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Archive for February, 2011

Anatomy of a U.S. Customs Recordation

Posted by admin on: February 28th, 2011

One of the many benefits of federal trademark registration with the USPTO is the ability to ‘record’ the trademark with U.S. Customs.

Customs agents will then be on the lookout for infringers and knock-offs – helping to police the trademark for you – at its 317 ports of entry. The cost for Customs recordation is just $190 per International Class of goods. Also, trademarks recorded with Customs show up in their database (http://iprs.cbp.gov) which may be searched by importers or others and could potentially prevent an infringement from happening without you lifting a finger or even knowing it. While there is no guarantee that Customs will catch an infringing shipment, the potential value of such a catch far outweighs the $190 filing fee.

I recently decided to experience the Customs recording process first hand to learn more about it. I registered my Apptorney® trademark with U.S. Customs.

This is what the recordation looks like in the Customs online database (click image to enlarge):

The recordation process was quite simple to complete online and took less than 15 minutes.

Here is the text of email from Customs confirming the recordation had been made:

Dear  Erik Pelton:

The following Trademark e-Recordation. has been recorded with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Intellectual Property Rights Branch

Copyright Office/PTO Reg. No.: 3902187

CBP Recordation No.: TMK 11-00163

Effective Date: 2/15/2011

This trademark recordation has been added to Customs Intellectual Property Rights computer module for access by CBP Officers at all ports of entry.

We would also like to inform you that we recently implemented Intellectual Property Rights e-Recordation (IPRR), an online application system for recording trademarks and copyrights.  We encourage you to use the system, as it significantly reduces the application processing period.  The URL is: https://apps.cbp.gov/e-recordations/.

In addition, public versions of each of CBP’s more than 18,000 IPR recordations can now be viewed online at the “IPRS” (Intellectual Property Rights Search) database located at the CBP website at the following web address: http://iprs.cbp.gov/

Within 24 hours, you can view your recordation at: http://iprs.cbp.gov/index.asp?action=search&searchArg=TMK+11%2D00163

Please note that it is the recordant’s responsibility to promptly advise CBP of any material changes made to recordations including, but not limited to, changes in ownership or control, licensees, manufacturers, contact persons, and telephone numbers.  Furthermore, in order to ensure uninterrupted enforcement of a recordation by the CBP, it is the recordant’s responsibility to promptly re-record recordations upon their expiration.  When providing this office with such updates, please send the information to:

iprr.questions@dhs.gov (preferred)

or

Intellectual Property Rights Branch

Office of Regulations & Rulings

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Department of Homeland Security

1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Mint Annex, Washington, D.C. 20229.

Actually, both reasons are on the same panel! The new Commissioner for Trademarks, Deborah Cohn, and I will both be a part of the “Trademark Prosecution Best Practices” panel on Thursday April 7th at 3:30 PM.


If you are coming to the conference, let me know so we can get together for coffee or a drink.

Recent trademark registrations

Posted by admin on: February 23rd, 2011

Here is another sampling of recent registrations our clients have received from the USPTO, so readers can see real examples of brands and marks which are being protected [click trademark or logo to open USPTO records]:

