IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "branding"

Analyzing the Three Key Provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act

Most people associate the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 with its COVID relief and stimulus measures, rather than trademarks. While these measures are of course the primary focus of the Act, its changes to the process of registering, maintaining, and enforcing trademarks are likewise important for companies that rely on their branding to achieve their business goals. The Trademark Modernization Act, which is one of many acts included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, makes several significant changes to the Lanham Act (aka the Trademark Act) which many trademark holders may find beneficial.

Trade and Commerce in West Africa and How it Influences IP Rights

To do business in Africa, it is important to understand how African countries conduct trade and commerce among themselves and with the rest of the world. Specifically, IP right holders navigating the continent would be better served by an informed economic roadmap into the continent. A proper understanding of the business terrain and IP regimes becomes important for global brands looking to pitch their tent in Africa. This article focuses on West Africa and will inform international investors and global brands about the market and the interplay between trade, commerce and IP. It also proffers solutions to key concerns that can derail the commercial interest in the region.

The Rush for Redskins Gear Underscores an Exponential Rise in Counterfeits

The Washington Football Team’s (formerly the Washington Redskins’) move to change its name and logo has sparked a flurry of fans looking to “cash in” as national retailers pull the team’s merchandise off their shelves. Fans everywhere are hoping to snatch up any remaining Redskins-branded memorabilia they think may be worth money someday, which in turn is putting them at risk of purchasing knockoff items. Advancements in technology have made it harder to discern between what’s fake and what’s authentic, and the rush to find Redskins gear may make things worse as fans make snap-purchasing decisions and accidentally buy a knockoff item. 

Apparel Trademarks: How the Mere Ornamentation Technicality May Be Undermining Your Brand

The value of your company’s intellectual property cannot be understated, particularly in the current economic climate. But this should not be news to you, especially if you are in the business of displaying your brand name or logo on merchandise for sale. In that case, you know how important it is to protect your trademarks, so as to thwart the attempts of opportunistic parties that seize upon your IP for their own profit. Case in point: online companies selling apparel featuring the names, logos, and even mascots of high schools and colleges nationwide without any prior authorization to do so. How do businesses like these get away with what seems to be a fundamentally illegal business model—selling knockoff hoodies, tees, and similar spirit wear?

Fumble: How Brands Lose their Fans

Branding goes beyond thinking about a catchy name and color scheme to compose the trademark that will represent the company’s products or services. Today, more than ever, it is imperative to consider the values that the brand communicates because consumers and even commercial partners seek to associate with companies with shared values. Poor branding decisions can be costly in terms of reputation, reduced profits and forfeited commercial partnerships.

Washington’s NFL Team is in a Race Against Time to Find Its New Trademark

After decades of legal battles in which they ultimately succeeded in maintaining the legal right to federal trademark registration of the “REDSKINS” moniker—through the separate efforts of an Asian band by the name of “The Slants”—Washington, D.C.’s National Football League (NFL) team finally succumbed to pressure to change their name. Faced with the immediate prospect of losing $45 million from a stadium naming rights deal with Federal Express, on July 13, 2020, the team announced it would have a new name and logo. Still to come: the new name and logo.

The Top Five Most Memorable Insurance Company Brand Personalities

As a branding and marketing professional, I really enjoy seeing how advertising has evolved over the years. Gone are the days of boring, ho-hum advertising campaigns. With modern technology such as DVRs, consumers no longer have to sit through commercials, if they don’t want to. Through the widespread reach of the Internet and social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, not to mention the ever popular, highly anticipated and super expensive Super Bowl commercials, advertising campaigns have had to become more creative and fun to catch the attention of their target consumers. Now more than ever, I find that, not only are people not fast forwarding through commercials, but they are looking forward to when their favorites air, so they can share them with others. At least that’s how it is in the Quinn household! Quite some time ago, I wrote about The Most Notable, and Sometimes Creepy, Restaurant Mascots, Characters, and Personalities. So, this time I thought I’d focus on a different type of Brand Mascot, aka real people, and highlight the top five advertising personalities within the insurance service industry. Not only are these brand personalities played by real people, but they have story lines that are so funny and memorable that you often hear people talking about them with their friends. Again, I know we do in my family. So, without further ado, here are my choices for some of the most creative, memorable and often downright comedic insurance company brand personalities, both old and new.

