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tech in the spotlight

Is Apple's New iPad Resolutionary Enough to Drive Sales?

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 7, 2012 04:31 PM

Apple introduced the new iPad today, which starts at $499. Described by Apple as "brilliant from the outside in," the third generation tablet boasts sharper-than-an-HDTV graphics thanks to its "stunning Retina display," ultrafast 4G LTE, a 5-megapixel iSight camera and 3D capability.

Check out the "don't call it the iPad 3" below and tell us: enough to merit trading up — or finally taking the iPlunge if you've been iPadverse until now?Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Trademark Wars Escalate and it's all the Web's Fault

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2012 10:01 AM

Building up a brand has always been crucial to a business but the value has gone up even higher in the Internet age. The New York Times reports “brand experts and trademark lawyers say the value of simple, easily understood brand names has escalated in the Internet era because consumers are more likely to find such products while doing searches on the Web.”

Because of that, trademark fights have escalated, the Times notes, pointing to the trademark spat over the phrase "app store" by Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.

But it is the smaller companies that have more stake in grabbing hold of those trademarks, the NYT points out, since the larger ones can attempt to crush the smaller — a legal tactic that some call "trademark bullying."Continue reading...

sporting brands

So Sioux Me: UND Fighting Sioux Live to Fight Another Day

Posted by Reneé Alexander on February 28, 2012 05:49 PM

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux are back! For now, anyway — although UND was just snubbed over the name, so watch this space.

The Grand Forks-based school has been embroiled for decades in a tug of war over its moniker and logo, which features a Native American warrior wearing a feather headdress.

Traditionalists have fought to keep it while those who believe it is offensive to Native Americans have long argued it needs to be retired in favor of something more politically correct.

UND officially dropped the divisive nickname in late 2011 but it was resurrected this month after local residents collected 17,000 signatures seeking to put the issue to a state-wide vote. As part of the process, a law requiring the school to reinstate the nickname went back into effect. Continue reading...

sporting brands

Chinese Trademark Gamble on Jeremy Lin Pays Off

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 23, 2012 11:02 AM

Back in 2010, when Jeremy Lin was 'just' a Harvard-educated, undrafted rookie with the Golden State Warriors, Chinese businesswoman Yu Minjie, the owner of a sporting goods company, took 5,000 yuan ($793) and purchased the trademark for “Jeremy S.H.L.” That prescient investment is paying off.

“S.H.L.” stands for Lin Shuhao, Lin’s Chinese name, according to China Daily. Now Yu can use the trademark on sportswear, accessories, balls, and toys all the way up through August 2021.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

In China, Apple Goes Out of the Wok, Into the Fire

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2012 07:02 PM

On Friday, Apple's week of bad news from China got the proverbial icing on the cake in the form of an initial report from The Fair Labor Association about Apple's manufacturing partners. The report had a number of points but the single bite the media latched on to was "tons of issues."

From its lost iPad trademark to working conditions to a smoldering conspiracy theory about the brand punishing The New York Times, Apple stands on the verge of flipping from the brand we love and hold up as an example to emulate, to the brand we love… begrudgingly.Continue reading...

Apple's China Crisis: Labor Inspections Begin as iPad Spat Heats Up

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 16, 2012 01:53 PM

In the ongoing news of worker abuse and suicide at Apple's top eight suppliers in China, with Foxconn Technology Group's factories most prominent in the glaring international spotlight, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) has begun its on-site inspections of conditions at factories at Apple's behest, and the initial reports are better than expected.

"The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm," commented Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA, after visiting two Foxconn factories in Shenzhen in southern China and another plant in the central city of Chengdu with a contingent of 30 FLA inspectors. "I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It's more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps."Continue reading...

brandcameo

Underworld: Awakening Adds Fake Evil Corporation to Hollywood Pantheon

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 23, 2012 11:50 AM

In the new age of product placement, it's difficult to believe a movie like Underworld: Awakening could only have one easily identifiable brand. (And a gun brand at that.)

Not that the franchise was ever a product placement extravaganza. The first two films in 2003 and 2006 had but 13 identifiable products between them: a handful of them, also gun brands.

In the Underworld franchise's fourth outing, this new #1 movie adds to a robust collection of film "brands": A fake bioengineering corporation.Continue reading...

ad watch

What Fresh Joy Is This? Samsung Apple Spat Heats Up Ahead of Super Bowl

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 20, 2012 02:25 PM

The folks at Samsung, busy promoting the Galaxy S II (its latest commercial is above), must be feeling pretty good in general these days. Samsung filed trademarks for ‘Samsung Joy’ and ‘Samsung Fresh’ smartphones on Jan. 13, cheerful names meant to elicit delight and spark interest.

“Both trademarks were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and labeled as ‘telephones; smart phones; mobile phones; computer software for mobile phones, portable media players and handheld computers,” according to BGR.com. More will be explained at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. GizmoCrave is hearing that Samsung will bring two new devices to the Congress, possibly entry-level handsets.

One thing Samsung likely isn’t feeling joyous about is its loss in a patent suit in German Friday against Apple.Continue reading...

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