Category Archives: Trademarks

Posts on trademark law

Appropriation of famous logo is trademark infringement? You be the judge.

Banksy on branding. The elusive street artist is seemingly frustrated with his own commercial success. To him great street artists need to remain criminal to keep their art pure. Most appropriation art could violate commercial law but is not criminal, unless it involves a violation of Copyright law’s DMCA. The image above is not a copyright infringement, but is potentially trademark infringement and dilution of (...) [Read More]

Performance Artist FORCE Launches Spoof with Long Legs

A group of performance artists from Baltimore known as “FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture” took advantage of a much anticipated media event to bring attention to the importance of consensual sex. The VS All Access Victoria’s Secret fashion show is an such an event, gluing billions of eyeballs to its prime time telecast. For FORCE, the (...) [Read More]

Mexico becomes third Latin American country to join the Madrid trademark filing system

In June I posted about Columbia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol and noted that Mexico was taking steps to follow suit. Late last month Mexico’s Secretary of Economy deposited documents completing the country’s accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks with the World Intellectual Property Organization, bringing to 89 the total (...) [Read More]

Can a celebrity’s post mortem right of publicity enter the public domain?

Banking on a dead celebrity’s right of publicity being public domain is an extremely dangerous advertising practice. Rights of publicity are a suite of legal rights that have developed from invasion of privacy and trademark law since the early 20th Century. There is a web of state and federal laws that can protect dead celebrities– even celebrities from (...) [Read More]

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: How one Trademark Owner Protected its IP and Avoided being Branded a Troll

That old saying seldom rings more true than it does with the recent cease and desist letter sent out by Jack Daniel’s. It seems that Patrick Wensink, an author, used a cover for his book that was quite similar to the trademarked label of Jack Daniel’s. Rather than send him a scalding and legalistic attack letter, (...) [Read More]

“Don’t be a Clown Bro,” Heavy hitters weigh in on protection of pro athlete catch phrases

Can professional athletes’ get exclusive rights to catch phrases like “DON’T BE A CLOWN BRO,”?  OberIPwatch’s Scott Johnson says that if catch phrase is is associated with the athlete, a catch phrase can become part of the athlete’s persona. Johnson was quoted in Sunday’s Maryland Daily Record article by Matt Owings: “…their persona is a brand,” Johnson said. “I don’t (...) [Read More]

Trademark protection under the Madrid Protocol gains a foothold in South America

Last year I posted about how even small and midsized companies can use the Madrid system to extend protection of their U.S. trademark registrations overseas. To recap, the Madrid System allows trademark owners to file a single application seeking an International Registration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) and then enables registrants to designate (...) [Read More]

WWW.[YOUR NAME HERE]

On the heels of the new .XXX top level domain (TDL) that recently began providing internet addresses for adult oriented websites (for a fee), ICANN (the non-profit organization that controls the Internet addressing scheme) released a list of additional applicants for other new top level domains. ICANN voted to begin allowing customized TLD’s in June (...) [Read More]

Jamaica USA, Mon! Seacrets Wins Trademark Infringement, Injunction Against Coryn Group

With summer around the corner, it is only natural that our thoughts and attention start to shift to the shore.  If you are from Mid-Atlantic, you are likely familiar with Seacrets (http://seacrets.com/), one of Ocean City, Maryland’s premiere entertainment destinations.  Seacrets, which has nicknamed itself “Jamaica, USA”, started in 1988 as a single cabana type (...) [Read More]

Descriptive trademarks are a pain in the…

…neck to police. Just ask Chipotle Mexican Grill which is receiving some mild ridicule from numerous trademark blogs for its recent suit against Kroger supermarkets. Chipotle Mexican Grill accuses Kroger of trying to profit from and trade off of the goodwill that the restaurant chain has developed in its brand by selling ready-to-eat chicken entrees (...) [Read More]