trademark wars

Culinary Creators Face Trademark Woes When it Comes to Foreign Foods

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 9, 2013 12:43 PM

A trademark case out of London hits close to home for one of the culinary world's hottest trends: pho. But it raises a much larger issue as trends cross cultural divides and enterprising types look to cordon what they believe is a unique market. 

Recently, a small Vietnamese restaurant in London called Mo Pho was asked to change its name due to the fact that Pho Cafe, a British chain of Vietnamese restaurants had trademarked the term "pho" several years earlier. Except in Vietnamese, pho is a simple term for "noodle soup," kind of the English equivalent of "cheeseburger." What the case suggests is that any general food term is protectable by trademark—provided it's in a foreign language.Continue reading...

tech innovation

New York's Major Media Players Seek Startups Through SwitchPitch Event

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 2, 2013 04:45 PM

Goliaths aren’t generally looking for help from Davids, but the New York Daily News, HBO, Time Inc., TiVo, Meredith, and nine other major media companies turned things upside down Tuesday when they asked more than 200 startups for help. 

The SwitchPitch event, which specializes in pairing startups with in-need companies, allows such companies to pitch funded innovation projects to startups looking for partners. After a bidding process, the selected startups will begin working with their supporting companies.

In this case, the Daily News will provide its startup of choice with a six-month stay in the paper's offices and a large testing ground for their concepts on and the rest of the paper’s digital properties, which reach 17 million people monthly.Continue reading...

see you in court

New York State AG Sues Trump Over Phony School, but The Donald Won't Go Quietly

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 26, 2013 05:37 PM

Billy Crystal once joked that Donald Trump was the only person who could look at the New York City skyline and say, “Got it. Got it. Ain’t got it. Got it. Need it. Got it." Nowadays, though, the business magnate known for his strong personality (and other, whispier things) seems to pile up problems as quickly as real-estate deals.

His latest is a lawsuit from New York state’s attorney general, who is seeking $40 million in damages after over 5,000 people paid money to learn Trump's business acumen at his Trump Entrepreneur Institute, once known as Trump University (before it was discredited as such).Continue reading...

traveling brands

JetBlue Goes Upmarket with New Premium Seating

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 5, 2013 03:27 PM

While its long been known as an "equal opportunity" airline, JetBlue is tired of missing out on all those lucrative upgrade fees that competing airlines have been taking advantage of for years. With that, the discount brand is flipping its image and introducing premium seats on some of its planes. 

"It's a big change for us culturally," Scott Laurence, JetBlue's vice president of network planning, told the Wall Street Journal.

While it's known for its universally coach cabin, the new premium seats at the front of the plane will come with free alcoholic beverages and hot means, while on select flights, seats will convert into lie-flat beds, and some will even be “walled off from the aisle by sliding doors."Continue reading...

sip on this

Bloomberg's NYC Soda Ban Dubbed Unconstitutional by Appeals Court

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2013 03:42 PM

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has been dealt yet another blow on his warpath to ban oversized, sugary drinks. The four judges from New York state's Supreme Court Appellate Division unanimously ruled Tuesday that the city’s attempt to stop larger-size sodas from being sold in the Big Apple’s restaurants is unconstitutional. 

Mayor Bloomberg, who has taken on the cause personally, is prepared to carry on the fight to ban sodas 16 ounces and larger from being sold in NYC eateries. "Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," Bloomberg said in a statement.Continue reading...

retail watch

The Internet of Bling Comes to Life with BaubleBar Pop-Up Strategy

Posted by Brittany Waterson on July 15, 2013 03:16 PM

Online jewelry retailer BaubleBar, founded by Harvard grads Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, launched its second US pop-up shop in New York’s Soho district in June. The Greene Street shop, which will remain open until August 13, follows the e-tailer's first shop in New York's Meatpacking district back in February.  

The Soho shop features weekly special events on their website, including happy hours and book signings—all an effort to establish BaubleBar as an exciting destination online and off.

The e-tailer teamed up with digital agencies Gin Lane Media and Perch Interactive to enhance and personalize the customer experience, with the pop-up featuring touchscreens, a bar serving Godiva cocktails, its own App and more to help engage shoppers. Customers are encouraged to take photos and upload them via Olapic, a platform that places user-generated content directly on a brand’s website.Continue reading...

chew on this

America Still Nuts for Cronuts as Chef Aims to Use Fame to Help Others

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2013 11:33 AM

A combination of a croissant and donut that debuted in New York in May has inspired plenty of people to stand in line, not just to sample one but to get a trademark for it, too.

New York’s Dominique Ansel Bakery in the city's Soho neighborhood started turning out its signature cronut pastry in May to the pleasure of thousands of customers who, thanks to foodie blogs and social media buzz, started lining up early each morning to snag their own.

In fact, so many fans started queuing up around the block (see brandchannel editor-in-chief Shirley Brady's photo below)—that the bakery had to increase its staff and limit how many cronuts a consumer can buy, with each cronut going for $5 a piece. The flaky pastry has even spawned some less-than-legal activity, including cronut scalpers and the "cro-job." 

Other bakeries took note and now cronut-inspired treats are also being sold across the US and overseas, from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, and even in London—much to Ansel's chagrin, Bloomberg reports. His challenge, of course: to sustain the buzz and build his brand without becoming a one-note, cronut wonder.Continue reading...

luxury watch

New York Looking to Hold Buyers More Accountable in the War Against Counterfeit Luxury Goods

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2013 01:54 PM

New York City loses $1 billion a year in tax money thanks to counterfeit goods being sold on its streets. At least that’s what one City Council member is saying to help promote her bill that would have police arresting those who buy the products as well as the those who sell them, according to the Associated Press.

The plan, which will be addressed at a public meeting on Thursday and is expected to come to vote in the next few months, is to have the buyers of fake Pradas, Chanels and other luxury goods either fined $1,000 or put in jail for a year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration is planning to oppose the bill, the New York Post reports, because the size of the fine would keep tourists from buying pretty much anything. Plus, it wouldn’t be good PR to have images of tourists in jail floating around.Continue reading...

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