In a landmark decision, released (coincidentally?) on the first day of the International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, that the NFL’s licensing activities are covered by Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act which prohibits “every contract, combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, or, conspiracy, in restraint of trade.” As a result, the NFL will now be required to demonstrate, on remand, that such activities comport with the so-called “Rule of Reason.”
Since we created an Evolving Media & Technology Team here at KMK, I have been telling brand owners to proactively manage their presence on Facebook by creating an official, corporate, Facebook page and strategically selecting the fan pages and copycat pages to shut down. After yet another “update” to its site late last week, Facebook has now made this kind of brand management exponentially more difficult for trademark owners.
Today, BMW announced that, beginning in June, customers can order its new “M” bicycle. The bike, which you can see courtesy of Autoblog, is nice enough on the eyes. But one wonders whether BMW has finally gone too far, indiscriminately slapping its “M” brand on something that is less than true to the “M” heritage.
Those of you following my blog (both of you) may have noticed that I’ve been suffering from a nasty case of writer’s block, as I haven’t posted anything for about 2 months. Thankfully, I have been cured. Lindsay Lohan is my muse.
This is an update on my November 9th post regarding new and (sometime not) improved logos adopted by various companies. In that post, I talked about how much I didn’t like Pepsi’s new logo, which to me looks like a store-brand, generic logo. Well, perhaps Pepsi agrees with me...
You may have heard that on Thursday, December 10th, The North Face Apparel Corp. (home page here) sued 19-year old entrepreneur (and, apparently, amateur comic) Jimmy Winkelmann in a Missouri District Court for trademark infringement arising out of a parody Mr. Winkelmann created out of The North Face’s rather well known logo.
As if protecting trademarks from domain name cyber-squatters was not already difficult enough, the recent announcement by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) regarding internationalized domain names (“IDNs”) may add to brand owners’ already significant headaches in this area.
Out With the Old, In With the New
During our morning reading, we stumbled across a nifty little piece from Fortune magazine on major brands that have (somewhat) recently transitioned or “freshened” their well-known logos to something new and different. As a consumer, you have probably “felt,” if not actually seen, these changes during your weekly run to the supermarket. For a group of trademark lawyers, these rebrandings are profoundly fascinating, as it gives us a glimpse into the minds of marketers, and helps us understand how they are perceiving their own brand image as well as the public’s perception of it.
By now, you may have heard the 124th Maine State Legislature recently enacted “An Act to Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors.” This law, at least on its face, appears to prohibit both the collection of personal information from a minor for marketing purposes without first having obtained verifiable parental consent as well as the actual marketing to that minor by means of such information acquired without the requisite consent.
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- Could Any Old Yahoo Nab Chief Wahoo?
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- Booze is Booze, Right? Not so fast...
- Did A Neural Network Just Solve Craft Brewing's Trademark Problems?
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- Fiona Versus the Counterfeiters: What About Her Rights?
- Choice of Law and Trademark License Agreements: Rethinking Delaware as an Appropriate Jurisdiction