2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

trademark wars

Kraft Proves Bigger Cheese in Courtroom as Judge Bars Cracker Barrel Line

Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2013 01:48 PM

A judge dealt a severe blow to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's bid to expand its brand presence outside the retail operations attached to its 600-plus restaurants. He sided with Kraft Foods in issuing a temporary injunction against the Tennessee-based restaurant chain's selling of branded packaged hams and other meats under its marque because it's too similar to Kraft's long-existent Cracker Barrel cheese brand.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman gave Kraft the victory saying that the restaurant chain's plans to sell Cracker Barrel Old Country Store branded, packaged meats through supermarkets, club stores and other retailers would infringe on Kraft's Cracker Barrel brand by confusing consumers. The Chicago-based hometown judge indicated that Kraft "is likely to prevail" in its long-term bid against the restaurant chain's brand-expansion effort as well.

"The court finds that Kraft is likely to prevail on the merits of its trademark infringement and unfair competition claims," the judge's order said. "Kraft need only show a 'better than negligible' chance of success on the merits, and has more than sufficiently carried this burden."Continue reading...

trademark wars

Wendy’s Gets Frosty Over Trademark Suit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 24, 2013 11:41 AM

Since the start of the burger franchise in 1969, Wendy's has been serving up its signature Frosty frozen dairy dessert. While milkshake-type desserts can be found at nearly every burger joint around, Wendy's is set on protecting its swirled confection, filing a trademark infringement suit against fellow Ohio company United Dairy Farmers. 

Since 2005, UDF, which distributes homemade brand ice cream, has been doling out chocolate and vanilla shakes called “Frosties” and “Frosty Malts” in grocery stores and UDF convenience stores. Wendy’s is not happy about that or the fact that UDF is serving up the Frosties in similarly red-and-yellow colored cups, according to the Columbus Dispatch.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Illinois Church Takes Adidas Head On Over Adizero Trademark

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2013 12:47 PM

Goliath Adidas is starting to feel the little pings of David’s slingshot. The company is headed to court against an Illinois church, the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, over the trademark for its Adizero apparel and shoes.

The church trademarked “Add a Zero” back in November 2006, claiming on its website that it is “a Prophetic word spoken to our congregation in the early 2000s.” It was intended to help raise money for the church, its food pantry, and its childcare center, according to the Christian Post.

Adidas tried to trademark “AdiZero” in 2009, but was rejected due to the existence of the “Add a Zero” trademark. A lawyer for the church tells the Post that Adidas asked the US Patent and Trademark office to cancel the church’s trademark last year. The office finally said that it wouldn’t do that about two weeks ago. With that, Adidas offered the church 5,000 to buyout the trademark, which the church readily declined.Continue reading...

trademark wars

New York Goes After Coffee Shop Over Famed I ♥ NY Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2013 02:37 PM

For years, New York has been feeling the love from its "I ♥ NY" marketing initiative. The logo has been slapped on just about everything, from t-shirts and hats to snowglobes and shot glasses. However, there's one place the famed logo isn't welcome, according to an NYC coffee shop that received a cease-and-desist letter from the state's Department of Economic Development. 

The department contacted Everyman Espresso and asked the coffee shop to stop using its logo that consists of  “I (illustration of a coffee cup) NY” tattooed on a closed fist, according to The New York Times

The fist belongs to co-owner Sam Penix, who had the tattoo done in 2009. Now the shop has taken all the signs, T-shirts, mugs and onesies that had the logo emblazoned on the front down into the basement and told the agency that it would stop using the logo.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Lamar Odom's Clothing Company Irks New York as Brewer Battle Rages On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2013 03:53 PM

When you’re a 6-10 pro basketball player, you are used to getting things your way. But Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom, husband to Khloe Kardashian, may not win the current battle he’s thrust himself into.

Odom and designer Jonathan Garcia launched a clothing line, Rich Soil, back in 2009 and one of its T-shirts caused so much of a stir that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually sent him a letter to tell him to stop selling it, the Associated Press reports. Cuomo expected Odom and his pal to stop sales within five days.

The problem? The shirt looks an awful lot like a logo for a New York State farming program. The Rich Soil shirt features a very similar Statue of Liberty that sits behind familiar-looking crop rows, encircled in a similar font reading "Rich Soil New York" as opposed to the program's "Pride of New York." Check out a side-by-side here.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Aereo Looks to Thwart Future Lawsuits from Broadcasters

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 03:35 PM

Since last year’s launch of Aereo, the disruptive streaming service that allows consumers to watch TV online as well as on mobile devices for a small monthly fee, there has been a lot of legal wrangling between the company and broadcasters of every stripe. 

Two of the major players in the fight have been Barry Diller, whose IAC unit backs Aereo, and Rupert Murdoch, whose U.S. broadcast network FOX has threatened to move to cable to avoid losing out on streaming fees.

CBS head Les Moonves has also said his network could go the cable route if Aereo is allowed to continue unchecked. While CBS has previously taken legal action against Aereo, the tables have now turned as the streaming site moves to block future suits from CBS and its affiliates.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Gucci Loses 7 Trademarks to Guess in Latest Legal Ruling

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 6, 2013 06:33 PM

Gucci and Guess have been tussling over trademarks for years, but the Italian fashion house took a hit from its American counterpart on its own turf last week.

The Court of Milan turned out an 83-page ruling that “rejected all claims” that Gucci had filed against Guess, according to a press release. Not only that, “the Italian Court has ordered the cancellation of certain of Gucci’s diamond pattern, G logo, and ‘Flora’ pattern trademarks” along with its “rights in a ‘Square G’ logo.” 

This is a big blow to Gucci, which had received “minimal monetary damages and narrow injunctions on a handful of logos” in a similar case against Guess in New York that was decided last year. That “minimal” amount added up to $4.66 million, though Gucci had hoped to make a $120 million payday. This time, Guess scored a victory that allows it to use its famed Quattro G logo pattern without worry of infringing on any trademarks.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Brands Grapple for "Boston Strong" Trademark as Donations Stream In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 26, 2013 03:37 PM

Two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, while the police were still trying to track down the perpetrators and the public was still reeling from the first major act of terrorism on American soil since 9/11, two companies were filing trademark applications for “Boston Strong.”

Custom T-shirt company Born Into It of Woburn, Mass., and an individual, Kerim Senkal, of Allston, Mass. both aimed to use “Boston Strong" on apparel and accessories, The Huffington Post reports.

Another related trademark application came from Boston Beer Co., the maker of Samuel Adams, which brews up an annual 26.2 Brew for the Marathon each year. The plan would be to rename the beer Boston Strong 26.2 with the idea that it would help raise money for victims of the tragedy, the Boston Globe reports. The company claims that it would allow other beverages to use the trademark as long as 100 percent of the money made all went to related charities.Continue reading...

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