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trademark wars

Reddit Sensation Grumpy Cat Readies for Trademark Battles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 02:28 PM

You want to make Reddit sensation Grumpy Cat really grumpy? Try using her name on a product without prior authorization.

The owners of the cat that took social media by storm five months ago have filed for a trademark for the name "Grumpy Cat" as well as the cat’s likeness. After all, their little kitty, whose name is actually Tardar Sauce, has since gotten her own website, Facebook fan page, retail space, an appearance on the Today Show and her own commercial for Friskies cat food, according to SmallBizTrends.com.Continue reading...

brand makeovers

LIVESTRONG Moves on From Lance Armstrong Woes With Brand Refresh

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 02:02 PM

LIVESTRONG is still very much alive as it strives to move out from under the enormous shadow cast by its founder, disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.

A new brand refresh involving a new logo and addition of the word “Foundation” was revealed during the State of the Foundation address at the Livestrong Assembly last week in Chicago, expanding the “visual brand to show that the LIVESTRONG ethos—the belief in survivorship—is not abstract. Thousands of people and many critical programs are the “Foundation” beneath that ethos.”

“After its founder Lance Armstrong was publicly revealed to be a cheater, a liar, and a complete and utter d**khead,” comments Mediabistro, “it was hard to believe the LIVESTRONG foundation would survive the fall-out. After all the charity, which aims to provide free cancer support services for those battling the disease, had its brand so tied to Armstrong’s own story that when Armstrong lost all credibility, it seemed like he would take LIVESTRONG down with him.”

The disgraced cyclist had his seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, may be stripped of the Legion d'Honneur and faces being deposed in several pending cases which altogether leave him liable for more than $100 million.Continue reading...

getting by with a little help

Michelle Obama Brings Let's Move to Schools With $50 Million Boost From Nike

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2013 01:51 PM

Critics feeling that Michelle Obama has been overexposed lately, from presenting at the Oscars to mom-dancing with Jimmy Fallon, will have a hard time critiquing her latest move. The First Lady is expanding Let's Move, her three-year-old initiative to get kids moving and combat childhood obesity, and she's tapping one of the world's leading brands in the "get moving" space—Nike. 

NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker joined First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago to announce Nike’s $50 million, five-year commitment to help launch a new Let's Move program for schools, an extension of the brand's involvement in the organization's Designed to Move study that found that only one in three American kids are active daily.Continue reading...

tech champs

Facebook, Google Back Prize to Put Scientists in the Spotlight

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2013 11:10 AM

Six tech stars have banded together to create the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, rewarding scientists “who think big, take risks and have made a significant impact on our lives,” said Anne Wojcicki, founder of genetics company 23andMe and married to Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. 

Wojcicki along with Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and Art Levinson, chairman of Apple and former CEO of Genentech created the foundation in an effort to bring scientists and researchers to the forefront. “I think that our society needs more heroes who are scientists and researchers and engineers," said Zuckerberg. 

The foundation plans to reward five individuals or teams every year, however in its inaugural effort this year, 11 recipients were awarded the honor. 

The 11 scientists, most of them American, will each receive $3 million—more than twice the amount of a Nobel Prize—making it the world’s richest academic prize for medicine and biology.Continue reading...

cause celeb

Matt Damon Goes on Strike - a Toilet Strike - for World Water Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2013 11:02 AM

Matt Damon, looking for a way to “persuade people to give a shit about toilets,” staged a press conference in anticipation of World Water Day, March 22. The actor's latest move pushes the continuing efforts of his non-profit, water.org, which educates people about the lack of basic sanitation and clean water for 2.5 billion people around the world.

At the faux press conference, Damon announced that “in protest of this global tragedy … until everyone has access to clean water, I will not go to the bathroom,” and he’s asking everyone to join him at Strikewithme.org.

The aim of the tongue-in-cheek campaign is serious: to move people to click on a link enabling water.org to "occasionally" use their social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook for six week (because physically relieving yourself is comparable to the mental relief felt after posting a status update?) 

Damon—who might consider refreshing the campaign for World Toilet Day—added that “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation.”

"Welcome to the petri-dish," said Mike McCamon, water.org's chief community officer. "The idea is you sign in and give permission to us for a finite period." Content will be generic yet personal, "so it looks like you posted it."Continue reading...

super bowl

Ram Truck Ad Wins Praise, But That God-Made Farmer Looks Awfully Familiar

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 4, 2013 05:42 PM

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad for its Dodge Ram truck, which features a lengthy paen to farmers by the late radio commentator Paul Harvey over gripping photos of their lives, has been received warmly across the twitterverse.

You may have seen something quite like it on the web long before Sunday, however.Continue reading...

doing good

Fendi to Pour Millions Into Rome's Treasured Fountain, Restoring Its Luster

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 29, 2013 12:22 PM

About $4,000 worth of coins are thrown into Rome’s massive, gorgeous Trevi Fountain each day. Making the gesture is said to guarantee your return to Rome.

Now Fendi is throwing a lot more than a few coins into the Trevi’s waters. The Italian fashion house has announced it will hand over $2.9 million to help keep the centuries-old fountain, featured memorably in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” in good shape.

Fendi, founded in Romein 1925, announced the 20-month project Monday along with two of its big-name designers, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Amstrong Interview to Air Over Two Nights as Livestrong, Others Weigh Its Impact

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2013 04:40 PM

The Lance Armstrong saga is turning into a miniseries.

The OWN Network announced Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey's interview with the tarnished cyclist, taped on Monday in Austin, Tex., will air over two nights — Thursday and Friday — instead of one.

Winfrey calls her "no-holds barred" interview the biggest of her career "in terms of its exposure." 

During the interview, Armstrong is said to confess to Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Both he and Winfrey have not spoken publicly about the specific details revealed, but Winfrey told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday: "By the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it."Continue reading...

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