“Cannabis trademarks represent the new frontier in the legal brand clearance process.”
Usually when we write about mascots, we're writing about the protection of their trademarks. From sports mascots (like Zabivaka for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russia), to school mascots (how about the University of Wisconsin's Bucky Badger?), brand mascots (the Pillsbury Doughboy), or government agency mascots (Smokey the Bear), they all serve as important brand ambassadors. They create awareness, sometimes act as spokespeople, and appear in marketing campaigns and on merchandise.
But this time, we're writing about a new intellectual property mascot. The government of India has launched IP Nani— an intellectual property mascot to raise awareness about intellectual property rights. IP Nani is described as "a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson 'Chhotu' aka Aditya." At the introduction of the new mascot, India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu emphasized the need for all of society, including school-aged children, to be aware of the fundamentals of IP law and to be involved in efforts to protect against piracy.
Although emoji and emoticons are ubiquitous today, back in the 1990s, what later became a "craze" started with just one simple heart — <3 — thanks to Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. Users of DoCoMo's pagers could send a <3 at the end of messages, until the company put a stop to it for a now unknown reason. DoCoMo officially brought back a new version of the heart in 1999, along with 175 more icons, and voilà —emoji!
Emoticons are differentiated from emojis in that they are markings of facial emotions. In some instances, there has been a greater breath of protection for emoticons because emojis can often be found to be non-distinctive images of basic things or public domain symbols. There is a high threshold to find distinctiveness in either marking and depending upon where you attempt to register these symbols the outcome will vary. In the United States, the USPTO has been more flexible about finding an adequate level of distinctiveness, but in the EU the success rate of registration has been low.
The word "emoji" derives from the Japanese “e” (絵文字: 絵) which means picture, and “moji” (文字) which means character. Thanks to Fast Company's Co. Design for featuring a slew of interesting details about the design history of the original 176 emoji from a new book and accompanying keyboard app called 'Emoji,' published by Standards Manual in the fascinating article, "The Untold Design Story Of The Original Emoji."
Today we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day by acknowledging the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. This year’s theme is “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity,” which "celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future."
At Corsearch, we're taking this opportunity to highlight how innovative, creative women bring their amazing ideas to power change not only at our company, but to the IP community as a whole, the world over. Let us introduce you to Corsearch team members; Ellen Stuer and Anna Arakelyan.
It's becoming more commonplace to see custom-designed typefaces in use by large companies these days. The latest is Netflix Sans, developed by the Netflix in-house design team, in partnership with foundry Dalton Maag for use in branding and marketing. Netflix joins Apple (with its San Francisco font), Samsung (SamsungOne font), and BBC (Reith font), who have introduced their own custom fonts.
Why go custom? Using a font involves payment of a licensing fee, which can add up over time. Dalton Maag operations director Richard Bailey told Digital Arts in a recent interview: "Sometimes it’s a matter of not being able to find the right expression or functionality from 'off-the-shelf' fonts, language coverage problems or legibility — or simply wanting a font that can be an 'ownable' part of their brand."
Companies can avoid or reduce licensing fees by developing their own font in-house or by paying a fee to a design firm. As Netflix brand design lead Noah Nathan told It's Nice That: “With the global nature of Netflix’s business, font licensing can get quite expensive. ... Developing this typeface [also] created an ownable and unique element for the brand’s aesthetic.”
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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