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Archive for December, 2013

Quarterback trademarks: Brady, Romo, RGIII, and more

Posted by ipelton on: December 30th, 2013

Professional quarterbacks in the NFL are often the face of their franchise – the highest paid and featured in the most commercials. Many successful quarterbacks are therefore “brands” for endorsements and more. Which NFL quarterbacks recognize their branding power and have sought registration of trademarks?

Here are the ones I could find (click marks for USPTO record). If I have missed any, let me know. Other than, Tebow, of course – he is not on a current roster.

  • Mark Image(Tom Brady) – registered for Clothing, namely, hats and shirts
  • KAEPERNICKING (Colin Kapernick) – registered for shirts [Note: Kaepernick also owns several other pending applications]
  • Mark Image(Aaron Rodgers) – registered for  Endorsement services, namely, promoting the goods and services of others [Rodgers also owns a standard character registration for AARON RODGERS.]
  • JOE FLACCO – registered for apparel and variety of services including ‘Entertainment in the nature of competitions in the field of athletics; Entertainment in the nature of football games; Entertainment in the nature of football games; Entertainment services, namely, participation in promoting charities; Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a football player’
  • CAM NEWTON – Newton owns several pending applications, including this one for variety of goods and ‘Entertainment services, namely, organization of exhibitions for cultural purposes; training services in the field of football, athletic conditioning and fitness; entertainment services, namely, organizing of sports competitions; entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a sports celebrity; operation of sports camps’
  • Mark Image(Tony Romo) – Registered by Rawlings for footballs
  • ROBERT GRIFFIN III and RG3 and RGIII – (Robert Griffin III) pending applications for apparel. The quarterback also as pending applications for several of his catchphrases.

Which quarterback has the best brand?  Which quarterbacks should protect their name, but have not?

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Anatomy of great branding: the Heinz keystone

Posted by ipelton on: December 27th, 2013

At a recent hockey game, I stumbled upon some brilliant marketing and holistic branding. As detailed in the photos below, the concession stand ketchup and mustard are Heinz brand — as you can tell from the logo on the front. Did you notice that the shape of the entire condiment case was the Heinz keystone?

The keystone shape is registered by Heinz. It appears on most or all of their labels. And it has great meaning. Pennsylvania, the home of Heinz, is the “keystone” state.  It is simple. It is unique. It has meaning and a story behind it. It symbolizes strength and significance. I love it.

And Heinz uses it everywhere – which they should. To show off their brand.  The purpose of trademark law is to communicate the source of the goods to consumers.  The Heinz keystone does just that.

photo 1

photo 2

 What is the keystone of your business? Does your brand – brand name, logo, slogan – capture it in some way?

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Not all logo changes are necessary. Not all logo changes are improvements. While there certainly can be value in updating an old design or changing it to better reflect the business and its message to consumers, some logo changes miss the mark.  Here are few recent logo changes that were made that, in my opinion, are terrible:

  • The National Reconnaissance Office unveiled a logo on a recent satellite mission featuring an octopus and the slogan “NOTHING IS BEYOND OUR REACH.” Given the US government’s recent well publicized issues with allegations concerning its spying, this slogan is rather brash and insensitive. On top of that, the octopus looks bizarre.

NORL-39 octopus logo.jpg

  •  The University of New Hampshire unveiled a new logo this month. It is simple. Too simple in my opinion. It says nothing about the school, about New Hampshire, about its history or its mission or its specialties.  It says, were are clean and futuristic.  I think it is quite bad.

Top Photo

  •  Appalachian State made the logo change (or perhaps just an ‘alternate logo’?) below. The new logo looks a little too playful and amateur in my opinion to represent and serious school. The logo’s name –  Victory Yosef – also seems rather odd.

View image on Twitter

At the end of each year, it is wise to conduct a review of your brand assets. Once you recognize that your company’s intellectual property is among its most valuable assets, conducting such an audit is preventive maintenance to help avoid costly breakdowns (gaps) in protections.  A trademark and copyright audit includes an in-depth review of the legal and marketing picture surrounding your businesses’ intellectual property.

