Coachella Sues Urban Outfitters for Trademark Infringement

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 23 March, 2017

As LA Weekly wrote, if you had to choose one brand that best represents the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival “it’s probably Urban Outfitters.” You might know the look — flowing flowery dresses, floppy hats, dusty well-worn boots, some pale denim, etc., etc., etc. So it may not come as a surprise to learn that Urban Outfitter’s ‘Free People’ subsidiary sells clothing branded with . . . yes, the Coachella name.

And now Goldenvoice, the company that organizes Coachella has filed a trademark infringement suit in US Central District Court of California against Urban Outfitters. The lawsuit claims that Free People has been selling Coachella-branded merchandise, including a “Coachella Valley Tunic” which was described as “the quintessential summer musical festival piece to throw on and go with.” The company also markets a "Coachella Boot," "Coachella Mini Dress," and "Coachella Pocket Tank."

That’s not all. It turns out that Free People also markets a “Bella Coachella” line of products through third parties like Amazon, Zappos, and Macy’s. In addition, the suit claims that Urban Outfitters bought keyword ads on Google using the word “Coachella.”

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Topics: trademark

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Quashes Marijuanaville Trademark

by Steve Anderson on Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

Rachel A. Bevis had applied to the USPTO to register a trademark for “Marijuanaville” in International Class 25 (t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, sweat pants, jackets, etc.) and International Class 35 (drive-through retail store services, retail apparel stores, and retail clothing stores).

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Topics: trademark

More Trump Trademarks . . . This Time in Mexico

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 20 March, 2017

There’s been lots of press coverage about China recently granting 38 US President Donald Trump-related trademarks. But did you know that there’s also been some Trump-related trademark news in Mexico too?

In February 2016, as candidate Trump campaigned on, among other things, building a wall between the US and Mexico, his company filed four trademarks with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). And now those trademarks have been granted.

The Trump trademarks in Mexico cover business operations including construction, construction materials, hotels, hospitality and tourism, real estate, financial services, and insurance. These same trademarks, under the name Donald J. Trump, had expired in 2015. The new trademarks list the owner as DTTM Operations LLC, reportedly the holding company for Trump’s trademarks.

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Topics: trademark

Soundcloud Moves to Shut Down Account for Trademark Infringement

by Steve Anderson on Friday, 17 March, 2017

Here’s an interesting story involving a claim of trademark infringement on social media, via Techdirt.

Digital/music strategic Bas Grasmayer, who has written for Techdirt, opened his Soundcloud account way back in 2008 or 2009. Because it was the early days of the audio distribution platform, Grasmayer was lucky to snag an account that featured just his first name —, until recently, when Grasmeyer received notification from Soundcloud that the use of “Bas” in his account URL was infringing on a trademark (note: of rapper Bas, a/k/a Abbas Hamad). Soundcloud requested that Grasmeyer change his URL and display name to eliminate the mention of “Bas.” Yes, eliminate your name.

In addition, the notification from Soundcloud’s “Trust & Safety Team” informed Grasmeyer that he had 48 hours to make the change or risk account suspension “on the grounds of trademark infringement.”

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Topics: trademark, social media

Is This Trademark Registration “On Fleek”?

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 16 March, 2017

It all started in a Vine video.

Kayla Newman (a/k/a Peaches Monroee) was the first to use the phrase “on fleek” in 2014, referencing perfectly groomed eyebrows, as in “eyebrows on fleek.”

Most people think that “fleek” is a combination of “fly” and “sleek,” but in an email exchange with an editor from Merriam-Webster, Newman explained that fleek actually means “it’s nice.”

After her video went viral the phrase has been used to describe everything from fashion, to music, to skateboards, and more. It’s been written into song lyrics and used by some major brands, like Taco Bell and Denny’s, in advertising. Although Newman says she was thrilled to see her phrase picked up by others, she didn’t make any money off of it, telling Teen Vogue: “I would definitely have made sure I was more aggressive if I had known that the video would blow up to be this big. I would have had a team of lawyers with me as well.”

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Topics: trademark


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