  • - Consulting services for the meat and poultry industries in the fields of new product development, and meat science
  • ARIA – computer software for music making, editing, mixing, playing karaoke, playlists, downloading
  • Formula for Miracles – Digital media, namely, downloadable documents and audio files featuring self improvement
  • CHLORESSENCE – Dietary supplement in powder, capsules, tablets, liquids; dietary supplement for use in meal replacements, shakes, smoothies, and bars
  • AIR ROASTED WITH A SMOOTH KICK – Cafe and drive-thru cafe services featuring coffee and espresso based beverages, smoothies, and other specialty drinks
  • COWBOY COOLER – frozen coffee based beverage
  • MR MEDIA TRAINING – Providing training in the field of media relations; Providing media relations training for spokespersons; providing educational instruction programs and training in the field of media relations
  • RECLAIM YOUR TERRITORY – mold remediation services
  • - Massage apparatus, abdominal and back supports for medical purposes
  • - Financial and investment services, namely, management and brokerage in the fields of stocks, bonds, options, futures and other securities, and the investment of funds of others; Financial asset management
  • BIG PICTURE. SMALL DETAILS. STRONG IMPACT.
  • THE HILL GROUP
    • Business consulting; business strategic, tactical, operational planning; Advertising through all public communication means; strategic services, namely, development of marketing strategies and concepts;, business and action planning consulting services; Business consultation services, namely, business process improvement and enterprise architecture design; business decision-making consulting; arranging and conducting business conferences and corporate event management; marketing and promotional services, namely, development of advertising campaigns for print communication and interactive web design; arranging and conducting conferences, meeting planning and corporate event management services all for business purposes; computerized on-line ordering services of business and personal print communications, namely, annual reports, abstract books, reports to Congress, tradeshow exhibits and large-scale signage, name badges, signage, posters, programs, tent cards, greeting cards, postcards, flat note cards, stationery, invitations, calendars, photo cards, brochures, program pamphlets, and postcards; presentation of goods via electronic communication media for retail purposes; social media strategy and marketing consultancy focusing on helping clients create and extend their product and brand strategies by building virally engaging marketing solutions; business research using and conducting focus group; Arranging and conducting educational conferences, meeting and seminar arranging; consulting services in the field of publication of newsletters, on-line electronic newsletters delivered by email in the field of scientific public outreach and communications;
      Graphic design, consulting services in the field of design of newsletters, creating websites for others, interactive design services in the field of scientific public outreach and communications
  • - Jewelry; Clothing, namely, pants, sweatpants, shirts, uniforms, socks, shorts, tank tops, jackets, sweatshirts, shoes
  • Registered Functional Therapist RFT – Certification in the field of occupational therapy services
  • DÖLÜX – Restaurant and bar services; Restaurant and cafe services; Restaurant services, including sit-down service of food and take-out restaurant services; Restaurants
  • Your Mapper – Providing a website that gives users the ability to create customized web pages featuring user-defined information for a particular geographic area; providing customized online web pages featuring user-defined information regarding a particular geographic area, which includes search engines and online web links to other web sites; hosting an online interactive website featuring information regarding a particular geographic area; providing an interactive website featuring maps of particular geographic areas featuring data and information regarding that geographic area which may be organized and viewed in accordance to certain parameters
  • ELEVATION TO HUMANPersonal coaching services in the field of life, relationships, business, finance, marketing and career; personal lifestyle consulting services, namely, peak performance training; Personal growth and motivation consulting services, namely, peak performance consulting
  • ION - Investment management and asset management services, namely, hedge fund investment services and management of capital investment funds

Pepsi Max – love it or leave it?

Posted by admin on: February 22nd, 2011

During recent weeks I have seen a lot of commercials for Pepsi MAX soft drink. Is this a good brand name choice for Pepsi?

Pepsi MAXis another mistake from Pepsi in my opinion. As I wrote in 2009, I am no fan of the latest version of the Pepsi logo.

What is Pepsi MAX? It sounds like it should have more of something – more flavor, more caffeine, more anything. But according the Pepsi website, it is “a zero calorie cola with maximum Pepsi taste.”  But the name does not communicate the most important feature and selling point – zero calories. In fact, the name conveys the opposite, more (MAX) rather than less.

If I were Pepsi, I would have branded this zero calorie soda with a totally different name that did not even include “Pepsi” in it.  That way it could be marketed to two audiences — people who do not like Pepsi but are looking for a zero calorie soda, and people who like Pepsi and willing to try a zero calorie version. It could have still featured the Pepsi logo on the can or been “from the makers of Pepsi” so that Pepsi drinkers would know.

What about calling it ZIP or FREE or something along those lines? (Assuming those names are available – I have not done a thorough search)

Pepsi MAX logo U.S. Trademark Registration

Pepsi MAX is misleading and fails to communicate the most important selling point to consumers.

PS – Remember Crystal Pepsi or Pepsi Clear?!

The world of Disney

Posted by admin on: February 21st, 2011

Today I begin a family vacation to Disney World® in Orlando. Of course, I am looking forward to vacation and to watching my children experience Disney World for the first time. But I hope to take some pictures and notes about Disney’s use of intellectual property and trademarks. As of today, Disney owns more than 1,400 registered U.S. trademarks!

Here are a few of the more well-known ones related to the amusement parks:

Watch for more posts in the next few days Disney and the power of successful branding.