brand partners

Post C. Wonder, Chris Burch Is Poppin—and Pairing with Ellen DeGeneres

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 31, 2015 12:29 PM

Following the high-profile split of Tory and Chris Burch, Chris’ attempt to launch C. Wonder stores attracted mostly criticism—but few shoppers—resulting in bankruptcy earlier this year.

Burch has now set his sights on the office, with his interest in the Poppin stationery brand (one of his many brand interests, as noted below).

Poppin has jsut expanded from a peppy line of brightly-colored stationery and desktop accessories that's designed for the home and small business office to brightening the rest of the office with furniture, including a roller chair for $289, an LED desk lamp for $129, and modular desks and lounge sofas.

He invested $17 million to help Poppin, founded in 2009, dominate the one-stop retail space for startup-ready, funky office spaces. Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: March Madness, Empire, Converse and More

Posted by Nicole Briggs on March 27, 2015 05:33 PM

NCAA March Madness 2015 Official Sponsors

The NCAA is the home of the largest basketball tournaments in the US; it turns out that they are also one of the biggest trademark enforcers around.

This weekend will be all about the Final Four as the top four schools go head to head in an all-out battle to the championship. NCAA has had to deal with a different kind of battle this season and every season. Loeb & Loeb attorney Douglas Masters, the NCAA’s outside counsel in charge of trademark enforcement during March Madness, has been busy sending out hundreds of cease-and-desist letters to infringers.

In addition to protecting the tournament's official sponsors, he's also fighting unauthorized used of trademarks that you may not have known the NCAA owns: The Road to the Final Four, Bracket Town, Final 4 & Final Four, March Madness, The Big Dance, and Elite Eight.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Nike, Qualcomm, Washington Redskins and More

Posted by Nicole Briggs on March 20, 2015 03:03 PM

Jacobus Rentmeester photo Nike Jumpman Jordan Brand logo

On June 1st, ICANN will release .porn and .sucks. In good efforts to protect their brand many have swooped in to buy .porn and .sucks before web haters and trolls got to them. Microsoft has already registered Office.adult and Office.porn.

Steve Miholovich, SVP of marketing at Safenames, a domain registrar and advisory firm for websites, commented to CNN, "At the end of the day, a TLD is really a brand." We can’t see anything positive coming from those TLD; brands may want to consider following Microsoft's lead. 

At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, charities and not-for-profit organizations are now free to move on from the .org domain and apply for .ngo and .ong TLDs.

Qualcomm is off to court to protect its Chinese name, Gao Tong. Bloomberg reports the company has enlisted a big ally in that quest: Hejun Vanguard Group, the firm that helped make Apple pay $60 million in 2012 to use the iPad moniker in China. Qualcomm, however, only wants a slice ($16 million) of that in damages.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Brewing Battle: Bell's Goes After Innovation in Craft Beer Trademark Clash

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 16, 2015 02:04 PM

A beer fight is never pretty, and the one going on between Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery and North Carolina’s Innovation Brewing has brewed up plenty of bad feelings.

Bell’s, which produces more than 300,000 barrels annually, wants Innovation, which produces around 500, to withdraw its trademark application because it claims it is too close to two phrases on its brews: "Inspired brewing" and "Bottling innovation since 1985," NC's Triangle Business Journal reports.

The action raised the hackles on so many everyday beer drinkers that Bell’s had to issue a public defense of its effort to stop Innovation’s attempt at a trademark. And at least three bars in Asheville, NC, have stopped selling Bell’s beers as a result of the trademark scrap, according to WLOS.com.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark News: Apple ResearchKit, March Madness and more

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on March 13, 2015 12:02 PM

Apple has wasted no time in filing a trademark for ResearchKit, the open source medical research platform announced during its Apple Watch event on Mar. 9.

Google alum Michelle Lee has been named head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, a position that has been vacant for more than two years.

March Madness is here, but be warned: the NCAA says the use of the term—plus "Elite Eight," "Final Four," "Big Dance"—are “carefully controlled and aggressively protected.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Sriracha, Left Shark, Red Bull and Pit Bull Edition

Posted by Nicole Briggs on February 13, 2015 03:54 PM

No Crying Over Spilled Sriracha: With no trademark protection, the name “Sriracha” is hot right now. Tribe just released a Sriracha-flavored hummus, while Heinz is launching a Sriracha-flavored ketchup and Tabasco has its own version. Yet David Tran, the man who created the sauce, doesn’t see the lack of a trademark as a missed opportunity. Rather, he sees it as free advertising for Huy Fong Foods, which has never had a marketing budget.

MLB Challenges WalletHub over “W”: With 1,000+ trademarks on file for the letter “W,” who can say it belongs to just one company? Major League Basebll feels the WalletHub logo too closely resembles the “W's” held by the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. Attorney S. Lloyd Smith, who represents WalletHub's owners, feels the MLB is “plainly overreaching in this case.” However, the league asserts that the logo’s resemblance is likely “to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and to deceive the trade and public.” How likely are you to confuse WalletHub’s personal finance site with a sports team logo?Continue reading...

trademark wars

Swift Justice: Why Taylor Swift is on a Trademark Tear

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2015 02:00 PM

Taylor Swift may only be 25, but she’s already sold more than 27 million albums and snagged seven GRAMMY Awards, 16 American Music Awards and 34 Billboard Music Awards along the way. She’s also proven to be a bit of a trademark junkie and a fierce protector of her brand.

Back in October, she registered at least 57 trademarks for phrases related to her latest album, "1989," such as "This Sick Beat," “Could Show You Incredible Things,” “Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?” and “Party Like It’s 1989,” Mondaq.com reports.

So get ready, Swifties, to someday receive Sick Beat Christmas ornaments, temporary tattoos, bean bags, pot holders, glow sticks, soap and tanning products. Swift’s lawyers have included all of these—and others—in the trademark application. They're also busy playing whack-a-mole with anyone daring to use these terms.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Brandcameo: American Sniper and Marvel's Punisher

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 4, 2015 12:28 PM

From Marvel Comics' perspective, American Sniper could not be a better film. In fact, it's easy to argue that Sniper is secretly the best Punisher superhero film ever made. (Several others have already argued this point quite convincingly.)

It's certainly the most successful; the total combined lifetime box office for Marvel's three Punisher films (1989; 2004; 2008) was about $51 million. American Sniper made that in 48 hours.

But one would also expect that Marvel, since 2009 part of Disney, the most litigious IP protector on earth, would also be interested in how the lucrative Chris Kyle juggernaut uses its trademarked Punisher skull in its commerce. There is a bitter war over the Punisher skull-inspired logo now synonymous with Chris Kyle's life and business. But it doesn't involve Marvel at all.

Instead, it's a fight going on in Texas courtrooms with at least three organizations currently using some version of the skull logo Kyle co-designed. Stay tuned for more.

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