Olympic Trademark Tyranny: The IOC’s Aggressive Mark Protection Harms Athletes

International Olympic Committee - Olympic flag
The XXXIst Summer Olympics may have concluded Sunday, but the International Olympic Committee’s aggressive protection of the Olympics® trademark continues unabated. Like the NFL with the Super Bowl® (that is, “the Big Game”) and the NCAA with March Madness® (AKA...
By |August 24th, 2016|In-the-News, News, Trademark|Comments Off on Olympic Trademark Tyranny: The IOC’s Aggressive Mark Protection Harms Athletes

The 5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Naming Your Product or Company

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Take it from us, product or company naming is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot harder than just sitting around the kitchen table, drinking wine and shouting ideas at your friends (that’s actually what we do after...
By |October 28th, 2015|Branding, Company Naming, Naming Tips, Product Naming, Trademark|Comments Off on The 5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Naming Your Product or Company

PSA: Screen Your Name For Trademark Conflicts!

As naming specialists know all too well, creating a brand name that passes creative and strategic muster is only part of the naming process. The ultimate test is whether that name can pass legal muster, and is trademarkable! Though finding...
By |February 18th, 2015|Catchword, Naming Tips, Trademark|Comments Off on PSA: Screen Your Name For Trademark Conflicts!

Sriracha’s Fate? Just a Generic, Saucy Toponym

In the 1980s in LA, Vietnamese immigrant David Tran started making his own version of a hot sauce based on a condiment from the Si Racha city in Thailand. He called it Sriracha, but never registered a trademark, and today...
By |February 11th, 2015|Brand Naming, Catchword, Trademark|Comments Off on Sriracha’s Fate? Just a Generic, Saucy Toponym

Trademark Infringement? …Maybe Just Barley.

IPAvsIPA
You may have heard about the trademark controversy that bubbled up between Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada. Lagunitas sued Sierra Nevada, alleging that the placement and size of “IPA” on the bottle of the newest Sierra Nevada offering was too similar...
By |January 26th, 2015|Trademark|Comments Off on Trademark Infringement? …Maybe Just Barley.

Trump And Trademarks: The Case For Extravagance

THE APPRENTICE -- NBC Series -- Pictured: Donald Trump -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston
This blog originally appeared in Fast Company. Though the "Trumptini” may be a stretch of a product, it makes good business sense to file trademarks, even preemptively. If you plan on selling or marketing something under your name, you need...
By |June 4th, 2012|Brand Naming, Branding, Fun Stuff, In-the-News, Product Naming, Trademark|Comments Off on Trump And Trademarks: The Case For Extravagance

The I of the Beholder: Apple’s Quest to Own “I”

icloud-apple-lawsuit
If a name’s beauty is in the "i-" of the beholder, then to Apple, it’s drop-dead gorgeous and worthy of wooing  – even if means throwing around some hefty corporate weight to win its heart. Or the name in question...
By |June 21st, 2011|Catchword, Product Naming, Trademark|Comments Off on The I of the Beholder: Apple’s Quest to Own “I”

That Name’s Not The Same As Mine: How Trademarks Can Be Confusingly Similar

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This guest post is by Steven Price of Tessera Trademark Screening. It’s not always easy to explain why a favorite brand name candidate might not be as unique as we think. For example, isn’t CLOUDBANKS different enough from the mark FOGBANK...
By |June 2nd, 2011|Brand Naming, Trademark|1 Comment

How Professionals Create Names: Naming by Numbers

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People often ask us how we come up with names. Are they computer generated? Do we sit around, drinking wine, jotting down thoughts on cocktail napkins? Or, maybe we shuffle Scrabble tiles around till we find that perfect combination of...
By |May 26th, 2011|Brand Naming, Naming Tips, Product Naming, Trademark|Comments Off on How Professionals Create Names: Naming by Numbers

Catchword in the NY Times: The Fight Over AppStore

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The lovely and talented Ben Zimmer wrote a wonderful Week in Review column this weekend about the ridiculous battle between Apple and Amazon over the name AppStore. (Apple is suing Amazon for using it, as if they could own such...
By |March 29th, 2011|Catchword, In-the-News, Trademark|Comments Off on Catchword in the NY Times: The Fight Over AppStore