Facebook Sued by FinTech Company Over Calibra Logo

Facebook is being sued by online banking company, Finco Services, Inc., which operates as Current, for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin relating to Facebook’s controversial subsidiary, Calibra, which plans to launch the digital currency Libra by 2020. Current’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 10, says that the company hired Character, a branding and design agency, in 2016 to develop a logo and branding strategy for Current’s banking services and mobile app. The resulting logo, and iterations thereof, have been used by the company since at least as early as 2016.

Brand counterfeiting is starting to reach epidemic levels

The rate of digital transformation within the business world is unstoppable. Of course, transformation of this kind can deliver numerous benefits, but it is also leading to an increase in illicit counterfeit activity. Almost half (47%) of all brands are losing revenue due to counterfeiting while four out often organizations have experienced an increase in the occurrence of counterfeiting and brand infringement. This has, more often than not, originated from a variety of components related to digital transformation on a global scale, including but not being limited to: advances in social media (61%); chat/messaging (52%); artificial intelligence (51%); the dark web (48%), and augmented reality (47%).

Tips For Safeguarding Your Concept, While Making Your Mark on the Wellness Industry

Consumers driving the Wellness industry seek more than just a clothing company, a new workout, or a healthy alternative to the standard lunchtime sandwich – they value brand integrity and want to build relationships with brands that align with the lifestyle they aspire towards. This means Wellness companies should have a solid brand protection strategy in place from the outset. Ideally one that is capable of scaling with your international ambitions, and which can help prioritize spending, save resources and attract investors. Early-stage checks on trademarks, designs and domain names are essential to ensure your business can trade with confidence.

State vs. Federal Trademarks, Which is Right for Your Business?

Not all trademarks are created equal. While every state allows you to obtain a trademark registration, a federal trademark registration provides the greatest rights. This is because when you obtain a United States federal trademark your rights will exist throughout the country, and not just in one particular geographic locality. With a state trademark you obtain rights to your immediate geographical area only, not the entire state, which is an important consideration… This does not, however, mean that state trademarks are useless. It does mean that you should not only obtain a state trademark.

Selecting the Right Trademark for Your Business

From a legal standpoint, a trademark that has no relation to the product or services offered will be the strongest type of mark. For example, trademarks such as “Google” for a search engine, “eBay” for online auctions and “Bose” for audio equipment make excellent and strong trademarks. Descriptive marks provide less trademark protection because if a term is descriptive it can be used by anyone else selling the same goods or providing the same services… Many sales and marketing people will gravitate toward descriptive marks for products and services hoping that potential customers will immediately identify the product or service being offered. This approach leads to a weak or sometimes even unprotectable trademarks.

The Intersection of Fashion, Virtual Reality and the Law

Virtual reality and augmented reality are catching on, and the fashion industry has taken notice. Many of today’s fashion brands are seeing their work being used in this disruptive technology. But, this has caused trademark issues for both fashion companies that want to protect their brands and fashion technology companies that want to bring those brands into the virtual reality world. Moira Lion and Jeff Greene, with the Intellectual Property Group at Fenwick & West, recently sat down with IPWatchdog to discuss how to approach VR innovations as they develop brand protection.

Like It or Love It: How Not to Get Pinned (Legally) When Using Social Media to Promote Your Brand

Twitter®, Instagram®, Facebook®, Pinterest® and other social media websites and apps are great avenues for advertising and promotion of one’s business and brand. However, in using social media to promote one’s business, there are a number of pitfalls that one must avoid. Using social media in relation to a business is not the same as using social media for personal, non-commercial use… The issues with using someone else’s copyrights, right of publicity and trademark in social media to promote a business is that the business is arguably profiting off of someone else’s property that does not belong to them. That can and does create a significant amount of conflict. Profiting from another’s property is what separates the use of social media in business from just personal use.

The Most Notable, and Sometimes Creepy, Restaurant Mascots, Characters and Personalities

Over the years, more and more companies have begun using Mascots (Characters and Personalities), some of which are real people, in addition to logos and company names to identify their brands. And given that there are so many different kinds of companies using Mascots, Characters, and Personalities, I’ve decided it would be fun to do a series on Brand Mascots that have become very popular and well known over the years starting with some of the best and ending with some of the creepiest (in my opinion) restaurant Mascots… One of my favorite Brand Mascots, not to mention highly clever campaigns of all time, is that of the Chick-fil-A Eat Mor Chikin®” Holstein Cows.