Trademarks are always fascinating, and we love chocolate, so we had to share with you a trademark-chocolate story. When Hershey filed a lawsuit against LBB Imports, the importer of specialty products from Great Britain, Australia and South Africa, LBB decided to stop importing the brands that bear the “Cadbury” trademark, the trademark that Hershey has exclusive rights to in the U.S.
When Michelin three-star-rated chef Joshua Skenes announced that he was opening a new restaurant called “Fat Noodle”, the news was greeted warmly by noodle aficionados. The news was not greeted warmly, but hotly and contentiously, by Chubby Noodle that filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Fat Noodle claiming that two restaurants names are “confusingly similar.” The lawsuit went on to claim that Fat Noodle is “dilut[ing]” and “tarnish[ing] the image of the…Chubby Noodle mark.”
Time was that you sat at the bar and ordered a beer. The proliferation of over 3,000 new local and specialty breweries over the past few years has created stiff competition to trademark the names of all the brews from all of these breweries.
It started with a lawsuit filed by the 60’s rock group The Turtles against Sirius XM, the satellite radio broadcaster, over royalties. Federal copyright law only applies to broadcasted music as of 1972, so The Turtles want to be paid royalties when Sirius XM plays the group’s pre-1972 music. The Turtles won the first round, so more lawsuits have ensued.
ELVH, Inc., the holding company for the rock band Van Halen, had sued Kelly Van Halen, the ex-wife of the group’s drummer, Alex. Ms. Van Halen attempted to register trademarks for her name to use to promote and sell furniture, children’s blankets and bathing suits. ELVH claimed that “Kelly Van Halen” infringed and diluted the “Van Halen” trademark. We will never know what would have happened because the case was settled out of court, but www.kellyvanhalen.com is up.
Our story goes back to 2010 with the death of Dr. Keith L. Davis who had founded Vein Care Pavilion of the South with Dr. Steven M. Roth, and one of the trademarks of the medical practice is “The Vein Guys.”
Sorry about the headline. We could not help ourselves. In a rare move, a Federal Circuit Court has over-ruled the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. St. Helena Hospital had applied for the trademark “TAKETEN” and the Trademark Office denied the registration, claiming it was too similar to a current trademark, “Take 10!”
Male jurors, at least. Victoria's Secret is suing CafePress, an online seller of consumer-designed products, claiming infringement of Victoria’s Secret’s trademarks. In the lawsuit, Victoria’s Secrets claims that CafePress is selling women's apparel that are “knockoffs and/or counterfeit versions” of Victoria’s Secret products.
Nike claims that three of its former star shoe designers stole a "treasure trove" of trade secrets when they left earlier this year to work for Nike’s rival, Adidas. Nike has filed a lawsuit in Oregon claiming that three of its former designers – Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner – conspired to set up their own design studio, then convinced Adidas to engage them with the promise to provide Adidas with insider Nike design details and product plans. Pretty sneaky. Sorry, we could not help ourselves.
MGM just filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against M Life Inc., a company with an application to operate a marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas under the name M’Life Wellness. “M life” is the name of the MGM’s frequent gambler/customer rewards program that is used at 15 of the company’s properties. In the lawsuit, MGM claims trademark dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting in the defendant’s use of MGM trademark.
Hershey has won a trademark infringement lawsuit against a start-up Colorado-based company that makes marijuana-infused edibles that, the lawsuit alleged, resemble Hershey products. In its lawsuit, Hershey claimed that TinctureBelle manufactured and sold several products – Ganja Joy, Hasheath, Hashees and Dabby Patty – that too closely resembled Hershey's Almond Joy, Heath, Reese's peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies. In the settlement, the defendants agrees to no longer use those product names or Hershey’s brown, yellow and orange coloring in the their products packaging.
The rivalry between Michigan State University and Ohio State University is long-standing and well known. For example, Ann Arbor (where Michigan State University is based) does not celebrate Columbus Day because Ohio State University is in Columbus.
Frank Silvero (who, like Mr. Eaton, we never heard of) appeared in "The Godfather: Part II" and "Goodfellas." He is now suing Fox Television Studios Inc. for $250 million claiming that a character in "The Simpsons" is based on his performances in those two movies.
That is essentially the defense that singer Robin Thicke and his producer, Pharrell Williams, has put forth in a California federal trial in which they are charged with copyright infringement by the estate of Marvin Gaye. The Gaye estate claims that Thicke and Williams’s hit song “Blurred Lines” infringe on copyrighted material.
The band Beastie Boys won a $1.7 million jury verdict against Monster Energy Co. in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Beastie Boys asserted that Monster Energy used the group’s songs in a promotional video.
Rapper Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records LLC, his record label, lost out in their request for quick dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records owes Dwayne Walker (who claims he helped design the singer’s logo back in 1995 in return for a $3,500 upfront and a 2% royalty on sales) $7 million!
Back in 2012, Stan Lee Media Inc., owner of the Marvel Comic Book characters created by Mr. Lee – such as Spider Man and the X-Men – sued the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement. Disney owns Marvel Comics, but Stan Lee Media (with which Stan Lee himself is no longer affiliated) claims it owns the copyrights to the actual characters created by Mr. Lee.
Woody Allen has been oft quoted as saying that “80% of success is showing up.” Well, 100% of failure is NOT showing up.
Runberg Inc. (that does business as “Zephyrs”) filed a $5.9 million malpractice lawsuit against law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP claiming that the attorneys’ patent-drafting errors allowed Amazon.com and Victoria’s Secret to infringe its invention for bra push-up inserts. Zephyrs claims that drafting errors rendered U.S. Patent No.
Owner of the Washington Redskins, Pro-Football Inc., filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the USPTO’s cancellation of its “Redskins” trademark on the grounds that the term is disparaging to Native Americans. The Pro-Football lawsuit claims that the Trademark Office’s decision is “replete with errors of fact and law” and is unconstitutional.