I’m clearing out for Europe, wending my way eventually to the INTA meeting in Amsterdam. I’m bringing my wifi card, my ethernet cable and two cans and a string so if I can figure out a way to blog, I will. If not, see you May 10.
If you are going to be in Amsterdam, give a holler (or an email).
My anonymous source, Tom at Encirca, tells me that landrush period for the .PRO registry is showing that old sign of strength for a domain – interest in generic names. So names like commercial.law.pro and tax.cpa.pro and healthy.med.pro are going fast (I made those up as examples, btw). Encirca is an accredited registrar for .pro, so Tom ought to know. There is both a sunrise period and a UDRP for .pro.
Via Snark Hunting, commentary on Intel, owner of the INTEL INSIDE mark (one of the most successful ‘ingedient brands’ of all time), going after the ART INSIDE gallery of Massachusetts. Photo via the Boston Globe.
Reuters reports that the RIAA sent out 200,000 copyright infringement warnings to users of the Grokster and KaZaa file-sharing networks this week. The RIAA plans to send out 1 million messages a week.
According to Brandweek, quoting a CLC.com study, the best-selling University trademark, according to royalites, is North Carolina. Rounding out the top ten: Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State, Nebraska, Georgia and Florida State. The top selling manuacturer of University-branded apparel was Nike, and of non-apparel was Electronic Arts.
Blogs, Esq., an article from Corporate Counsel magazine. I should probably re-name my site A Trademark Blog, so as to rank higher in these alphabetical lists of law-related blogs (might hurt my secondary meaning argument, were I to file, however).
Worldcom changing its name back to MCI is only the most recent example of re-branding to avoid badwill associated with a trademark. We will likely not see ADELPHIA, GLOBAL CROSSING or ENRON used much in the future even if the businesses themselves continue. Louis Tompos, a 3L, argues in a note in the Harvard Law Review that re-branding can cause the type of consumer confusion trademark law is supposed to guard against. He argues that people believe “If I had known it was really ValuJet, I would not have chosen AirTrans.” He suggests that some sort of double-branding period be mandated, similar to the Prunes/Dried Plum model.
Having read the abstract, I wonder if existing law isn’t sufficient. A new name (or more to the point, a denial of connection to the old name) may or may not be a false statement of origin actionable under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. Usually defendant says that they are someone they are not, here they say that they are not who they are.
‘Badwill,’ 116 Harv. L. Rev. 1845 (available on Westlaw).