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Anatomy of a great trademark portfolio: BUILD-A-BEAR

Posted by ipelton on: April 19th, 2013

Kids teddy bears may seem cute and cuddly (and of course, they are) but they are also big business. For example, the BUILD-A-BEAR® empire is a major presence in malls and at birthday parties. And their trademark portfolio is extensive!

The Build-A-Bear company owns more than 200 U.S. trademark registrations. They have protected all elements of their brand including product names, service names, slogan, logos, storefront trade dress designs, packaging, and other non-traditional trademarks (see below for interesting details). They have creative names for everything, and they have protected them. That makes their brand more valuable and more unique. Someone else could sell teddy bears that kids help make in the store, but kids are very familiar with brands, and no one else can easily copy the names or replicate the trade dress used by Build-A-Bear since they are so well protected.

BUILD-A-BEAR is a great example of a rich trademark portfolio for these reasons, namely that it has many coined names and phrases, a plethora of registrations covering all types of marks in a variety of classes of goods and services, as well as creative  non-traditional trademarks and trade tress. And the BUILD-A-BEAR name itself is suggestive of the services, which is my preferred type of name.

Here are some of the elements of that rich and extensive portfolio (click mark or image for USPTO records):

  • BEAR BOOTIQUE – Accessories for stuffed and plush toy animals and dolls, namely footwear and hosiery; storage case and carrying case for accessories for stuffed and plush toy animals and dolls
  • Trademark image– Retail store services featuring electronic musical devices, CD roms, stickers, publications, stuffed and plush toys and accessories therefor, backpacks, and carrying cases
  • Trademark image– [Description of mark: The mark consists of a three dimensional heart shaped object. The outline of a teddy bear is used to signify the placement of a hear shaped object inside a stuffed or plush toy animal; the teddy bear design itself is not claimed as part of the mark, as the heart shaped object may be placed in any stuffed or plush toy animal] plush animals and stuffed toy animals; retail store services featuring plush toy animals, stuffed toy animals, and accessories
  • SAY IT WITH SOUND – Retail store services featuring both prerecorded sound discs and sound discs in which messages can be recorded and placed in stuffed and plush toy animals and accessories
  • BEAR BUCK$ – Prepaid gift cards with magnetic coding
  • HAPPY BEARTHDAY – Stuffed and plush toy animals
  • Trademark image– Toy accessories, namely toy clothing
  • Trademark image– [Description of mark: The mark comprises a three-dimensional fanciful representation of an old-fashioned footed bathtub, with depiction of bath water, bubbles faucets with knobs, and a grated surface area] retail store services featuring stuffed and plush toy animals, and accessories and other goods relating to stuffed and plush toy animals, namely, section of the store which provide assistance to customers in grooming and finishing of stuffed and plush toy animals
  • STITCHED WITH LOVE – toy clothing for plush toy animals and stuffed toy animals
  • BEHIND THE SEAMS – On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring product reviews, historical data, community involvement, entertainment, family activities, instructional guides, children’s education, and topics of discussion of general interest to children and families
  • Trademark image– [Mark description: The mark consists of a three dimensional handled box shaped like a building] toy playhouses and carrying cases for stuffed toy animals and plush toy animals and accessories therefor

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