Posted by Shirley Brady on August 3, 2012 06:11 PM
We have an update on a story we published earlier this week about the confusion arising between South Africa's 466/64 Fashion line, which is launching in the U.S. and plans to stage a show at New York Fashion Week next month, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
According to Erin Patton, CEO of Company B — the exclusive license holder for 466/64 Fashion in North America — the company never claimed the direct involvement of Mandela or his foundation in 466/64. As Patton was quoted by WWD on Aug. 2nd, Mandela "is not directly involved. That was never intimated. All the press materials say it was inspired by him." (Italics ours.) As Patton also told the Daily Beast, "We have a guarded approach so that we are not overly commercializing his image."
To counter the claims to the contrary by the North American representatives for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Dallas, Texas-based Patton asked us to share a statement by Sello Hatang, a spokesperson for the Mandela Foundation in South Africa, to clarify the backstory to the clothing line.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2012 02:02 PM
Update: This story has been updated with statements from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Company B, which holds the license for 466/64 Fashion in North America — click here for our update.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, many of them wearing the ID number 466/64 on Robben Island, which is not far from Cape Town, South Africa. Along the way, he became a symbol for democracy and the anti-apartheid movement, and is now upheld worldwide as an elder statesman.
That prison ID number, though, has ended up sinking Mandela into the world of crass commercialism. 466/64 Fashion is a relatively new fashion line (it just launched in the U.S. on July 18th — Mandela's 94th birthday) that had sold itself as either being overseen by Mandela or at least involving him along with claiming that it would give some of its proceeds to a Mandela charity (see its Facebook banner, above).
The word from Mandela's reps, however, is that he has nothing to do with any of it — and did not spend 27 years in jail for a fashion label.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...
sip on this
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 11, 2012 11:43 AM
It's 7-Eleven Day, so slurp it up! Highlighting the obvious tie-in between its brand name and event marketing manna from heaven, 7-Eleven stores long ago picked July 11 (7/11) at the height of North America's summer to throw a party and drive customers to the Slurpee machine.
To celebrate the convenience store chain's 85th year in business, 7-Eleven is giving away free 7.11 (of course) ounce Slurpee drinks between 11 AM and 7 PM local time (not, alas, 7 AM-11 PM) on 7/11/12. Last year, 7-Eleven handed out 5 million Slurpee drinks on 7-Eleven Day. This year, how many do you think they expect to distribute? Why, 7 million, of course.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...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2012 11:04 AM
General Mills and Kellogg have been ruling the cold-cereal market for an eternity. Those two behemoths now own about 60 percent of a $9 billion U.S. market, but that doesn’t mean other companies aren’t finding some success cutting into their market.
One in particular, the 93-year-old MOM Brands Co., which was recently renamed from Malt-O-Meal, is producing such cereals as Tootie Fruities and Honey Nut Scooters, which bear more than a passing resemblance to Froot Loops and Honey Nut Cheerios.Continue reading...