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.”
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 5, 2012 09:55 AM
Just a few days ago, we wondered if "Apple's $60M iPad Deal Could Make China Trademark Nightmare Worse." Well, it's worse.
Apple has just been hit with not one but two new trademark lawsuits from Chinese companies. First, a company specializing in household chemicals named "Snow Leopard" has filed suit against Apple's "Snow Leopard" operating system.
Now, Siri is in trouble.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 2, 2012 01:57 PM
Apple's iPad trademark nightmare in China is over. The AP reports that, after what seemed like endless haggling, face giving and face loss, Apple has agreed to settle and pay Taiwan's Proview for the trademark rights to "iPad" for what is now Apple's second largest market, China. For anyone with experience in China, the deal looks a lot like a typical buying experience.
Proview — the trademark seller — saw a 老外 (lǎowài) it thought it could rip off and set its price at $400 million. Apple, revealing itself to in fact be a 老油条 (lăoyóutiáo), countered (rumor has it) by offering $16 million. Proview threw up its arms, laughed, complained that it couldn't feed its family for that price, and countered. This went on for a long time until Proview finally offered the trademark for $60 million, and would throw in a "I Climbed the Great Wall" t-shirt for free. Apple took it.
It's a win for Apple, and not a loss for Proview. But it may prove to be a disaster for other brands in China, as Apple's payoff may just embolden China's already extremely bold trademark squatters.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 29, 2012 10:07 AM
The China Daily uses the ongoing frenzy around the Euro 2012 soccer football tournament to revisit a known, but not well known enough, phenomenon in China. Namely, names being registered in China by people who have nothing to do with the trademarked names themselves.
As The China Daily notes, "Philipp Lahm, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta are world-popular soccer stars, but they have also attracted attention that they might not want — from Chinese companies registering their names as trademarks."
Anyone charged with protecting a brand, or who might BE a brand, should drop what they are doing immediately and check to see if your brand has been registered in China without your approval, spelling your doom. Don't even bother reading the rest of this piece on China and trademarks. Go check.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2012 01:03 PM
The executives who run Nike like to think of themselves at people who don’t do anything halfway. They go all out, "just do it" and climb the highest obstacles. They are ready for anything.
Well, that may all be great for selling shoes, but one thing is true: the company is going to be arguing a case in front of the highest rung of the U.S. judicial system. That's right, Nike is headed to the Supreme Court, but not by choice. As Thomson Reuters' legal blog summarizes the stand-off, "Supreme Court forces Nike to defend its right not to defend its trademarks."
The case – Already LLC v. Nike – started three years ago about sneaker trademarks and is now “a debate over arcane legal jurisdictional issues,” Portland Business Journal reports. The original claim involved Already’s Yums brand of sneakers, which included two particular shoe designs – Soulja Boy and Sugar — that Nike thought looked a whole lot like its Air Force 1s.Continue reading...