Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2014 10:01 AM
Less-than-robust trademark protection by brands can result in the needless spending of a lot of money on legal fees—and even personal "heartbreak."
That's the lesson of a cautionary tale about a lack of trademark vigilance told by the Trademarkologist website in the case of a dispute between Gilt Groupe, the giant members-only discount retailer known for its "flash-sale" business concept that operates Gilt.com, and Gilt, a tiny Portland, Oregon, jewelry store.
It seems, according to the site, that the name "Gilt" was first used by Paula Bixel's jewelry store in 1998. But while registering it with the Oregon Secretary of State, Bixel apparently didn't log the trademark with the US federal government, which wouldn't have cost much to do.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 30, 2014 05:07 PM
Microsoft announced the new Windows operating system today: Windows 10. Billed as "The Future of Windows," it boasts a new Start menu, multiple desktops, and improved multi-tasking, in addition to:
Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.
Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.
We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.
For some Windows 8 users eagerly anticipating the new release, there was just one question: What happened to Windows 9?
See Windows VP Joe Belfiores's twitty response to the naming speculation, along with his video explaining more about the new Windows. Continue reading...
Posted by Penelope Davis on September 17, 2014 05:04 PM
Of the many ways a brand can signal change, changing its name is one of the most significant—particularly for a company as large as Clear Channel Communications, which has just rebranded to iHeartMedia.
The move is intended to align with a sharper focus on digital channels and growth opportunities, and firmly position the San Antonio, Texas-based radio operator as a multiplatform, mass media company. The new name clearly borrows awareness from its six-year-old iHeartRadio brand, now associated with not only an app and digital offerings, but also a high-profile annual music festival and awards show.
As its corporate rebranding press release points out, Clear Channel is not "just" an operator of 859 US radio stations, but an integrated and evolving ecosystem of media platforms, spanning broadcast radio, digital radio, mobile, social, TV, outdoor advertising and live events. So why leverage a sub-brand's equity to change the parent company's corporate identity?Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Claire Falloon on September 9, 2014 07:08 PM
Forget the iWatch. In the much-anticipated unveiling of Apple’s latest and greatest products and offerings, another more subtle but no less significant game-changer was revealed: the brand's new—or at least evolving—naming convention.
Previously the owner of all things “i,” Apple today moved the needle towards its masterbrand by announcing the new Pay mobile payments platform and Watch smartwatch. While still keeping "i" as part of its iPhone line, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus revealed today, Apple's naming evolution is interesting on a number of levels.Continue reading...
Posted by Courtney Cantor on September 4, 2014 04:04 PM
Chanel is ubiquitous—on the runway each fashion week, in its boutiques lining Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive, and now in the courtroom as it seeks to uphold its trademark rights against a little-known salon and spa in Indiana. Merrillville, Indiana, to be precise.
According to papers filed in the US District Court in Hammond, Indiana, Chanel Inc. has filed a trademark infringement action against Chanel’s Salon, arguing that the salon is benefiting from an association with the chi-chi brand’s reputation. The brand also claims it has sent cease and desist letters that have been ignored.
The fame of the Chanel trademark is hardly disputable, a factor weighing in the luxury brand’s favor. When the average consumer thinks of Chanel, images of that expensive interlocking C logo are likely to come to mind. The strength of the Chanel trademark is only one factor, however, that the court would consider in deciding whether the salon’s use is confusing to the public and therefore infringing on the brand’s rights.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 01:42 PM
CVS Caremark is making a huge bet with its brand on opposing smoking, as the company today announced that it is going way beyond its February announcement that it would stop selling tobacco in its 7,700 retail locations beginning October 1.
America's second-largest drugstore chain revealed that it is changing its corporate name to CVS Health to reflect its new wellness positioning (while its consumer-facing CVS/pharmacy stores are dropping the hyphen); that it is launching a huge smoking-cessation effort to help customers kick the habit too; and that it has stopped selling tobacco products as of today, nearly a month ahead of its earlier-indicated date.
CVS Health is backing up this huge wager with a passel of new ads and social media activations about the benefits of a smoke-free life under the theme "One Good Reason"—as in, your loved ones comprise "one good reason" to quit smoking, and "What is your #onegoodreason to kick tobacco too"?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 11:04 AM
In 2002, tax auditing firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstructing justice after it was discovered that it had shredded thousands of Enron-related documents. Despite the charges, the since-defunct brand has retained its reputation through the years—a surprising conclusion of a financial industry poll conducted by Prime Group for WTAS LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that is reviving the brand, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn’t restock the billions of dollars in bank accounts that shareholders lost in the wake of Enron’s shutdown and certainly doesn’t make life easier for the 85,000 employees of the company that lost their jobs. But WTAS, which bought the rights to the name so it could rebrand to Andersen Tax, looks to change that.
“Our issues with Enron were the mistake of a few,” WTAS CEO Mark Vorsatz told Businessweek. “Irrespective of Enron, we thought we were the benchmark in the industry.”Continue reading...
Posted by Jerome McDonnell on August 15, 2014 04:04 PM
It's a busy time for trademark watchers, as brands including the Quaker Oats-owned Aunt Jemima and the Clif and Kind health bars have found themselves tussling over trademarks. Some other trademark news of note:
As expected... The Washington Redskins are appealing a federal decision to cancel the team's trademarks. “We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision,” Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins, stated. Fierce lobbying on both sides includes a new video supporting the team's controversial name, counteracting a video during the Super Bowl protesting the name.
Tesco hopes dashed: European supermarket giant Tesco was rebuffed in its attempt to trademark the blue dashes underlining its iconic wordmark, as the UK's Intellectual Property Office ruled that the logo's Tevrons (as Tesco insiders call them) were too simple and not distinctive enough to merit trademark protection. While simplicity may be the ultimate sophistication, for trademarks, it's better to be complicated.
Who wants to live forever? In the midst of the mourning over the passing of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall this week, Mondaq.com took at look at the actors' respective personal trademark registrations and praises both for savvy personal brand management. After all, patents expire and copyright runs its course—but (only) trademarks can last forever...Continue reading...