Trademarks

Zynga sues ‘Bang With Friends’ maker for trademark infringement

“Zynga is going after hookup app Bang With Friends, suing its maker with trademark infringement over its use of the phrase ‘with friends’ — common to a series of Zynga games including Words With Friends and Chess With Friends. Bloomberg reports that the company is asking for the court to stop the app’s maker from using the mark as well as pay unspecified damages.”

Zynga sues ‘Bang With Friends’ maker for trademark infringement

Wednesday
31
July 2013

Film Academy Nears Domain Parking Trial Against GoDaddy Over ‘Oscars’ Trademarks

“AMPAS, most famous for its annual Oscars awards ceremony, is suing GoDaddy under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, alleging that the domain registrar giant traffics in unauthorized trademarks. Specifically in dispute is GoDaddy’s ‘CashParking’ program that allows customers to buy a domain like Oscarbets.com or Oscarsornot.com, ‘park’ that page and collect a portion of revenue from GoDaddy’s advertising partners on a pay-per-click basis. On Friday, the Academy took a big step forward in the lawsuit when a California federal judge rejected GoDaddy’s summary judgment motion and ruled that the defendant isn’t eligible for safe harbor.”

- Film Academy Nears Trial Against GoDaddy Over ‘Oscars’ Trademarks

Friday
26
July 2013

Pharrell Williams, Will.i.am Fight Over ‘i am’

“Pharrell Williams has filed a lawsuit against will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas over the phrase “i am.” In the suit, Williams asks a judge to rule that his trademark for his “i am OTHER” company does not infringe on will.i.am’s “I AM” trademark for his line of businesses. The suit, filed Monday in New York federal court and obtained by ABCNews.com, refers to will.i.am by his real name, William Adams.”

Pharrell Williams, Will.i.am Fight Over ‘i am’

Monday
15
July 2013

Oprah Faces Trademark Lawsuit Over ‘Own Your Power’

“Oprah Winfrey will have to defend in court her use of the phrase ‘Own Your Power’ in her magazine and on her website, a U.S. appeals court said on Friday. Overturning a lower court ruling, the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals revived claims brought by Simone Kelly-Brown, owner of a motivational services business, Own Your Power Communications Inc, who says she owns a trademark on the phrase.”

Oprah Faces Trademark Lawsuit over ‘Own Your Power’

Wednesday
26
June 2013

Gibson Guitar Takes On Viacom Over Flying V Trademark

“Viacom, owner of the SpongeBob SquarePants trademark, licensed its mark to John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd (JHS) of London to produce the SpongeBob SquarePants Flying V Ukulele (Ukulele). While Viacom had the rights to the SpongeBob Trademark, Gibson Guitar Corporation (Gibson) owns the trademarks in the Flying V Body Shape Design, the Flying V Peg-Head Design, and a word mark in Flying V. Gibson claimed the Ukulele, and potentially other products, associated with Viacom and JHS violated its trademark. ”

- Gibson Guitar Takes On Viacom Over Flying V Trademark

Wednesday
05
June 2013
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Andy Warhol Foundation, Velvet Underground Suit Over Iconic Banana

The banana split between the Velvet Underground and The Andy Warhol Foundation has been settled. In January 2012, the New York band sued the foundation in federal court in New York claiming the cover of its 1967 debut album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ had become ‘a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground.’ The foundation had planned to license the artwork, created by Andy Warhol from a grocery advertisement, for iPod and iPad products.”

Andy Warhol Foundation, Velvet Underground Suit Over Iconic Banana

Monday
03
June 2013

Fictional Product in “The Dark Knight Rises” Does Not Infringe Real Trademark

“In Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., the US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana held that there is no claim for trademark infringement when a fictional product in a movie is referred to by a term that is the same as a real product’s name.”

Fictional Product in “The Dark Knight Rises” Does Not Infringe Real Trademark

Friday
31
May 2013

Hershey Clears Hurdles For Trademark Registration Of Chocolate Bar Product

“In order to attain trademark registration, a product configuration must clear two hurdles: functionality and acquired distinctiveness. [Of course, under Wal-mart v. Samara, a product configuration can never be inherently distinctive.] Hershey managed to clear both hurdles in this appeal from a refusal to register the product configuration shown below for “candy, chocolate.”

- Hershey Clears Hurdles For Trademark Registration Of Chocolate Bar Product

Tuesday
14
May 2013
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‘Ungoogleable’ No Longer A Word In Sweden After Legal Pressure From Google

“The council opted to remove the word from its official list after facing legal pressure from Google, who didn’t actually want it removed from usage. Google lawyers actually took issue with the definition of the word, which initially was listed as something that couldn’t be found using a search engine. Google wanted that definition to specifically refer to Google’s search engine.”

- ‘Ungoogleable’ No Longer A Word In Sweden After Legal Pressure From Google

Monday
22
April 2013
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iPad mini trademark concerns withdrawn by U.S. Patent Office, but issues remain

The U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) initially had concerns that the ‘mini’ in iPad mini was not a recognizable sign or design and was just a description. Basically, the word “mini” indicates that it is a smaller version of the iPad, a term that is already trademarked. The USPTO also had a concern over the iPad mini’s overview page being used as Apple’s ‘specimen,’since the specimen is supposed to show an instance of the trademark ‘as your purchasers encounter it in the marketplace,’ according to the USPTO web site.”

– iPad mini trademark concerns withdrawn by U.S. Patent Office, but issues remain

Monday
15
April 2013
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