retail watch

H&M Confirms & Other Stories Spin-Off, Delays U.S. E-Commerce Launch

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 27, 2012 11:01 AM

H&M has announced that its new store brand, & Other Stories, will launch in Spring 2013 in "selected European countries," with an online hub at (which was registered in March), and a waiting Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Along with the news that H&M's U.S. e-commerce launch has been moved to Summer 2013, H&M commented on the pending & Other Stories launch in the company's third quarter earnings update, which was softer than expected —Continue reading...


Polish This Apple: Cupertino No Fan of Grocer's Special

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2012 04:01 PM

Any other major brand, Apple is vigilant about protecting its trademark and image around the world. But sometimes things can go a teensy bit too far, such as when Kellogg threatened to sue a small nonprofit because it used a toucan that looked nothing like Froot Loops’ Toucan Sam for its logo.

Kellogg eventually backed off and contrite. Apple, as if it didn't have enough to keep it busy, has started the process on what could end up being a similarly silly case. What’s caught the company’s attention is an online grocery in Poland (a “delikatesy internetowe”) that uses the URL (get it?), according to Reuters. 

Apple isn’t just unhappy with the site’s name. It also claims that the grocery copied “one of Apple's icons to its logo and (is) riding its coattails to win customers,” Reuters reports.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Karamel Sutra's Fine, But Ben & Jerry’s Not Amused by Porn Clone

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...

personal brands

Snoop Rebranding Shows It's a Lion Eat Dogg World

Posted by Matthew Moore on August 6, 2012 11:02 AM

It's a little unusual that Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. thinks he's Bob Marley reincarnated, especially given he was 9 years old when the reggae legend passed. Snoop Dogg's name change to Snoop Lion is not all that unusual among the celebrity set, however.

Snoop Lion, as the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg will now be known, claims he found himself on a trip to Jamaica in January and is pursuing a higher calling. "I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated," he announced. "I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn't have my third eye open, but it's wide open right now."

Apparently tired of singing about drugs, alcohol, and women, Snoop Lion is — of course — releasing a reggae album under his new persona, titled — of course — “Reincarnated.” He's calling it an album he hopes his "kids and grandparents can listen to."Continue reading...

personal brands

UPDATE: Mandela Foundation Clarifies Madiba-Inspired 466/64 Clothing Brand

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...

personal brands

UPDATE: Mandela Foundation and Madiba-"Inspired" Clothing Brand

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...

trademark wars

No Bull: Red Bull Prevails Against Bullet Energy Drink Rival

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...

trademark wars

Did 20th Century Fox Try to Trademark 'Gotham' behind DC's Back?

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...

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