Best Global Green Brands 2014

see you in court

Skechers' Go Walk Lawsuit Has Legs, but Brand Has Legal Issues of Its Own

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 10, 2014 05:32 PM

Skechers USA, the fifth-largest athletic shoe company in the US, has a shoe rack full of legal issues these days, and it's not the only one doing the filing.

The company has filed a suit against Fila and its Amazen Memory Moc shoes saying that it “infringed patents related to Skechers Go Walk shoes,” Reuters reports. It’s only been about a month since Skechers filed a similar suit against Reebok's Walk Ahead RS shoes, saying the footwear also infringed on its Go Walk shoe patents.

Skechers is doing everything it can to protect its growing revenue stream, as it “has reported higher sales in recent quarters, boosted in part by an effort to expand into the performance-running market," the Wall Street Journal notes. 

“Skechers has made extensive investment in designing, developing, advertising and patenting our Skechers Go Walk product line and has built Skechers Go Walk into a name and look globally recognized and synonymous with Skechers,” said Skechers COO David Weinberg in a press release. Continue reading...

retail watch

Apple's Ahdrendts Scores Victory with EU Trademark for Store Designs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2014 03:39 PM

Apple scored a victory in an EU court ruling today, allowing the company to register the layout of its retail stores in Europe as a trademark, extending its intellectual property right that it acquired in the U.S. in 2010.

EU's top court said Apple's flagship stores fulfilled requisite trademark criteria: they constitute a sign, can be represented in a graphic and distinguish goods or services of one company from another. In its global expansion, Apple met resistance from German authorities last year, took the issue to court, and it eventually came before the European Court of Justice, the final arbiter on EU law.

"From this the Court concludes that the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," the court’s judgment said.

Going forward, new Apple stores will have a slightly different look.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Booze Brands Duke it Out Over Trademark Claims

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 9, 2014 04:02 PM

John Wayne hasn’t been dead for quite as long as Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War general, but both of their names have come up in trademark suits dealing with a few big-name brands.

Greene has the honor of inspiring a North Carolina craft brewer to name its company (and one of its brews) Natty Greene’s, but AB InBev is fighting the trademark request due to its Natural Light brand, which holds the trademark for Natty Light and other such phrases, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Since at least 1998, and well prior to the filing date of the application, (AB) has established a family of Natty-formative marks used in connection with beer,” AB states in its opposition filing, according to the paper. Natty Greene’s, which has been around for a decade and recently requested a trademark because it has seen large growth recently after it began shipping its beer out of state, begs to differ.Continue reading...

trademark wars

The Price of Fame: Can Costco Bury the Tiffany Brand with Genericide Claims?

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on July 1, 2014 12:16 PM

On Friday, trial dates were set for the case that could determine the fate of the Tiffany brand.

After being caught selling "Tiffany-style" rings in its wholesale outlets in 2012, Costco has now alleged that “Tiffany setting” is merely a generic term for a type of ring setting. Tiffany—which holds 69 trademarks in the US that comprise its name—could eventually face a finding that its trademark is generic and therefore available for use by Costco and anyone else that wants to refer to that particular style of setting.

The world-renowned brand—which has been in use for over 175 years with a valuation of $5.44 billion—may be in jeopardy, and losing the exclusive right to use the name could have devastating financial consequences.

In support of its argument, Costco had submitted dictionary definitions of “Tiffany” and “Tiffany setting,” a lexicographer’s report, specimens of generic use of the term “Tiffany setting” by jewelry manufacturers, retailers and consumers and examples of the generic use of the term “tiffany setting” in publications. The evidence was enough for the court to find sufficient cause to proceed with the case, which originally stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Tiffany last year.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Change the Mascot Hails Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademarks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2014 11:56 AM

The fight against the Washington Redskins mascot just got a whole lot more interesting.

Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the organization's trademarks related to its team mascot after the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that the marks were "disparaging" to Native Americans. 

While the trademarks are no longer viable, the team can continue to use them—though with no protection from unauthorized merchants that sell Redskins gear, a stipulation that could drive the team's valuation down over time.

The action was the result of a lawsuit against the team filed by “five Native Americans” eight years ago, the USPTO said. “This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath, told the Washington Post.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Cannes Day 3, Amazon Phone, GM Testifies and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2014 09:08 AM

TOP STORIES

Cannes Lions continues (above, Scott Ferris, Microsoft's GM of content advertising) with first round of Grand Prix winners announced.

Amazon phone reveal by "secretive" R&D lab today in Seattle sparks speculation, as BlackBerry joins Amazon's Appstore.

YouTube to launch paid music service.

GM's Barra is back on the hotseat today on Capitol Hill as automaker faces $10 billion recalls suit.

Beats headphones have been banned at the World Cup.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision expands Skylanders licensing.

Apple secures 31 new patents as stores get exclusive window on Beats products.

Dr. Oz grilled on weight loss claims.

eBay pulls Chinese "spyware phones."

Facebook's ephemeral Slingshot app annoys some users.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Hershey Keeps a Short Leash on Likeness as Lawsuits Pile Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 17, 2014 11:12 AM

Sweets companies are often the beneficiaries of consumers with the munchies, but one brand, Hershey's, isn't very happy with the marajuana industry at the moment. 

The brand says it plans to file suit against a Colorado marijuana-edibles company, TinctureBelle LLC, for trademark infringement, alleging that the design of its product too much resembles its own products, Reuters reports. It also noted “there was a safety risk because consumers, especially children, might eat the pot products by mistake.”

TinctureBelle said that it had changed its packaging six months ago and no longer looks like Hershey's products. "We changed our entire label line approximately six months ago, long before these allegations surfaced," TinctureBelle owner Char Mayes said, according to the wire service. "Our new packaging looks nothing like Hershey's or anyone else's."Continue reading...

sip on this

Nescafe Turns to Unified Front to Stave Off Competition from Fast-Growing Keurig

Posted by Dale Buss on June 16, 2014 05:23 PM

Keurig is aiming to compound its competitive edge in the single-cup home brewing market even as competitors such as Nespresso and generic imitators such as TreeHouse attempt to hold it back.

Meanwhile, Nestle is facing greater challenges in advancing its Nespresso single-cup brand while at the same time trying to revive the iconic Nescafe franchise that has flagged lately because single-serve home machines, and the likes of Starbucks cafes, have made instant coffees such as Nescafe outdated.

Maker of the market-creating K-Cup, Keurig Green Mountain will press its competitive edge in the years ahead using at least five distinctive advantages, CEO Brian Kelley told an industry conference last week, according to Food Business News.

They include Keurig’s business model, incorporating the expertise of a retail-beverage company with that of a high-tech appliance company, and its advantages in innovating the machines and the pods. The “smart” design of its machines is another, Kelley said. The fifth advantage is Keurig’s strong strategic partnerships, including with Coca-Cola, which recently took a minority stake in Keurig Green Mountain as the two companies perfect a cold beverage delivery system for the home.Continue reading...

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