That’s ogooglebar! If you’ve had recent conversations with your Swedish friends, you may have heard this term. In fact, it’s become so commonly used in Sweden that the Swedish Language Council planned to officially add it to the Swedish language. The English translation basically means ungoogleable, something that you can’t find through the use of a search engine. With our ever increasing reliance on internet searches it’s a useful term, but it is also a term that Google wants to make sure is handled with appropriate care. That’s why Google’s trademark attorneys recently contacted the Language Council asking them to reference Google’s status as a registered trademark and to change the definition from all search engines to Google specifically. This was not a vanity move by Google, but rather a move to protect their trademark registration.
Before Google came around, the only place you were likely to hear the word “android” was at a sci-fi convention. But the term has become popularized since Google branded its smartphone operating system ANDROID. Commercials and advertisements for the newest smartphones promote devices offering the latest version of Android along with a host of other features. Due to the popularity of the operating system, Android has become somewhat of a buzzword. But as it turns out, geeks and nerds weren’t the only ones using the term Android before Google and now Google will need to consult its trademark attorneys because it is facing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
What do a small Canadian metal manufacturing shop and the band Metallica have in common? They share the same name. The metal shop chose the name Metallica Manufacturing in the late 1990s, well after the heavy metal band had established itself worldwide. But the metal shop owners didn’t imagine choosing the same name as the band would cause any confusion or perceived endorsement of the metal shop by the band. They just thought it had a nice ring to it. So they file a trademark application for the mark Metallica. It turns out, however, that the band’s trademark attorneys didn’t take lightly to use of the band’s name, even if the band’s metalwork was musical and not mechanical.
Internet-based content streaming providers have been a thorn in the side of the major TV networks for the last few years. Streaming technology has made it possible for viewers to do their own thing, without regard for the networks’ advertising systems. Lately, the legal implications of this controversial technology have been the focus of much attention. In fact, now there is a new twist in the legal battles. Trademark attorneys have now become involved in some of the newest battles.
Not long ago, with plenty of fanfare and speculation, Facebook Inc. went public. Since then, Facebook has been implementing new changes to its website operation and layout. Some people like the changes more than others. One company, Timelines.com, an online scrapbooking company based in Chicago, took issue with one of the changes — the profile “timeline” element. Apparently, Timeline.com’s trademark attorney believes Facebook’s timeline infringes Timeline.com’s “timeline” brand.
Energy drinks and supplements have become hugely popular in recent years. It is big business for beverage manufacturers and the market is still new enough that smaller companies can try to grab a portion. “5 Hour Energy” is one brand that has quickly risen to establish itself as a market player. Now it looks like it’s the trademark attorneys that are trading energy shots. With its newfound success, imitators have come looking to capitalize on 5 Hour Energy’s brand equity. A Wall Street Journal blog post (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/09/13/daily-writing-sample-a-powerful-appeal/) from September 2012 discusses the legal battle between manufacturers that have taken place over the last few years.
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.