Questions and tasks for performing a basic brand audit:

  • What brand names, slogans, and logo are you currently using?
  • Are each of the items listed in response to the prior questions protected or pending at the USPTO?
  • Are any of your trademark registrations due for renewal?
  • Do you have any “non-traditional” trademarks that should be potentially protected?
  • Are you properly using the various trademark symbols to enhance your protection [TM, SM, (R)] on websites, packaging, and advertisements?
  • Have you set up monitoring (for example, free from Google Alerts) of your key brands?
  • Review business insurance policy for intellectual property coverage
  • Review domain names owned – and potential domain name registrations
  • Review social media usernames – and potential username registrations
  • Ensure that employees and contractors have received guidance for proper trademark usage
  • Review whether any trademark filings outside of the United States might be made
  • If you are planning to launch any new products or brands in 2014, have you cleared the names and filed to protect them based on an “intent to use” the trademarks?
  • Are your contracts with employees, contractors and vendor addressing trademark (and other IP) ownership issues?

A thorough trademark audit is valuable because it helps:

  • prevent unintended lapses in protection
  • guard against unexpected liabilities for trademark situations
  • guard against devaluation of trademarks
  • avoid a failure to police and enforce trademark rights, which could damage or destroy the value of a brand
  • in developing or updating strategic plans related to new products or services or extensions of product lines
  • maximize the benefits from your business’ trademarks and copyrights
  • educate employees about the company’s trademarks and copyrights

Put a trademark audit on your “to do” list this holiday season, and to help ensure that your brand is reaching its maximum potential!

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Recent client trademark registrations LXII

Posted by ipelton on: December 19th, 2013

Here is another update of recent client registrations from the public records for readers to see real examples of brands and marks which are being protected [click trademark or logo to open USPTO records in a new window]:

  • Trademark image – storage of fine art, clothing, wine, and valuables; packing, shipping, and transportation of fine art, clothing, wine, and valuables; rental of warehouse and storage space
  • Trademark image – Gloves for protection against accidents; protective gloves for industrial use; protective work gloves
  • Trademark image– hotel accommodation services; providing temporary housing accommodations
  • INSTALODGE  – hotel accommodation services; providing temporary housing accommodations
  • CALLINSIC – clothing and apparel, namely, shirts
  • BIG MOMMA MODS HOT-N-SPICY SALSA – Salsa
  • UOVO FINE ART STORAGE –   storage of fine art; packing, shipping, and transportation of fine art; rental of warehouse and storage space
  • UOVO FASHION STORAGE – storage of clothing and accessories; rental of warehouse and storage space
  • PACKET ACADEMY – Educational services, namely, instructor-led training and courses to facilitate information technology education and certification test preparation
  • THE LIFE BEYOND LIMITS COACH – Life coaching services in the fields of independent living, life skills, vocational guidance, education counseling and career, resume and interview counseling for people with disabilities and their families
  • DINNER & DIALOGUE – Entertainment services, namely, providing podcasts in the field of restaurants and entertainment
  • THETA –   Gloves for protection against accidents; protective gloves for industrial use; protective work gloves
  • OPENBOARD – Online social networking; providing on-line computer databases and on-line searchable databases in the field of social networking
  • CROSSFUSE – Advertising and marketing services; providing a website featuring marketing, lead generation, and business management information; providing a website featuring marketing information
  • SOLARRAY – Server management services, namely, remote management services for monitoring, administration and management of cloud computing IT and application systems; server technical support and monitoring services, namely, remote administration and management of hosted datacenter databases and software applications, migration of server applications, monitoring of servers and web and database applications and notification of related events and alerts, troubleshooting in the nature of diagnosing computer server problems
  • SOLARVPS – Hosting the software, websites, and computer applications of others on a virtual private server; consulting services in the field of cloud computing; cloud storage services, namely, providing temporary use of online non-downloadable cloud computer software for use in the electronic storage of data; server management services, namely, remote management services for monitoring, administration and management of cloud computing IT and application systems; server technical support and monitoring services, namely, remote administration and management of hosted datacenter databases and software applications, migration of server applications, monitoring of servers and web and database applications and notification of related events and alerts, troubleshooting in the nature of diagnosing computer server and software problems
  • Trademark imageHosting the software, websites, and computer applications of others on a virtual private server; consulting services in the field of cloud computing; cloud storage services, namely, providing temporary use of online non-downloadable cloud computer software for use in the electronic storage of data; server management services, namely, remote management services for monitoring, administration and management of cloud computing IT and application systems; server technical support and monitoring services, namely, remote administration and management of hosted datacenter databases and software applications, migration of server applications, monitoring of servers and web and database applications and notification of related events and alerts, troubleshooting in the nature of diagnosing computer server and software problems