Trademark Disputes

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]

Trademark Disputes: Brooklyn Nets

A sports team effectively cannot function without trademark rights to its name. Without a federal trademark registration, teams would find it much more difficult to fight infringement cases, particularly from imported goods. The result could be reduced revenue from branded merchandise. This is why the case of the Washington Redskins trademark is so compelling. Owner … [Read More]

Why Craft Breweries Should Always Trademark Their Beer Lines

In the last 20 years the U.S. craft brewing industry has grown nearly fivefold. Every year hundreds of new craft breweries join the fray, giving Americans more libation choices than ever before. Go into any bottle shop or liquor store and you’ll find a variety of beers that extend far beyond the basic Budweiser, Coors, … [Read More]

Candy Crush Maker King isn’t the First to Creatively Gain Trademark Advantage

The game Candy Crush Saga has dominated headlines lately, but not for its addictive gameplay. Instead its developer, King, has been involved in a number of altercations involving trademarks. Each seems a bit stranger than the last. The latest one involves a maneuver that we don’t see every day. It’s not exactly unprecedented, but certainly … [Read More]

5 Nasty Trademark Disputes Featuring Famous Musicians

In the music industry, a name is a more than just a name. It’s a brand. As with any brand, owners will protect their rights at any cost. There’s a tacit significance in crafting a band name because it has the potential to be iconic, like the Ramones or the Beatles. People in bands spend … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: Nestlé v. Cadbury

In this article, we will discuss the trademark conflict between Cadbury, international confectioners who sought to trademark their signature purple packaging, and Nestlé, who sought blockage of the registration. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate the importance of clearly identifying and explicitly articulating a strong, durable trademark when seeking registration, in order … [Read More]

Recent News: Starbucks Loses ‘Charbucks’ Appeal

Justice is blind, at least theoretically. Frequently we see big-guy versus little-guy cases end overwhelmingly in favor of the big-guy due to sophisticated legal tactics utilized by teams of lawyers. In the face of such resources, it’s easy to understand why David versus Goliath was the upset of the millennium. But even with such scenarios, … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: The Beer Industry

In this article, we will discuss the trademark conflict between Brewery Vivant, a micro-brewery and producer of “Farmhand” French farmhouse-style ale, and Tired Hands Brewing Company, maker of “Farmhands” Belgian saison style ale. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate the importance of trademark in a crowded marketplace where strong brand and product … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes Case Study: Abraham v. Alpha Chi Omega

In this article, we will discuss the trademark dispute between a collection of Greek fraternal organizations and Thomas Kenneth Abraham, a vendor of items bearing the logos of said organizations. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate the importance of proactive and timely enforcement of trademark rights. In addition, the study will mention … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes Case Study: RGIII

In this article, we will discuss the trademark conflict between Research Group 3, an off-road motorcycle racing suspension company, and their shared trademark with Robert Griffin III, “RG3”. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate how two seemingly conflicting trademarks can reach a coexistence agreement based on the distinct nature of their commercial … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes Case Study: Pinterest v. Pintrips

In this article, we will discuss ongoing litigation between the social media service, Pinterest, and a travel planning startup, Pintrips. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate potential avenues for trademark infringement and what complaints the infringed party can bring against violators. Furthermore, the study will demonstrate the need for a trademark search … [Read More]

4 Biggest Corporate Trademark Disputes In Recent History

Every year companies across the country enter costly legal battles over trademark disputes. The following post highlights four of the biggest trademark disputes in recent history. Motorola v. Xoom Corp Motorola, now a subsidiary of Google, is a smartphone and tablet manufacturer. The products all run on Google’s Android operating system, and have slowly become … [Read More]

Trademark Disputes: How Startups Are Fighting The Big Guys

For any business owner, the potential costs associated with a trademark dispute battle can be extremely high. For some startups, the idea of entering into a legal fight over the right to use a mark is simply out of the question due to limited resources. There’s a new trend on the rise that is changing … [Read More]

Trademark Law Case Studies: New York State Department of Economic Development v. Coffee Shop

Note: The following post is the second installment in our trademark law case study series. The first installment can be read here. In the following article, we will outline a recent trademark infringement case involving a coffee shop and agents for the New York State Department of Economic Development. The purpose of this case study … [Read More]

Trademark Law Case Studies: Big Yale v. Tiny Yale

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “a trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” If you … [Read More]