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]

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]

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 (...) [Read More]

You are what you eat: EAT MORE CHIKEN versus EAT MORE KALE.

It is perhaps the first time in memory that chicken and kale were the subject of comparison – as reported in the Associated Press, Chick-fil-A has gone after a Vermont artist and his mark EAT MORE KALE, alleging that there is a likelihood of confusion between this mark and Chick-fil-A’s own mark EAT MORE CHIKEN. (...) [Read More]

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 (...) [Read More]

Mattel scores minor win in Bratz® dolls IP custody battle.

A federal district court judge last week threw out a lawsuit brought by Mattel Bratz® rival MGA. The suit accused Mattel of anti-competitive conduct since August of 2010. Judge David O. Carter tossed MGA’s suit because it alleged the same  facts underlying MGA’s claims to the Bratz® trademarks in defending an earlier case against Mattel. (...) [Read More]