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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...

trademark wars

Frito-Lay Loses Trademark Battle Over Popular Corn Chip

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 15, 2013 11:50 AM

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Scoops Corn Chips may identify itself as “a unique combination of great taste and good fun rolled into one great snack,” but a jury in Texas has a few quibbles with just how unique its name is.

Frito-Lay North America came after Medallion Foods and Ralcorp Holdings for their Bowlz and Cupz chips that appeared in Walmarts and Krogers, respectively, around the time of this year’s Super Bowl, FoodProductDesign.com reports. Frito-Lay was not amused and wanted $4.5 million for their troubles as well as the disappearance of any products that come close to looking like Scoops.

After just five and a half hours, the 10-person jury ruled against Frito-Lay. “This was a very complicated trial, and we were fortunate to have an extremely smart jury that understood the issues and delivered a just verdict,” said John Ward, whose firm Ward & Smith helped represent Medallion, according to IPWatchdog.com. “This jury digested almost 40 pages of complex instructions and returned a verdict in our clients’ favor on all issues submitted.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Close, But No Cigar: Cohiba Battles with US General Over Fabled Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2013 06:06 PM

It’s been in the hands of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and now it’s in the hands of a slew of lawyers. The Cuban Cohiba, considered for decades to be the nation’s best cigar and a symbol of high-end swank the world over, has been spending a fair amount of time in court over the last 16 years.

In that time, the issue has been between the General Cigar Co. and Cubatabaco, the Cuban state tobacco company. The pair have been battling over the cigar’s trademark in the United States. Recently, the U.S. Trademark and Appeal Board dismissed Cubatabaco’s petition that was trying to keep General from using the cohiba name in the United States, Cigar Aficionado reports.

That General won the latest round did not sit well with folks in Cuba, where the Havana Times headlined its story about the case with “Cuba’s Cohiba Trademark Theft Gets OK.”

There are, of course, two different cohibas.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Lindt Loses Out on Epic Easter Bunny Suit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2013 11:36 AM

For more than a decade, Swiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has been trying to keep German chocolate maker Confiserie Riegelein from wrapping its chocolate bunnies in gold foil—a Lindt signature—but the fight is finally over and to Lindt's dismay, gold bunnies abound. 

Germany's Federal Court of Justice rejected a final appeal by Lindt & Spruengli on Thursday, Reuters reports. "We are very glad that this case has found a happy ending for us after some 12 years," Peter Riegelein, head of Confiserie Riegelein said in a statement, according to the wire service. "The sitting gold-wrapped bunny has been a firm part of our offering for at least a half century. Now it is finally clear that it can stay as it is."Continue reading...

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