29
Nov/04

The Novy Ochevidets. Yes, The Novy Ochevidets.


An NPR story on NOVY OCHEVIDETS, or NEW EYEWITNESS, a new Russian magazine referred to as a dead-ringer for THE NEW YORKER.

Assuming Conde Naste (publisher of The New Yorker) were to protest, this case would be one for the books.  The article states that there is no foreign language edition of The New Yorker (which is not to say that the English version doesn’t find its way to Russia). 

Assume for the sake of argument that CN has Russian registrations for the cyrillic translation AND transliteration of NEW YORKER, this mark isn’t either (and would such registrations be valid if never used?).

Typeface similarities between roman and cyrillic?  Compare the O’s and the E’s.

Look and feel of the magazine as a copyright concept?

A series of magazine covers as a famous trademark?  (it’s difficult to get protection for non-traditional trademarks under Article 6bis, the argument being that the treaty can’t protect the types of trademarks that weren’t recognized when the treaty was signed).

If only the Russian magazine would publish a drawing of Eustace Tilley looking at a butterfly through a monocle, then this would be an easy case.  New Yorker covers here.



29
Nov/04

Rudolph and Rude Elf


A trademark tale for the holidays: After a protest from the Rudolph Company, the brewery behind RUDOLPH’S RESERVE Beer has re-named its product as RUDE ELF BEER.  Thanks to Jay from Igor.



24
Nov/04

Hooters In Trade Dress Suit


Hooters has sued WingHouse, for infringing the trade dress of its ‘breastaurant” (not my term).  Thanks to Bradford for the tip.  For more on trade dress protection of restaurants, see Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc., 505 US 763 (1992).



24
Nov/04

More On Perfect 10 v. Google


Chilling Effects identifies two previous DMCA notice letters sent by Perfect 10 to Google.  Wendy Seltzer comments on this and other issues in the case.



24
Nov/04

Who Will Receive Reduced Trademark Filing Fees?


The hub-bub on the INTA Listserv is about pending fee increases at the PTO (the Patent Bar is upset that patent fee diversion to other branches of government will apparently continue – see here).

The per-class trademark filing fee will likely go to $375 however electronic filing will remain at $335.  Interestingly, there will be a reduction to $275 for electronic filing that meets ‘additional requirements.’  One rumor is that the additional requriements will consist of prosecuting the entire application electronically (fair enough – I do that already).  

More tantalizing is the rumor that the reduced fee will be available to applications that select descriptions of goods and services from a pre-existing list.

Assuming that the list is comprehensive enough (nice assumption), then I can only say amen to that. 



24
Nov/04

He Who Must Not Be Named (in a Lawsuit)


Every so often you read about a guy who trademarks (or this case, ‘copyrights’) his own name so that people can’t refer to him.  More here.



23
Nov/04

But What Does It Mean?


The Google linkometer indicates that 2000 websites have linked to this blog.



23
Nov/04

Attention All Firms Based in the Euro-Zone


If you’ve been holding off retaining U.S. counsel until now, the Euro has just hit a record high against the dollar.  Our firm’s fees will seem more reasonable than ever to you.



23
Nov/04

"Building A Brand by Not Being a Brand"


NY Times article (reg. req.) on American Apparel, which is “Building a Brand by Not Being a Brand,” if you go in for that reverse psychology kind of thing.   There ‘is not a logo in sight’ in its 26 stores.

The PTO online database indicates that its application for AMERICAN APPAREL has been approved for publication after the applicant submitted evidence of secondary meaning (the mark has been in use since 1988 – the company also owns prior registrations for ALL AMERICAN APPAREL).

MUJI is a Japanese retailer that also adopts ‘no branding’ branding.

UPDATE: A branding consultant gives her opinion on ‘no branding.



23
Nov/04

Paying $1 Billion For Counterfeits


NY Times article (Reg. req.) estimating that trademark counterfeits cost New York City $1 billion in lost revenue, annually.