“Not So Fast,” Mr. THRILLED Daniel Snyder

By | DuetsBlog | July 26, 2017
Lee Corso (former coach and ESPN football analyst) frequently utters this famous sports media catchphrase on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program: “Not so fast, my friend!” The first three words of that phrase come to mind upon hearing that THRILLED Daniel Snyder (majority owner of the NFL football franchise nearest the Nation’s Capitol) is celebrating Simon Tam’s (and Tam’s talented lawyers’) recent victory at the Supreme Court. View Full Post
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It’s As Suggestive As a Butter Knife for Steak

By | DuetsBlog | July 25, 2017
We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Spectrum of Distinctiveness for trademarks, and the all-important difference between suggestive marks and merely descriptive ones, with only the former being allowed immediate rights based on first use. Creativity is what separates the power of suggestion from the weakness and limbo of descriptiveness. View Full Post
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The Brand with 3 Stripes, Bands, or Stitches?

By | DuetsBlog | July 17, 2017
We’ve written a lot over the years about Adidas’ three-stripe non-verbal, non-traditional trademark. Turns out, Adidas actually owns a federally-registered trademark for the verbal, spelled-out, look-for advertising equivalent too, called: The Brand With The 3 Stripes®. We haven’t until now probed the meaning of “stripe” though: “A long narrow band or strip, typically of the same width throughout its length, differing in color or texture from the surface on either side of it.” Synonyms include, lines, bands, belts and bars, among others. View Full Post
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IVIKE, Can We Have Just a Little More Space?

By | DuetsBlog | July 3, 2017
Hat tip to Sri for capturing this image of a passing by backpack, illustrating how much a little spacing can end up making all the difference in the world, when it comes to brand identity: To the extent, IV IKE, I VIKE, or even IVIKE might be a legitimate backpack brand, when the letter “I” is tilted and compressed together with VIKE, it’s difficult not to see what seems likely to be the intended meaning and infringing impression: NIKE. View Full Post
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Nominative Fair Use of Ride-Share Logos?

By | DuetsBlog | June 27, 2017
Earlier this year, we contemplated a suitable, accurate, and efficient generic name for the service category created by the highly-disruptive Uber brand: App-Based Ride Service. A visit to Chicago this past weekend, left me thinking that Ride-Share Service or Ride Sharing are suitable alternatives, that appear to be gaining some traction, as seen here:  The sign appears to be designed by the hotel to steer drivers of these kinds of vehicles away from the apparently more-highly preferred and more traditional incoming taxi lane. View Full Post
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Section 2(a), a Happy-Talk Clause, Really?

By | DuetsBlog | June 19, 2017
We can be certain of one thing for sure, the Supreme Court’s decision today, striking down the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act will be analyzed for some time. The Court called the provision of the Lanham Act barring the federal registration of trademarks that consist of or comprise matter that may disparage persons, a “happy-talk clause,” concluding it violates the First Amendment. View Full Post
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