what's in a name
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 14, 2013 12:38 PM
"I wish I could say this was a strategically thought out name choice supported by consumer research but it’s really a story of crisis management."
So begins the tale, as John Talbot, Vice President of Global Market Development for the Almond Board of California told brandchannel, about how California Almonds recently rushed to rename its product in its largest export market and how it spun the branding crisis to its advantage.
It all starts 40 years ago and ends with the Farsi word for almond.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2013 03:12 PM
The Lord works in mysterious ways. Some American apparel manufacturers attempts to start up clothing lines that contain the name “Jesus” have been thwarted by the Italian maker of Jesus Jeans, which trademarked its name in the U.S. back in 2007.
Jesus Jeans, which is apparently considering making an eventual marketing push in the States, is more than happy to have its legal team send cease-and-desist letters to anybody who is trying to make money selling pretty much any type of clothing with the Jesus name on it.
The founder of Jesus Surfed, Michael Julius Anton, is ready to face off legally against Jesus Jeans, a fight that plenty of other manufacturers, such as "Jesus First," "Sweet Jesus," and "Jesus Couture," among others, are willing to join in, the Wall Street Journal reports. One manufacturer, “Jesus Up,” is still trying to work out an agreement. "How anyone can claim the name Jesus for themselves and put a trademark on it is beyond me," said Jesus Up founder Jeff Lamont, who also told the Journal that the company name had come to him in a message from God.
Wherever the message came from, Lamont was late to the game on the trademarking front. Jesus Jeans had been trying to trademark its name in the States since 1999 and finally succeeded in 2007. It has still been rejected in plenty of other countries, though such as Germany, Switzerland, China, Hungary and Ireland. However, such countries as Austria, Belgium, France, Spain and the Netherlands have allowed the trademark. The European Union gave it the “Jesus” community trademark, which is good across the entire Union. Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2013 12:13 PM
Under Armour is not happy with Nike right about now. The point of contention is over the phrase “I Will,” which Under Armour trademarked back in 2000 and has used in many ad campaigns, including one launched last week, its largest in history.
Nike, famous for its “Just Do It” tagline, has been using the phrase “I will” in its ads a little too much recently for Under Armour’s liking. So, a trademark suit was filed Thursday to stop Nike from using “any form of that phrase” as well as to turn over “unspecified punitive damages for trademark infringement and unfair competition,” the Baltimore Sun reports.
The ads, which Nike placed on Facebook and Twitter late last year, use “I will” to begin sentences such as “I will finish what I started” laid over an image of a basketball player dunking. Over an image of runners, Nike placed the text “I will sweat while they sleep.” Another ad that Under Armour is surely seething about is one for Nike’s #makeitcount campaign, which gives a laundry list of what different athletes will do in 2013, ending with “We Will #makeitcount.” Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2013 03:31 PM
Winnebago Australia has finally done what America’s Winnebago Industries has been wanting it to do for decades: change its name. After a long legal battle, Winnebago Australia, which has never been affiliated with the U.S. motor home company of the same name, is changing its name to Avida.
Avida actually successfully trademarked the word “Winnebago” in Australia back in 1997, but Federal Court of Australia Justice Lindsay Foster ordered the cancellation of that registration last summer, saying that CEO Ben Binns “intentionally hijacked the Winnebago marks in Australia in a bold attempt to preempt Winnebago’s opening its doors here,” Bloomberg reported at the time.
However, don’t think that Avida is finished using the Winnebago name for its own self-promotion in Australia and New Zealand just yet.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 20, 2013 01:16 PM
It's just another day in the mad, mad world of fashion. kate spade new york, the eponymous U.S.-based fashion brand is launching "kate spade Saturday," a brand whose name is being disputed by a similarly-coined NYC retailer.
The diffusion line is making its debut in Japan via an online store and a retail location in Tokyo—complete with an American-style café—with plans to have an online presence in Brazil and the U.S. later this spring. (A "sneak peek" at selected items from the new brand was offered on Fab.com through today, February 20.) CEO Craig Leavitt said the brand "saw an opportunity in the market to engage a new customer base—one that aspires to be part of the kate spade new york brand."
The new sub-brand will feature apparel, a beauty line and home decor at a notch below typical kate spade prices, with a target demographic of consumers ages 25 to 35. The price point will be "about 50 percent below" the kate spade brand, and its retail experience promises to thread digital throughout the graphic, pop art-inspired clothes. However, the brand's introduction has not been without some controversy.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 11:02 AM
Describing something that is oversized may soon involve a lawyer. The terms “titanic” and “gigantic” are both being considered for trademarking.
The man behind the plan, Clive Palmer, is an Australian billionaire who is having the Titanic completely re-created by a Chinese shipyard so it can set sail from England for North America in 2016. Palmer’s Blue Star Line, named after White Star Line, the company that owned the original Titanic, has filed a trademark request for a number of terms, including "Titanic," "Titanic II," "Titanic III," "Blue Star Line," and "Gigantic", although he's already promoting "Titanic II" on his website.
Palmer, a mining tycoon, believes that White Star Line had thought about naming one of its ships Gigantic, but never got around to it after its Titanic liner famously slammed into an iceberg near Newfoundland and sank, taking more than 1,500 lives along with it. “I think [the trademark application] will be OK,” Palmer said, according to Australia’s Boorowa News. “We'll just see how we go. I think there is a report back on it already, saying it is OK for a ship.”
However, there is some debate as to what he'll be able to trademark.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 09:45 PM
Tiffany is more than irked at Costco for selling diamond engagement rings as "Tiffany" rings. The luxury jeweler last week formally filed suit against the wholesale retail giant.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek commented in an internal email communication that was sent to all employees this evening [Feb. 18, 8:27 pm EST], "We are disappointed that our efforts to resolve the issue with them did not result in an amicable solution as we had hoped."
Jelinek also acknowledged that the retailer erred by using the word "Tiffany" in describing the engagement rings:
"That was intended to describe a setting style used in those rings, and was not intended to claim that the rings were of any particular brand. In retrospect, it would have been better had we not used that description the way we did."
Below, read Costco's company-wide email:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 05:01 PM
Costco isn’t the first brand name to pop-up when consumers are looking for high-end luxury, but a few folks thought they had found it there when they came across low-cost Tiffany diamond engagement rings. (And they didn’t even have to buy them in bulk.)
Unfortunately for all those customers, the rings weren’t quite the real thing. Now, Tiffany is taking Costco to court for marketing some high-end jewelry in the past few years under its brand, without permission.
“We now know that there are hundreds if not thousands of Costco members who think they bought a Tiffany engagement ring at Costco, which they didn’t,” Jeffrey Mitchell, a lawyer for Tiffany, said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Costco knew what it was doing when it used the Tiffany trademark to sell rings that had nothing to do with Tiffany.” The company's press release says it was tipped off by a California customer in November of the alleged scam.
This isn’t the first time Tiffany has had trouble with a low-cost seller. It battled with Overstock.com back in 2010, which had sold 1,365 pendants under the Tiffany name. It also had legal battles with eBay, claiming that the online seller was at fault for allowing some of its vendors to sell counterfeit Tiffany items, but the court never agreed with Tiffany on that one.
Tiffany seems to have a better case against Costco, which legally sells high-end jewelry brands such as Cartier, Breitling, and Chanel — not to mention other luxury brands such as Coach, Burberry and Mercedes-Benz — at select locations, such as Boca Raton, of course.