Well, it looks like the mediation didn’t work out. According to this blogger, the judge has been quoted as saying the matter “did not settle.” It also didn’t look like there were any other plans to meet to try to work it out again before the trial date in November 2012. That’s a long way away, though, and it’s possible that they could still work out a deal.There’s nothing that says they can’t settle the matter out of court.
Still, according to that article, which cites Bloomberg as its source, the Canadian company has been aggressively using its Canadian Target mark and opening new stores, etc. To me, that looks like they’re trying to increase the cost to Target to… Continue reading
Bloomberg is running a story that discusses the mediation between Fairweather and Target over their trademark infringement lawsuit. I discussed the lawsuit, which involves trademark considerations about logos and the like, in November last year.
I’m not an expert on Canadian law, so I wonder if the mediation was mandatory, or ordered by the judge, or if the two sides decided it’d be cost effective for them to try to work out a deal. The judge seems to be the one driving the show, though.
In any event, it looks like they will probably be coming to some sort of a resolution of the dispute. The Bloomberg piece notes that this is apparently the first time Target has… Continue reading
I get a lot of inquiries about registering a mark, usually from start-up businesses. For the most part, people don’t really understand why they should register a mark, or why they may not need to bother. For example,is there value in registering a mark on Bobby Joe Pfarfegnugen’s Garage? Is someone really going to start trying to profit off of your name? Probably not. But it certainly can make sense to register a mark in other circumstances, particularly where your product or services are unique.
This article on Bloomberg discusses a famous, and profitable, online trademark filing service: Trademarkia. For a relatively low cost, a business owner can get the law firm associated with Trademarkia to briefly check to… Continue reading
Teachbook has started a fund to attempt to raise money for its legal defense against Facebook’s lawsuit for trademark infringement. On its face, this certainly has the David v. Goliath sort of thing going on, doesn’t it? At least, that’s what Teachbook wants the court to think. And really, the fight is about something that’s pretty generic sounding: the right to use *book as a business name.
Now, on the other side of that coin, obviously, is Facebook’s argument. And the critical thing for them is whether this upstart “Teachbook” is copying their business model, trying to profit off of the claimed association. Because that’s a classic fraudster technique, going back to the dawn of civilization probably: align… Continue reading
Recently, I read an amusing blog post that pointed out this line from Apple’s recent court filing in its case against Amazon.
Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words [“]app store[”] together denote a store for apps[.]
Yes, that really was part of their denial. The blogger I was reading (sorry, lost the link; should have saved it!) was a tech person, and apparently found it quite Orwellian indeed that Apple would make such a statement. He felt it was a very weak defense. And, on a common sense level, I think it probably is.
But we’re not dealing with the common sense level, at least, not necessarily. We’re dealing with the legal level. So we… Continue reading
Just a quick update on an older post. It looks like Sony-Ericsson has dropped its lawsuit over Clearwire’s logo’s alleged confusing similarity to its logo, after Clearwire said it wouldn’t be making smartphones featuring its logo. This seems to be a defensive measure, after reaching a $1 billion settlement with Sprint over pricing and having to go through layoffs and losing its CEO. Apparently the right to put a gray circle with a green swoosh on some phones wasn’t worth the hassle (or expense) for Clearwire, who claim to be focusing only on their WiMax wifi networks. And Clearwire’s statements to the court, whatever they were, are probably strong evidence in any future suit over the logos, if… Continue reading
It appears that Apple’s finally given up on trying to trademark “pod” itself. Of course, iPod is still a distinctive, and protected, term. But what amazes me is that Apple spent 13 years trying to exert control over the three letter word “pod,” which is a Latinate stem for foot. Colloquially, it’s come to mean anything that’s sort of rounded in shape, egg-like, or small and portable. It’s a great multipurpose word, which is obviously why Apple was so interested in in to begin with. But, come on … it’s malleable, and that is what pushes it in the generic direction.
iPod, on the other hand, is unique and different. At least, it was when it was introduced. Well maybe… Continue reading
The statement “You shouldn’t use your own trademark in a generic way” probably qualifies as a platitude. I mean, duh. That’s the whole point of obtaining a mark on the word/phrase in the first place, right?
Amazon, which has been sued by Apple over its planned use of “app store” — just like Microsoft — has advanced an argument against Apple that it has itself (through Steve Jobs) referred to its own claimed mark in a generic fashion. From a news article about the fight, we learn:
“In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is ‘the largest application store in the world’,” the filing notes. “In October 2010, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs called Apple’s app store ‘the… Continue reading
A lawyer (and apparently the bass player) for the punk band The Vandals recently won a case for his client. Apparently, Variety magazine got upset at a proposed cover by The Vandals, which it claimed infringed on the trademarked Variety logo (specifically the font type was apparently too close for comfort). The band has a copy of the allegedly infringing cover on their blog.
What do you think? They do look pretty close, but is it worth the negative press / potential Streisand effect?
In any case, the band changed the logo and apparently signed a settlement agreement with the magazine, which contained a clause stipulating venue in Delaware and $50,000 plus attorneys’ fees for damages for breach… Continue reading
If you’re not familiar with the Streisand effect, here’s a quick explanation: by attempting to suppress certain content, you may inadvertently pique the curiosity of the public, and draw more attention to the thing you’re trying to suppress. In Streisand’s case, it was photos of her beachfront property she was trying to suppress, via a lawsuit. You can read the Wikipedia article for more information, but suffice to say, 400,000-something hits later, lots of people ended up seeing her property as a result of her lawsuit drawing attention to the photos’ existence. Would that many have seen the photos absent the lawsuit? Probably not, and that’s the point.
And now we transition to the trademark world once more. Rutt’s… Continue reading