Trademarks and Brands

Original Commodores Members Win Long-Running Name Dispute

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Two founding members of the funk band the “Commodores” have won the right to use the band’s name and trademark after a years-long legal dispute.

Last week, a Florida appeals court ruled in favor of Commodores founders William King and Walter Orange who run the Commodores Entertainment Corporation (CEC). King and Orange had sued former Commodores member Thomas McClary for trademark infringement in 2014 after he performed using variations of the group’s name, including “The Commodores featuring Thomas McClary.” McClary countered that he had ownership in CEC and sued the company for fraud and challenged its trademarks.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Don Q Rum v. Donq Bakery Trademark Opposition Dismissed 

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 10 January, 2018

Don Q is a Puerto Rican rum brand. Donq is a chain of Japanese bakeries. Do you think these two brand names are similar? Let’s see what the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) said.

Donq bakeries, owned by Japanese company Kabushiki Kaisa Donq, filed a trademark application with the USPTO for food and beverage items and retail services in September 2010. Destilería Serrallés, the makers of Don Q rum, filed an opposition to the mark.

Late last month, the TTAB dismissed the Destilería Serrallés opposition while acknowledging that the two brand names “are similar in appearance, sound, commercial impression and connotation.”

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Microsoft Sues IP Address for Piracy of Windows, Office, and More

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 4 January, 2018

Microsoft claims copyright and trademark infringement in a lawsuit against an IP address that it says illegally activates copies of Windows, Office, and other products without being licensed.

Microsoft's lawsuit names the defendants as "JOHN DOES 1-10 using IP address" According to GeekWire, the result of its WHOIS search of that IP address was a Comcast office located in New Jersey, which leaves it unclear about who really lies behind the "JOHN DOES" cited in the suit.

Court documents state: "Defendants activated and attempted to activate thousands of copies of Microsoft software, much of which was pirated and unlicensed." The lawsuit goes on to claim that Microsoft isn't the only entity hurt by these activities; consumers also suffer from "security risks associated with the use of pirated software."

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Circus to Kid Rock: There's Only One "Greatest Show on Earth"

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 28 December, 2017

The phrase "Greatest Show on Earth" has been used by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for a century. Although the circus' owner, Feld Entertainment, ended its iconic circus shows in New York last May, the company earned more than $50 million a year over the last five years for merchandise sold using the "Greatest Show on Earth" trademark.

Reuters reports the phrase has been licensed to several companies, including Chick-Fil-A and Metro PCS, "… but Kid Rock is not one of them," according to Feld Entertainment. Yet, singer Kid Rock's "Greatest Show on Earth" tour is scheduled to begin on December 31 and now he and Live Nation are facing a trademark infringement lawsuit from Feld Entertainment for unauthorized use of the circus' slogan.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Trademark Battle Over Prosciutto di Parma Comes to an End in Canada

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 27 December, 2017

After a two-decade long trademark dispute, Canadians will finally be able to buy Prosciutto di Parma in 2018.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement


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