With the amount of money spent on marketing, it’s a pretty good bet that nearly every adult in the United States is familiar with the Budweiser trademark for beer. But it may be a surprise to learn that the beer brewed by Anheuser-Busch is not the only beer marketed under the trademark Budweiser. A small brewer in the Czech Republic also has trademark rights to the name Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch is not happy about it. (Click here to see MSN Money Article on this topic.)
Texas A&M’s red hot freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel, has lit up college football this year. He just took home the Heisman trophy, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding college football player – the first freshman ever to receive the honor. During this past season, his running and passing ability helped him shatter all sorts of offensive records on the field. Now off the field, he’s looking to play a little defense by registering a trademark.
Thinking about using the iconic Hollywood sign as a way to promote your business? Better think again. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce not only owns a trademark registration for the landmark sign, but owns about a half a dozen trademark registrations relating to the Hollywood icon. Recently, a New York ad agency called “The Brooklyn Brotherss” altered a photo of the Hollywood sign to include the letters BB in front of the word Hollywood in an effort to promote their new venture. (Click here to see related The Hollywood Reporter article.)
In a recent blog post, we discussed The Hobbit producers’ trademark dispute with Global Asylum, the makers of the upcoming mockbuster movie “Age of the Hobbits”. The Hobbit producers claim that Asylum’s reference to hobbits in their movie title infringes rights under a trademark registration. Asylum countered claiming that the term hobbits refers to a recently discovered human sub-species and as such, they are entitled to use the term under the legal doctrine of fair use. In an effort to bolster their infringement position, The Hobbit producers have commissioned an interesting study aimed at showing a likelihood of confusion, which is one of the legal requirements to establish trademark infringement. (For more details on the story, see The Hollywood Reporter article by clicking here. story here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/hobbit-trademark-lawsuit-producers-enlist-394685).
We recently posted an article discussing the University of Alabama’s efforts to enforce their trademark registrations. The story involved a small bakery that makes cookies using the University’s “A” logo. The University of Alabama contracts with Collegiate Licensing Co. to police their trademark portfolio. Collegiate recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to this small bakery in Northport, Alabama. The letter ordered the bakery to stop selling products that contained the University’s trademarks. The University of Alabama has a trademark registration covering its “A” logo.
The first step to protect your brand is to obtain trademark protection by registering a trademark, but this is just the first step of an ongoing process. After acquiring a trademark registration, you must enforce it or risk infringers diluting your brand equity or unjustly profiting from it. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will not enforce your trademark registration for you. You must actively enforce your rights against infringers. A recent story posted by the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the efforts of the University of Alabama to enforce their own trademark rights.)
Tim Tebow is many things. He is an athlete, an advocate, a Heisman trophy winner, and now it looks like he will be a trademark registration owner. A trademark application for the term “Tebowingg” recently survived the 30 day opposition period provided after a trademark publishes. The trademark application should proceed to registration, which will entitle XV Enterprises, a company solely owned by Tim Tebow, to the exclusive rights to use the mark “Tebowing” in commerce in connection with the sale of hats, shirts, and t-shirts.
When starting a business, the business owner dreams of becoming a success story. This requires a lot of concentration, commitment, hard work and of course, the right assets. As your new business gains momentum, you might face stiff competition from rivals who may even copy your ideas and use them to compete against you. This can affect customer loyalty and ultimately your profitability. Protecting your investment of time, money the proverbial “blood, sweat, and tears” is paramount. Investing in your long term success requires the services of trademark attorneys.
E-commerce investors, web developers, and bloggers should be aware of the trademark laws that regulate their field of practice. By gaining knowledge of online trademark laws, an investor will be in a better position to make smart decisions regarding trademark registration, and avoid potential legal scuffles. These laws not only guide Internet investors from infringing on other people’s domains but also give guidance on what actions you should take if someone infringes upon your registered trademark. The registration, trafficking in, and use of another party’s domain name or trademark in bad-faith with the intent of making a profit is legally referred to as cyber-squatting. Online trademark owners attain protection and counsel from the Anti-cyber-squatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Some of the significant principles of this act include:
Developing your product or an idea for service and securing funding might seem like a piece of cake when compared with registering a trademark. It is painfully easy to unintentionally steal someone’s intellectual property if you do not follow all of the necessary steps to prevent such an oversight. Moreover, without support, a business owner can become the victim of theft too easily.