Archive for October, 2012

Could you identify the candy in your Halloween trick or treat bag just by its shape? Many of us could identify a lot of them based on a blind taste test. Or from their logos or wrappers.

But did you know that the configuration or shape of products can be registered ‘non-traditional’ trademarks? And in fact, many candy configurations are registered. Here are some examples. Consider it a Halloween treat for my readers!

Click candy name for link to USPTO registration data:

Ring Pop

Trademark image

Fruit Stripe

Trademark image

Blow Pop

Trademark image


Trademark image


Trademark image

Candy Lips

Trademark image

Tic Tac

Trademark image


 Trademark image


Trademark image


Trademark image

Candy Buttons

Trademark image

Tootsie Roll

Trademark image

Hershey’s Kiss

Trademark image


Trademark image

Altoid’s tin

Trademark image

Dum Dum’s

 Trademark image

Tootsie Pop

Trademark image


Which is your favorite candy configuration?

(c) 2012 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC

Even trademark attorneys receive scam domain name notices

Posted by ipelton on: October 30th, 2012

This week, I received the email below. I’m willing to bet that the facts claimed are not true and that the services they claim to offer are unnecessary.

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on Oct 17, 2012 that a company claimed Eluid investment Co. Ltd were applying to register “erikpelton” as their Net Brand and some domain names through our firm.

Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for Eluid investment Co. Ltd.Looking forward to your prompt reply.

Best Regards,

Tom Yan    

Tel: +0086-28-8591-5586 || Fax: +0086-28-8591-2116

9/F Libao building No,62 Kehua North Road,Wuhou District,Chengdu City,China

A quick search for the information provided in the email reveals that many other have reported on this same hoax (the wording, of course, changes slightly from time to time).

If you ever have doubts about such a solicitation, (a) search only for the information using a sentence from the questionable email, and (2) contact an attorney.

World’s 10 simplest brands: creative names and great logos

Posted by ipelton on: October 29th, 2012

The Siegel+Gale Global Brand Simplicity Index features a ranking of the “simplest” and most successful brands. According to their rankings, the top ten are:

  1. Subway
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts
  3. Google
  4. Amazon
  5. Netflix
  6. Publix
  7. Apple
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Starbucks
  10. Zappos

There are two themes present among these ten:

  • creative names
  • great logo designs

Subway is a play on words of course. They sell submarine sandwiches, not trains. Netflix is a great suggestive easy and fun word. Dunkin’ Donuts is fun to say, alliterative and suggestive of coffee and pastries. Google is suggestive of large numbers – googolplex. Zappos is taken from the Spanish word for shoes, zapatos.

And check out the logos below. Simple. Clean. Iconic.


Netflix logo.svg

Zappos logo color.jpg

File:Ikea logo.svg

Dunkin Donuts logo


Whether your business is large or small, these examples are powerful. Is your brand name overly simple? Is your logo unnecessarily cluttered? Simple is good. Simple can be powerful.

Additional reading: Co.Design – Google, Ikea, Apple: The World’s 10 Simplest Brands


2012 Trademark Expo at USPTO – a photo journal

Posted by ipelton on: October 26th, 2012

Last week the USPTO held it’s annual Trademark Expo. While I was unable to attend, an intern in my office – Miroslav Novakovic – snapped the photos below of some of the exhibits and characters. It looks like another great event, with even more exhibitors than past year including new exhibits such as Under Armour and Zip Car.

Were you there? What was your favorite exhibit?

As noted earlier, the USPTO seeks comments regarding some issues related to the trademark application filing fees. The comment deadline regarding the request related to the possibility of Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse of registered trademarks been extended to November 5, 2012.

But the USPTO has already begun posting the responses received so far.

Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse