Iconic Red Umbrella Precipitates Trademark Infringement Suit

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 16 May, 2017

Does this red umbrella look familiar?

That’s the Travelers Insurance red umbrella — the cornerstone of the company’s branding.

Last year, the Virtue Capital Management LLC (VCM), based in Nashville, Tennessee, started using a “reddish” umbrella logo to promote its products, prompting Travelers to file a trademark infringement suit against the company for adopting “confusingly similar umbrella logos of its own” for use in the financial services industry.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Fight Over Arthur Andersen Brand Name Still Simmering Around the World

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 12 May, 2017

Back in April, Andersen Tax and MoHala Enterprises, which does business as Sundial Consulting, announced a settlement in a trademark infringement dispute over use of the Andersen and Arthur Andersen names in the United States. MoHala is part of a network of individuals and entities recruited by a French businessman, Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac, who had earlier claimed that he had “reconstituted” Arthur Andersen as a consulting company.

Laffont-Réveilhac’s claim that he was reviving the Arthur Andersen name in France, the United States, and 14 other countries came as a surprise to Andersen Tax — the company founded in 2002 by 23 former Arthur Andersen partners. You might recall that originally Arthur Andersen had been one of the “Big 5” accounting firms in the United States until it came up against criminal charges related to the Enron scandal of 2001, resulting in the firm giving up rights to practice as Certified Public Accountants in the United States. A year later, 23 Andersen partners formed Wealth & Tax Advisory Services, which in 2014 changed its name to Andersen Tax after buying the U.S. rights from Arthur Andersen and global rights from Andersen Worldwide.

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Topics: brands, trademark, trademark infringement

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino Stirs Up Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 9 May, 2017

Apparently “unicorn” food is a trend. Yes, according to Eater, it’s a “thing” on social media that gained popularity last fall after Cosmopolitan published recipes for a unicorn cake, a unicorn milkshake, and “unicorn-inspired” ice cream. And then lots of restaurants and bakeries started making unicorn-themed food too. Think rainbows, bright colors . . . lots of pink and blue.

Coffee chain Starbucks picked up on the unicorn trend and started selling the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino a few weeks ago. You may have missed out on it because the pink and blue sensation was available at certain Starbucks locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico only through April 23.

But a Brooklyn, New York café called The End didn’t miss the launch of Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino. That’s because The End debuted its own Unicorn Latte back in December 2016 and now its owner, Montauk Juice Factory Inc. has filed a trademark infringement suit against Starbucks claiming the company “infringed on Plaintiffs’ distinctive and famous trademark in the name UNICORN LATTE, a name that Plaintiffs have used since last year to refer to their own popular colorful beverage.”

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

German Company Seeks Injunction Against Google for Trademark Infringement

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 5 May, 2017

German software company TeamDrive Systems GMBH claims that Google’s use of a software product called “Team Drive” infringes on its European-registered trademark. TeamDrive Systems, which makes cloud-based file sharing software, is seeking a Europe-wide injunction to prevent Google Ireland and Google Commerce from using the name.

The Irish Times reports that Google held an event at a conference earlier this year surrounding “Team Drives.” The phrase was featured in promotional material available at the event and in media coverage. According to the paper, attorneys for Google stated that the phrase was used to “describe a function of its Google Drive Product” and claimed no responsibility for the language used in media reports.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Eagles Sue Hotel California in Mexico for Trademark Infringement

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 4 May, 2017

The Eagles’ most successful album was ‘Hotel California’ and it’s also one of the best-selling albums of all time.

There happens to be a real Hotel California located in Todos Santos, Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula (nearly 1,000 miles from the California border). Its website uses the phrase “Welcome to the Hotel California,” which might serve to make potential guests feel comfortable, but the whole concept hasn’t made the musical group the Eagles very happy.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that the Eagles have taken legal action against the Hotel California for trademark infringement. The Eagles’ complaint claims: “Through advertising targeted to U.S. consumers, and in-person communications, Defendants lead U.S. consumers to believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in “Hotel California,” which is false.”

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

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