Travelers’ Blues: Travelers Insurance wants its umbrella logo all to themselves and will go to great length to stop others from using similar umbrellas. They’ve been known to go after major corporations to local mom and pop businesses, software companies to children’s health programs. Since 2007, Travelers has challenged at least 30 trademark applications across a range of industries, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records cited by the Wall Street Journal. Some may consider Travelers Cos a trademark bully but they claim it to be acting within well-established trademark law. “Mary Poppins might want to consider lawyering up,” quips Randy Maniloff, an insurance industry attorney with White & Williams LLP.
Mom’s the Word: The Kardashians have obtained trademarks for all of their names. Now Kris Jenner wants to own the term “Momager” for entertainment services. According to TIME, the nickname is an apt description for Jenner, 59, who has managed her six children for years, shrewdly building an empire and keeping the public interested in the antics of her famous family, including helping daughter Kim Kardashian West amass a reported $28 million in 2014.
Robin vs Robyn: DC Comics is not here for Rihanna or her antics. It turns out Rihanna (real name Robyn) wants to trademark the name Robyn for online non-downloadable general feature magazines. DC Comics, owner of the trademark Robin (Batman’s sidekick), filed a Notice of Opposition claiming Robyn would cause likelihood of confusion with, and dilution of DC Comics’ prior rights in its ROBIN trademark.
Subway Stop: After many attempts, it appears that Subway will not gain a trademark registration for the word FOOTLONG. Sheetz’ trademark challenge on genericness grounds was successful and not appealed by Subway. The next time you walk into Subway, notice that the TM is missing next to FOOTLONG.
AAA CarFacts Halted by CARFAX: TTAB ordered the AAA CarFacts trademark to be cancelled due to likelihood of confusion with famous mark CARFAX. It was determined that the two marks are phonetically equivalent, have identical service offerings (vehicle report history), and would cause confusion to consumers, especially when the two companies have a long history of working together.