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Archive for December, 2009

Coke bottle – Most famous trademark in the world?

Posted by ipelton on: December 29th, 2009

I just purchased this week a new 2-liter Coca-Cola bottle in the shape of its well known smaller bottles.  This is part of a new promotion by Coke to capitalize on the recognition and brand power contained in the contour shape of the bottle.  Few if any brands are more known world-wide than Coke and its bottle.  I once heard a story that the only term more known world-wide than “Coke” is “OK.”

The Coke bottle design was introduced decades ago.   The bottle shape has been a registered trademark since 1977.  That’s right, a shape of a package or produce can be produced as a trademark, to the extent the shape is not functional.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola
  • http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/my_weblog/2008/06/the-contour-bot.html
  • http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/presscenter/nr_20080613_2l_contour.html

- Coke registered bottle shape (http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=73088384)

LESSON: Anything that distinguishes your products and services from those of your competitors – a name, logo, slogan, color, sound, or shape – may be a trademark and may be registered.  To make your brand stand out, make everything about it as unique as possible, and protect it!

Holiday Greetings from Erik M. Pelton & Associates

Posted by ipelton on: December 20th, 2009

This holiday season we are particularly grateful for the clients and friends who make our work at Erik M. Pelton & Associates possible and enjoyable.  Thank you for your continued trust and loyalty as we enter the New Year.

As you know, a distinctive and protected brand is valuable in any economy.  When times are tough, strong brands help businesses get the most out of every marketing dollar.  As the economy rebounds, businesses that have made intelligent investments in their brands will be best positioned to stand out from their competitors and capture customer’s attention and loyalty.  We are proud to provide services which help our clients build and protect their brands.  These brands in turn provide customers with software, food and dining, apparel, cosmetics, information, music, green products and services, and just about every other part of the economy.

To further increase the value provided to clients in 2009, we froze our rates and took measures to increase the efficiency of our services by investing in the design of custom software that manages our docket and client communications.  At the same time, we began posting valuable tips about brand and trademark protection on the new IPelton blog (http://ipelton.wordpress.com) and expanded our presence on social media sites like Facebook (www.facebook.com/tm4smallbiz) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/tm4smallbiz).

We continue to take great pride in providing high-quality, professional legal counsel to our clients for an affordable flat fee.  In 2009, we have filed more than 175 new trademark applications and our clients have received more than 170 U.S. trademark registrations.  This year we also filed numerous copyright applications and international trademark applications; drafted and reviewed contracts, licenses, and terms of use policies; stopped numerous trademark infringers; assisted clients with domain name and social media issues; and participated in clients’ strategic planning and branding decisions.

We would like to extend to you, your family, and colleagues our warmest wishes for the holidays and the New Year ahead.

Yours truly,

Erik M. Pelton

Recent trademark registrations

Posted by ipelton on: December 11th, 2009

Here is another sampling of some recent registrations our clients have received from the USPTO, so readers can see real examples of brands and marks which are being protected. (These are all public records – click on trademark name or logo to view USPTO records.)

