Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2012 01:12 PM
The ice-cream company that gave the world Schweddy Balls and Karamel Sutra isn’t apparently amused by somebody using the name Ben & Cherry’s. Perhaps Ben & Jerry’s discomfort comes from the fact that the somebody in question is a hardcore porn film producer.
The Vermont-based, Unilever-owned B&J’s has filed a trademark suit against B&C’s, the Associated Press reports, in order to stop them “tarnish(ing)” the ice-cream maker’s name.
Ben & Cherry’s doesn’t just use a variation of the B&J’s name and logo on its films; it also gives its videos names based on Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Witness "Boston Cream Thigh," at right, ''New York Fat & Chunky," and "Peanut Butter D-Cup," the AP reports. Not only that, the packaging of the films contains elements that appear on Ben & Jerry’s packaging, such as “a grazing cow, green grass and large white puffy clouds.”
It's not that Ben & Jerry’s is averse to hanky panky; after all, the brand using a more G-rated bit of romance – spooning (get it?) – to help sell its new Greek Frozen Yogurt.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 5, 2012 05:25 PM
Fashion brands are particularly fussy when it comes to protecting an attribute that defines their very soul — or in the case of Christian Louboutin, its sole.
The designer of shoes with iconic red bottoms that sell for as high as $3995 a pair, Louboutin has been sticking its stilettos into counterfeiters who sell fake versions of pricey pairs of their shoes, as well as other fashion brands who dare to step on their trademarked sole.
Last August, Louboutin took legal action in a U.S. court against another French fashion firm, Yves Saint Laurent. The case had interesting trademark implications: Louboutin had argued that YSL was infringing on its intellectual property by introducing all-red shoes. But a New York judge rebuffed the argument, stating that "Loubotin's claim would cast a red cloud over the whole industry, cramping what other designers could do while allowing Louboutin to paint with a full palette. Louboutin would thus be able to market a total outfit in red, while other designers would not."
Louboutin appealed the decision and now, in the latest twist, it has won a trademark battle, but not the trademark war.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 3, 2012 05:05 PM
Note: This is an update of a story that was originally published on July 27th —
The Gucci family likely doesn't relish any unpleasantries airing out in the open, but two great-grandsons of the company’s namesake founder who are also in the fashion business ended up in an Italian court of law as a result of an intellectual property case brought by the Gucci Group. An interim legal ruling in that case follows a different case involving Gucci, which scored a recent victory against the would-be interlocking G's of Italian rival Guess.
The back story to the case involving Guccio Gucci's great-grandsons: the brothers, Guccio and Alessandro Gucci, own and operate a handbag (that's an example above) and accessories brand called ToBeG. In the words of London's Daily Telegraph, a court in Florence ruled on July 12th that ToBeG was “guilty of infringement of Gucci’s trademarks” and so cannot use the name "Gucci" or "Guccio Gucci" for "marketing communications or website activities."
Roberto Calabresi of SLCG, the legal firm representing ToBeG in the case, provided this statement to brandchannel clarifying that interim legal order:Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 31, 2012 04:29 PM
Would you buy a T-shirt with a Latin Kings gang symbol on it? How about a backpack with the Bloods gang sign? Would you even try and trademark such a symbol? The branding of illegal activity is usually done underground, consisting of tattoos and graffiti mostly. So why French company, Early Flicker, would try and trademark the Anonymous logo and slogan is un peu bizarre.
Tweeted by @Asher Wolf yesterday, it appears Apollinaire Auffret from Early Flicker applied to the Institut National De La Propriete Industrielle (INPI) to protect the logo and slogan. The hacktivist group's logo consists of a headless man in a suit with a question mark for a head, standing before a globe and a wreath. The slogan reads "Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us." Early Flicker is an eBay store that has a range of different product categories, including t-shirts, handbags, and accessories.
The little e-tialer is taking on a big dog with its latest bid. Anonymous condones crime by illegaly releasing protected IP and temporarily bringing down large corporate and brands' websites, but don't like any legal moves that impinge on their rights. So, naturally, Anonymous has already issued this response:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 01:15 PM
A European beverage maker took on the folks at Red Bull and is now headed home with an empty glass and a sad story to tell.
Sun Mark produces an energy drink called Bullet that features the slogan “No bull in this can,” and that did not sit well with Austria’s 28-year-old Red Bull GMBH. After all, Red Bull produces a “Bullit” drink already. The pair locked horns legally and now Red Bull is walking away the victor after a hearing in a London High Court, according to the Independent.
The judge noted that consumers would likely be confused between the two products and the slogan took “unfair advantage of the repute of Red Bull," the paper reports. (Bullet's US website reads, "Move over Red Bull!")Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 17, 2012 11:49 AM
The Dark Knight Rises' opening this week makes it as good a time as any to ask, do you know what the difference is between Gotham and Gotham City?
The former term associated with Batman/Bruce Wayne's hometown is not trademarked. But a recent filing by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation aims to change that. It also raises questions about why the filing wasn't made by DC Comics or Dark Knight movie studio, Warner Bros.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 6, 2012 03:20 PM
Fox has had a hit for itself in the last few years with its “Glee” franchise that will enter into a whole new phase next season as a few of its regulars have finally graduated and will be moving along to their new lives. Before that happens, though, the show’s producer, 20th Century Fox, will be facing off against somebody who isn’t such a fan of the show: the UK's Glee Club chain of comedy clubs.
Owner Mark Tughan says “he will expose the ‘hypocrisy’ of Rupert Murdoch when a multi-million pound trademark battle gets to court,” according to the Birmingham Post. And he's not joking.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2012 03:22 PM
The attorneys at the massive AB InBev have been trying to get little Czech brewer Budějovický Budvar to stop using the Budweiser name, but nothing has worked yet and the King of Beers may be seeing its Czech rival in high court as the longrunning dispute continues.
The UK Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Budvar on July 3rd, when the trademark lawyers at Marks & Clark scored the victory for the smaller brewer, according to TheLawyer.com. As it stands now, both brewers are still allowed to use the name Budweiser. And that means, of course, that this legal fight likely isn’t over.
The two companies are now gearing up for an even bigger courtroom battle. If the Court of Appeals had ruled for AB InBev, it would have seriously hurt the smaller Czech brewer, TheLawyer reports.
“This decision confirms what, in our opinion, is obvious following the favorable ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in September last year,” said one lawyer for Budvar. “That as a result of the decades-long honest use of the mark Budweiser by both Budvar and Anheuser-Busch in the UK, both parties should be entitled to a trademark registration.”