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trademark wars

Hells Angels Are Ready to Ride Over Young Jeezy Trademark Infringement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2013 06:57 PM

The Hells Angels aren’t exactly a brand most folks want to tangle with. 

Rapper Young Jeezy and retailer Dillard’s clearly didn’t get the memo. The pair are on the wrong end of a trademark lawsuit filed by the group that hasn’t exactly shied from confrontation during its history. The suit is over the perception that Jeezy’s 8732 Apparel line and some hats, shirts, and vests being sold by Dillard’s, have images that are “conducingly similar” to the trademarked Hells Angels Death Head.

“Guys live and die for that patch,” the lawyer for the Angels, Fritz Clapp, said, the Daily Mail reports. “It's not just a piece of clothing.” The Angels would like all of the goods with the logos to be handed over so there can be “supervised destruction.”Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Jack Daniel’s Bottle Battle, Johnnie Walker Wears Gold, Molson's Weather Intuition and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 07:17 PM

Jack Daniel’s Launches Bottle Battle with Little Whiskey Brand

When liquor buyers go looking for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, they know what they’re looking for: a squared-off chunk of glass with the black label and the trusty No. 7. The famed distiller, though, is a bit concerned that shoppers are going to be confused by a new whiskey on the shelf: Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey.

Sutton’s originally marketed its whiskey in Mason jars in honor of the moonshiner who created it, but the brand switched its packaging recently to a bottle that is “square shaped with angled shoulders and beveled corners, with white-on-black labeling color schemes,” the Associated Press reports. The lawyers at Jack Daniel’s have taken notice and filed suit, claiming they've cornered the market on square whiskey.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Guess Canadian, European Regulators Don't Share the World's Love for Nestle UPDATE

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 05:12 PM

Nestle has been tussling with locals and environmentalists in Canada for a while over the water it draws out of the ground for its bottled products during drought conditions. But now the company has dropped its appeal of permit conditions that would restrict how much water it could draw.

Nestle Waters cited costs—to it and the Ontarian taxpayer—as its reasons for dropping the appeal, according to BeverageDaily.com. Meanwhile, the unit of Nestle Group also has been getting flack for the water it bottles in British Columbia, although the issue there seems to be the fact that the water is free to Nestle Waters.

In a statement to brandchannel, Nestle Waters Canada spokesman John Challinor said:Continue reading...

afternoon snack

Starbucks Looks to Influence Political Hang-Up, but It Should Probably Finish Fighting its Own Battles First

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 06:27 PM

"Pay It Forward," meet "Open It Back Up." Starbucks—which rarely misses a zeitgeist-related marketing ploy—is offering a free tall cup of coffee to any patron who buys a drink for another customer, in what CEO Howard Schultz somehow intends to translate into a moral example for those responsible for the federal government curtailment in Washington, D.C.

Schultz previously has tilted at budget-deficit gridlock in Washington and spoke out in support of gay marriage in various ways associated with the iconic brand. This time, he said, Starbucks aims to push citizens to "support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country." No word on why he believes that Americans haven't already been supporting and connecting with one another.

Anyway, such exhortations are just one way that Schultz has been moving Starbucks way beyond its original java base since he shored the chain up a few years ago.Continue reading...

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...

trademark wars

Cracker Barrel Settles for Abbreviated Brand Name in Battle with Kraft

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 7, 2013 02:51 PM

Kraft and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. have been battling in court for months over the use of the Cracker Barrel name, which Kraft has been using for nearly 60 years for one of its cheese brands. But a tug of war started when the restaurant chain sought to sell a line of branded products to various retail outlets.  

After a months-long legal battle, Cracker Barrel’s first products will be shipped to retailers this week—but without the Cracker Barrel name. Instead, it will be sold under the name "CB Old Country Store," according to the Tennessean. And from the looks of it, Cracker Barrel isn’t going to be shipping out any cheese products, instead focusing on “maple and smoked bacon, spiral ham and four types of lunch meat: oven roasted turkey, smoked turkey, smoked ham and honey ham.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Cadbury and the Color Purple: Nearly a Century of Use Couldn't Trademark It

Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2013 07:23 PM

It isn't any easier to trademark the color purple than the color red, apparently. Several months after Louboutin's failed effort to trademark the color red broadly for shoe soles in the US, Cadbury has been knocked down by a UK court over its attempts to trademark the use of purple in its chocolate wrappers.

Cadbury lost its five-year court battle to Nestle over whether Cadbury could register a distinctive shade of purple as a trademark, a specific shade—defined as Pantone 2685C—that it has used on its Dairy Milk bars and other sweets since World War I.

"The mark ... lacks the required clarity, precision, self-containment, durability and objectivity to qualify for registration," one of the judges in the case said, according to The Guardian.Continue reading...

see you in court

Dr. Martens Goes After Chinese Laundry for 'Deliberate' Shoe Knockoff

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2013 08:02 PM

The 53-year-old Dr. Martens shoe brand has long been a symbol for the renegades of society, but when it comes to trademark law, the well-known brand is going through all the proper channels.

England’s AirWair International, the manufacturer of Dr. Martens, filed suit on Sept. 18 against America’s Chinese Laundry brand, claiming that the company is making a boot that rips off the signature design of Dr. Martens. According to Law360, the English shoemaker has it that the American boot “is virtually identical to the iconic Dr. Martens 1460 boot.”Continue reading...

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