  • LYNDELL CAREY COACHING for “Personal coaching services in the field of life, relationships, business, finance, marketing and career;” “Personal growth and motivation consulting services, namely, peak performance consulting; personal lifestyle consulting services, namely, peak performance training”
  • ACTIVINSIGHT for “Training services in the field of personal resilience and stress management”
  • THE PRIVACY COUNCIL for “Association services promoting the interests of marketers and promoting the management of personal data online;” “privacy services, namely, assisting individual and companies protect their financial and personal information; website featuring information in the field of privacy laws and security”
  • GREEN IS GOLDEN MARKETING, INC. for “advertising services, namely, marketing, promotions, public relations”
  • DISASTER AMERICA for “General construction contracting; disaster recovery services in the nature of building construction, repair and renovation consultation; structural building repair services; restoration in the field of buildings; building demolition and debris removal; cleaning services in the field of water damage restoration of buildings, namely, water removal and drying; restoration in the field of paper documents”
  • NUSTAIR for “Stair remodeling system comprised of wood parts for stairs, namely, stair treads, stair risers, and shims for covering old stair treads and stair risers; non-metal stairs; stair treads not of metal; Non-metal stairs; stair treads not of metal”
  • LEFTY O’DOUL’S for “restaurant and bar”
  • REVOLUTION SOLUTION for “Educational services, namely, conducting informal programs in the fields of sustainable living, organic foods and gardening, homesteading, the environment, and conservation, using on-line activities and interactive exhibits; entertainment services, namely, providing a web site featuring photographic, audio and video featuring sustainable living, organic foods and gardening, homesteading, the environment, and conservation; on-line journals, namely, blogs featuring sustainable living, organic foods and gardening, homesteading, the environment, and conservation”
  • for “Hunting equipment, namely, duck calls and goose calls for use by waterfowlers”
  • BODY ELEMENTS for “Bath brushes; Bath products, namely, body sponges; Bath products, namely, loofah sponges; Bath products, namely, natural sea sponges; Bath sponges; Body scrubbing puffs; Cosmetic brushes; Exfoliating mitts; Exfoliating pads; Make-up brushes; Sponge massagers”
  • AFROFOODTV for “entertainment services in the nature of ongoing television programs in the field of cooking and culinary arts; providing non-downloadable instructional videos and non-downloadable videos of television programs all in the field of cooking and culinary arts”
  • FREE RANGE TEA for “tea”
  • VOXY AWARDS for “Arranging and conducting contests and award programs in the field of popular culture events, sporting events, television, fashion and entertainment”
  • DIGITAL 1 MEDIA for “Multimedia entertainment software production services”
  • DIGITAL 1 DJ for “Computer software for audio and video mixing and editing”
  • MIDDLE AGE PRODIGY for “Education services, namely, providing seminars and workshops in the field of mid-life career and personal change; providing a website featuring online seminars, information, audio downloads, blogs, articles, and columns in the field of mid-life career and personal change counseling”
  • for “Religious services, namely, providing members with divine worship services”
  • for “Real estate brokerage; real estate services, namely, real estate acquisition services, real estate listing services for the housing rentals and apartment rentals, real estate multiple listing services, real estate valuation services, real estate consultation; real estate equity sharing, namely, managing and arranging for co-ownership of real estate; real estate investment; real estate listing; real estate management; real estate management consultation; real estate rental services, namely, rental of residential housing; real estate services, namely, providing online questionnaire to help users determine the best neighborhoods and communities suited to their individual needs and preferences; real estate time-sharing; providing a database of information about residential real estate listings in different neighborhoods and communities; providing information in the field of real estate by means of linking the web site to other web sites featuring real estate information; providing real estate listings and real estate information via the Internet”

Thus far in 2009, more than 160 registrations have been received by our clients!

Love it or Leave it – new Aol. logo

Posted by ipelton on: December 9th, 2009

AOL is now Aol. with lower case letters and a period.  The new Aol. is launching a series of six new logos.  This image re-branding is the result of Aol.’s spinoff from Time Warner after a largely unsuccessful merger.

An image or brand name re-do is usually an attempt at a clean start with consumers.  The company is saying, forget our past, we are new and different now.  Did AOL need a brand overhaul? I’m not sure.  It depends what there new message will be.  AOL certainly reminds me of the old days of the internet, when everyone was on dial-up and having your own website or domain name for email was rare and less simple.  Of course, that world is long gone today.  So the concept of presenting a new Aol. may be a good one.

The six logos certainly make an attempt to be hip and cheeky. Of the lot, the ‘scribble’ one is my favorite.  I’m not sure what “hang 10″, goldfish, weather patterns, and the others have to do with internet media.  For that matter, I’m not sure what the ‘scribble’ means but it is perhaps suggestive of the internet – a big scribble or mess of wire that some people want or need help to guide us through and make sense of.  Maybe have no clear meaning is the point, but if you are going to re-brand your image and spend what I’m sure is millions of dollars to promote the new brand, you need a message or you are wasting a great opportunity to communicate with potential customers.  Other than “different from the old AOL,” I’m not sure what the new Aol. message is.  And no message is worse than the existing message, even if it is outdated there is still a generation of internet users clinging to old AOL email addresses.

Bottom line: LEAVE the new Aol. logo.  I am not convinced that the new “Aol.” is any different or better than the old AOL.  And in doing the brand overhaul, the company is essentially admitting that it is running from its past, and message that must be countered by a clear direction for the future in order to keep old customers and find new ones.

Lesson: What does your logo and branding say about your company?  If the message does not communicate and resonate with your target audience, perhaps you need a re-branding that does.