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Will I Forfeit My Trademark If I Don’t Police Infringement?

With all the time and money that you’ve invested in establishing and registering your trademark, imagine how devastating it would be to have a competitor use your mark with the law’s blessing. If you fail to adequately police infringement, that is exactly what could happen. Registering your mark is a necessary (but not wholly sufficient) … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: Examining Two Separate Lawsuits Over Angry Birds

Most people know how to play Angry Birds, the slingshot-themed video game by a Finnish company called Rovio. It isn’t so well-known, however, that Angry Birds has been the focus of some significant trademark disputes since its 2006 inception. Here are two of the most notable cases. Adams vs. Hartz Image via Flickr The person … [Read More]

How to Prevent Major Corporations from Stealing Your Trademark

If anyone can attest to the nightmare of waging a trademark battle against a corporate giant, it’s Amy Brooks, a Rochester-based entrepreneur. Ms. Brooks is the proprietor of Bubbles by Brooks, a distributor of therapeutic soaps for cancer patients. After surviving cancer treatment herself, Brooks began handcrafting skin care and soap products that minimize irritation … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: LucasFilm Versus Empire Strikes Bock Beer

Recently, Disney-owned Lucasfilm filed an opposition trademark dispute against New York-based Empire Brewing Company for the company’s latest bottled brew, named “Strikes Bock.” Obviously, it’s not difficult to see where this is going. It’s “Empire Strikes Bock” beer, which is similar to George Lucas’ wildly popular 1980 film, “The Empire Strikes Back.” Now, Disney’s behemoth litigation … [Read More]

Branding Yourself: Why Freelancers Need a Personal Brand

Freelancers are rapidly taking over a major segment of the American economy. The idea of working in the office from 9 to 5 is giving way to flexible employment opportunities where individuals are free to shape their own schedules and pick their projects. The heady freedom isn’t exclusive to freelancers, though. Employers can now handpick writers, … [Read More]

Trademarks for Musicians: 5 Things to Know

Music is art, but if you want to make money at it, you’ll need to view your musical career as a business, too. If you’re in a band, one of the most important things you can do for the group is trademark your name. Here are five things musicians need to know about the “art” … [Read More]

Is Your Business Name Cliché?

Choosing a business name is one of the most important decisions that an entrepreneur can make. The name of a company forms the foundation that all other factors build upon. A weak name can set up an entire business for failure, regardless of its products or services. Avoid overused clichés and choose a name that … [Read More]

Trademarking Principles for Tech Start-ups: A Brand Manager’s Guide

Establishing a trademark is important for any business, but the competition is particularly fierce in the tech industry. With competitors fighting over everyday words that have been in use for centuries, it’s no wonder tech start-ups are so eager to snag trademarks. If you’re just starting out, however, applying for trademark registration isn’t your first … [Read More]

How Trademarks Protect Brand Identity

Think of all you’ve invested in building your brand identity. You’ve carefully crafted a brand identity that appeals to customers and sets you apart from competitors. You have poured money and time into delivering superlative products or services that cement your reputation for quality. You have also probably thought long and hard about selecting the … [Read More]

Is It Trademark Infringement to Target a Competitor’s Name on Adwords?

To date, the purchase of competitors’ trademarks as keywords that activate sponsored links has spurred more than 100 trademark infringement lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe. In all but a handful of those suits, courts have ruled in favor of the defendant, leaving plaintiff trademark owners largely without recourse. However, for many business owners, the … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: The Duke Bourbon Controversy

A boy, a dog, and a nickname: that’s how the trademark dispute between Duke University and the estate of iconic actor John Wayne began. When Marion Morrison was a child in the early 1900s, his family owned an 80-pound Airedale Terrier named Big Duke. Young Marion disliked his own given name but reveled in the nickname … [Read More]

Restaurant Trademarks: A Brief Breakdown

Opening a new restaurant can be akin to descending into madness. On your restaurant launch list, there’s probably a million things to do, and registering a trademark for your business might not be at the top. After all, there are many other things to worry about, and chief among them will be working to get everything running … [Read More]

What Mobile App Developers Need to Know About App Trademarks

It’s been a long, hard slog, but after weeks of all-nighters, countless cups of java, and a brilliant idea or two, your mobile app is finally ready for deployment. However, before you gather up your final build and submit to your distribution platform, there is one other thing you need to consider—app trademarks for your new software … [Read More]

6 Steps to Trademark a Clothing Name, Logo or Slogan

Having issues getting your logo trademark? If you’re developing a clothing line, you probably have a distinctive name, logo or slogan that you will want on your apparel. Trademarking your name, logo or slogan will prevent others from infringing on your rights. Though the process can seem daunting, it’s probably much easier than you think. … [Read More]

8 Tips to Monetize (and Protect) Your Intellectual Property

Until recently, companies primarily used intellectual property (IP)—-trademarks, copyright, patents, and other types of intangible assets protected by law—-defensively and followed the traditional sequence of inventing, developing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling an invention. Also known as the “transactional approach,” this model characterized IP as a bargain: businesses conceded the public’s eventual unencumbered right to produce … [Read More]