Business

Our homegrown film industry was fleeing Maryland in 2011.  Skilled film workers needed film and television production jobs that had moved to states with generous film incentives. Conflicting priorities had reduced Maryland’s ability to offer incentives. What a difference a year makes.  Last year Maryland enacted the Maryland Film Production Employment Act of 2011 to provide tax incentives […]

Arts Community Loses a Visionary Leader

On December 2, hundreds of artists, leaders of arts organization, arts advocates, patrons and friends gathered at the Baltimore Museum of Art to celebrate the amazing life of Nancy Haragan, whose unforgettable and irreplaceable performances on this planet ended too soon on November 27th. I  first worked with Nancy when MICA President, Fred Lazarus,  introduced […]

Can’t Occupy, Hon

Following up on our November 9 post about the Baltimore-centric “HON” trademark controversy, I checked the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office database this morning and confirmed that, true to owner Denise Whiting’s promise, Cafe Hon, Inc. voluntarily surrendered its trademark registrations for HON in late November.  Whiting cancelled her company’s registration of Baltimore’s much loved […]

Hey HON, how did a trademark become a Kitchen Nightmare?

There was lots of excitement in Baltimore on Monday when Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting held a news conference with TV reality show chef/provocateur Gordon Ramsay, in which she announced that she was relinquishing her trademark in the word “Hon”. The news conference was timed to coincide with the filming of an episode of Gordon […]

A Hater’s Guide to Golan v. Holder

At first I hated the idea of restoring copyrights in public domain works.  This week the US Supreme Court heard arguments in Golan v. Holder taking me back to when Section 514 was first implemented. I hated the idea even though I am pro-copyright.  I hated the idea despite my feeling that on some level […]