Ernie the Attorney vs. the Nifty Fifty

Article on law blogs which proves that Ernie the Attorney is more popular than the ‘best’ law firm websites.

Tidbit arising out of my own insecurity: while my links pale in comparison to those of Ernie, this site also has more inbound links than those of the sites listed in the article.

Aside: Actual traffic is a better indicator of website popularity than inbound links.  It’s hard to say what the number of inbound links is a good indicator for.

Final aside: Revenue is a better indicator of law firm marketing success than  website popularity.



According to this article, Colgate Palmolive, owner of, among other products,  SOFTSOAP liquid hand soap, is suing Blue Cross Labs, producer of, among other products, SMOOTHSOAP liquid hand soap, for trademark and trade dress infringement. 


The Color of Pills

Plainitff Shire manufactures and sells ADDERALL which is prescribed for ADHD.  It moved to enjoin defendant Barr Lab’s generic alternative on the grounds that it infringed Shire’s trade dress in the shape and color of the pill.  The Third Circuit affirmed the refsual of the motion for preliminary injunction because Shire did not establish that its trade dress was non-functional.  The case has a thorough discussion of the functionality of color in medication.  The district court had credited testimony that color coding of meds was particularly functional for ADHD patients.

Manufacturers of branded medication will be reaching for their Zantac when they read the testimony from an executive from Rite-Aid, who testified that a generic drug’s visual similarity to the branded drug is in effect functional as it aids in the generic version’s acceptance.

Shire v. Barr, No. 02-3647 (3d Cir. May 23, 2003).


Settlement re: "Your Computer Is Broadcasting Your IP Address" Ads

Via BNA, a MSNBC article reporting that, Bonzi, an online advertiser, settled a lawsuit, apparently brought by a class-action law firm, regarding its advertisements which mimic a Windows dialogue box and state that your computer is broadcasting an IP address.  The advertiser agreed in an order entered in Washington state court that:    

* Future Bonzi ad banners designed to look like Windows dialogue boxes will contain the word “Advertisement” — and it will be the same size as other words in the header.
* Bonzi ads won’t contain minimize, maximize, or “x” buttons that do not actually perform their usual function.
* “OK” buttons on such dialogue boxes will be changed to read “More Info.”
* Bonzi’s ads will also no longer assert that users’ computers are “broadcasting” their IP addresses


Democrats, WD-40 and Duct Tape

Via NameProtect, an article on WD-40 protesting slippery Texas Democrats referring to themselves as the WD-40s.   Another article here.

WD-40’s slogan is “We Live Under The Sink, In The Garage and in the Toolboxes of the World.”

Attorney General Ashcroft is credited with popularizing the expression that you only need two things in life, duct tape for things that move that shouldn’t and WD-40 for things that don’t move that should.

The Duct Tape/WD-40 Cam is here.


Corporate Names and Domain Names Alone Do Not Equal Trademark Rights.

Decent article from BusinessWeek Online explaining how registering a corporate name and registering a domain name alone, do not create protectable trademark rights.


Personal Names and Google URLs

Dave Weinberger on domain names, personal names and Google URLs, via The Guardian.


Google and 'Anti' Adwords

The Register on Google pulling ‘negative’ adwords regarding UK retailer Dixons.  There is also a subscriber-only article on the matter from the Australian Financial Review.  Background here.


Fed Circuit on Geographically Misdescriptive Marks

 Federal Circuit case reversing and remanding the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejection of a trademark application:  A geographically mis-descriptive mark will be rejected if the PTO shows that mis-descriptiveness was material to the public’s decision to buy the product (which it did not in this case). I might care if my Tillamook Chedder isn’t from Tillamook County.  I might not care if my California Innovations insulated diaper bag is not from California.  In re California Innovations, Inc., 02-1407 (Fed Cir May 22, 2002) (via Finnegans).


Know Your Cheese Names: PECORINO ROMANO

Pecorino Romano, literally ‘sheep’s milk from Rome,’ is one of the more popular grating cheeses in the world.  Eaten by Romulus himself, PECORINO ROMANO is a Protected Designation of Origin in Europe and a Certification Mark in the U.S., where the Pecorino Romano consortium certifes that the cheese must conform to the following:

(1) characteristics (hard; cylindrical shape with flat sides; generally produced in blocks between 20 and 35 kg in weight and between 25 and 35 cm in height; rind is eventually coated with white or black natural plastic films; compact, white or slightly straw-yellow body; characteristic piquant taste; minimum of 36% fat on the dried substance);

(ii) production methods (made from 100% whole, fresh sheep’s milk curdled with lamb’s rennet between October and July; dry or humid salted in special places; aged at least five months not for grating use or at least eight months for grating use); and

(iii) regional origin (the area of Italy comprising the territory of the regions of Latium and Sardinia and the province of Grosseto (Tuscany)).

Use of the term “PECORINO ROMANO” on cheese that does not meet all of the aforesaid requirements is punishable in Italy by fine or imprisonment.

LOCATELLI ROMANO is not a PDO but a brand, owned by Nestle.