Supermac’s Renews Efforts to Fight McDonald’s Trademarks in Europe

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 13 April, 2017

It was last year that Irish fast food brand Supermac’s trademark applications for a number of food and drinks services were rejected by the then-named EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (now the European Union Property Office – EUIPO), thanks to the efforts of rival fast food chain McDonald’s. Supermac’s came out of that trademark dispute able to use its brand name in the EU, but prohibited from selling products in certain categories like chicken nuggets, chips, hamburgers, and others.

Then, in February 2017, McDonald’s filed a 41-page objection against Supermac’s plans to use the name in Europe claiming “unfair advantage” of its “distinctive character and repute.”

Now Supermac’s is taking action against McDonald’s. The company has submitted a request to the EUIPO to cancel some of the Big Mac and Mc trademarks registered by McDonald’s. Amidst claims of “trademark bullying,” Supermac’s claims that McDonald’s registers brand names that “are simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors.”

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Topics: trademark

Apple Files Complaint Over Swatch’s “Tick Different”

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 12 April, 2017

Swiss watchmaker Swatch’s marketing campaign using the phrase “Tick different” has ticked off Apple, who claims it is a rip-off of its “Think Different” ad campaign that it used in the 1990s.

Swatch says the “Tick different” campaign is an outgrowth of its 1980s campaign that used the phrase “Always different, always new.” It uses “Tick different” for marketing its Bellamy wristwatch, which helped the company move into the Chinese mobile payments market in 2015 (months before Apple), since it features a built-in Visa NFC (near-field communication) payment functionality to make contact-less payments. The Bellamy, by the way, is named after author Edward Bellamy, who back in 1888 first wrote a future cashless society.

Apple has filed a complaint against Swatch in the Swiss Federal Administrative Court and now has the burden of proving that at least 50% of consumers associate the phrase “Think Different” with Apple. Another Apple complaint, filed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property has already been unsuccessful.

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Topics: trademark

Corsearch New gTLD Update: .AFRICA, Additional IDN Languages, .CLUB, .VEGAS, and More

by Kate Reid on Friday, 7 April, 2017

This week’s update features news about .AFRICA, additional IDN languages, .CLUB, .VEGAS, .GLOBAL, and more.

Registry operator ZA Central Registry NPC trading as Registry.Africa announced the launch schedule for its new gTLD .AFRICA as follows:

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Topics: nGTLDs, domains

Side Effect Warning: FDA’s “Change of Formulation” to POCA Algorithm May Cause Headaches, Tiredness, and Blurry Vision

by Steve Anderson on Wednesday, 5 April, 2017

Back in late 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new version of the Phonetic and Orthographic Computer Analysis (POCA) program called POCA 4.0. For those of us in the pharmaceutical trademark clearance and/or branding industries, this sounded like a good thing.

Program version updates come with the expectation of improvement. The original POCA was released years ago, and while not perfect, it remains the pharma industry standard in terms of ranking pharmaceutical marks on name safety similarity to a proposed candidate. POCA isn’t a definitive tool, and it’s just one of many methods and tools in the FDA’s arsenal for determining name safety issues in the pharmaceutical industry.

The POCA 4.0 algorithm has indeed been dramatically changed from the original pre-4.0 version. According to the FDA, the orthographic component of the POCA algorithm was revised to better capture errors that are being reported due to the increased use of electronic prescribing. The algorithm has been revised to put more emphasis on the similarity that occurs at the beginning of a name — especially the first three letters and on exact letter matches — and also to emphasize where names share letters that are not consecutive.

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Topics: trademark, pharmaceuticals

Celebrity Couple Nickname Trademarks: How About Bughead or Bethead?

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 3 April, 2017

No, the demise of “Brangelina” hasn’t signaled the end of celebrity couple nicknames. Whether you’re a fan of them or not, you’ve no doubt noticed the proliferation of celebrity couple nicknames over the last 15–20 years.

There’s been Bennifer (2 times for Ben Affleck, unless you prefer Garfleck), Kimye, TomKat, Brady-Bundch, Spederline, and yes, even Billary. But this isn’t a new “thing.” Celebrity nicknames have been around a long time — remember Desilu, the name of the production company co-owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball?

So, why would anyone think that fictional characters would be immune from such a popular trend? Well, now fans of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead of Archie Comics fame can look forward to the trademarked names of “Bughead” and “Bethead.”

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Topics: trademark


The title says it all. This is a blog about trademarks and brands, expanding the expertise and resources you’ve come to expect from Corsearch. From expert research tips to the inside scoop on productivity solutions, join the conversation about trademarks and brands.

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