What is a Trademark Disclaimer, Anyway?

Taking a slight break from the current news and topics this week to talk about our favorite topic at OG+S: trademarks. A Little Background: Not every word or phrase in the universe can be trademarked. Specifically, words that are generic or descriptive (without something more) cannot be protected. It sounds complicated, but most of the … Read more

First to File? First to Use? It’s Not the Same Everywhere! Thoughts on Trademark Strategy for Global Companies:

Trademarks are our jam at OG+S. This post is a short one about trademark strategy and what to think about if your brand has a global reach. First to Use: In the United States, we have a “first to use” system when it comes to trademarks. What that means is that the Company who uses … Read more

Stand for Something…or Fall for My Perfume

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference, Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope said: “We believe the evidence is clear and compelling that brands with purpose grow. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we are prepared to commit that in the future, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose.”  That seems to … Read more

Duke vs. Duke – The Epic Trademark Battle That Never Happened

Alright everybody, file this one under: “Wow, he really likes video games and cartoons.” After my last fun post about Crazy Taxi, I got to thinking about two more great characters from my childhood – Duke Nukem (of Apogee \3d Realms fame) and Duke Nukem (Captain Planet’s radioactive nemesis). How could two identically named characters … Read more

Lambic, Gueuze, and Methode Traditionelle

There is a really long explanation that goes around Certification Marks, Geographical Indications, and the respect Americans must give to their European counterparts. Moreover, there is a long and tortured history of international law, broken treaties, and implemented international protocols dedicated to recognizing trademarks, appelation d’origine controlle (AOC), and other designations across borders. I’m not … Read more

Definitely Not Granny Approved

Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a),  is an absolute bar to federal trademark registration of immoral or scandalous matter.  The ban on scandalous and immoral trademark registrations is not new.  It first came into federal law in the Trade-Mark Act of 1905 and reaffirmed as part of §2(a) of the Act of 1946. … Read more

Shield your Goodwill with Strong Trademarks

Just like Steve Rogers through his transition to Captain America, trademarks vary in strength.  Some are burly superheroes, and some are weaklings hiding behind their bigger friends for protection.  What makes a mark strong versus weak?  The level of which your mark describes the good or service that you are selling.  There is a spectrum … Read more

Mark Madness

We now know the brackets for the NCAA tournament.  How people choose their winners can be everything from favorite colors to hours of study.  But two things are always certain during the tournament:  Upset wins and a crackdown on businesses using “March Madness” without permission. Starting right around now, many companies are looking to cash in on … Read more

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