CatchThis Blog / trademark law

Catchword

August 17, 2010

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. Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi walks you through the basic principles—and common pitfalls—of preliminary trademark screening. You’ll learn […]

Mark Skoultchi

August 11, 2010

This item was originally published on August 5th, 2010 at Fast Company. I predict that the hottest holiday gift for Californians this year will be the Volcano Vaporizer. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a “revolutionary system that releases the active ingredients from herbs through hot air vaporization.” And by herbs, they don’t mean basil. As […]

Laurel Sutton

August 7, 2009

My friend Joe Murray at Doremus just sent me a link to this great article at Salon about the use of “Godzilla” as a trademark, and how Toho Co Ltd., the owners of the mark, will sue the tails off anyone who uses it without their permission. They’ve gone after (and won against) a Napa […]

Mark Skoultchi

July 28, 2009

The NYT reported yesterday that Nestlé is suing CytoSport over the use of the term “milk” in its brand name. CytoSport markets “Muscle Milk,” a non-dairy protein shake engineered to resemble human breast milk. (Hey, I don’t make the stuff, I just write about it. Now that I know though, I can’t say I’ll be […]

Laurel Sutton

July 8, 2009

I employ a deliberately mixed metaphor in the title of this post to exemplify my confusion about what Twitter’s trying to do here. Quick trademark primer: trademarking a name of a product or service generally prevents other people from using the same name for confusingly similar products and services. So, for example, you can’t have […]

Laurel Sutton

June 10, 2004

“The story is legendary. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles and a $100 million budget couldn’t shield Warner Bros.’ Eraser from a possible lawsuit involving one letter of the alphabet. Cyrex, as the film’s corrupt company was called, was too close to Cyrix, a Texas-based computer-chip manufacturer. Rather than face an expensive legal battle, unwanted publicity, and countless […]