Articles by: Bill Ferrell

black bear

Bears in Nashville!

Bears have always been my favorite wild animal, so I was stoked to find out that black bears have been spotted in Middle Tennessee and even in Nashville. As sightings began to spread from Spring Hill to counties north of Nashville, my happiness turned to concern. What should I do if I happen upon a bear on one of my daily walks? What should I tell my kids to do if they encounter a bear in the neighborhood? The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Agency has these tips for living among black bears: Never feed or approach bears! If a bear [...]
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Apple iOS 12 Bug: Memoji Trademark Dispute

Here in The Tree, we love Apple products. We anxiously await any new updates to the hardware or software. We are also goofballs, so we were very excited to download iOS 12 and use the new Memoji feature. “Memoji” is a portmanteau of “me” and “emoji”. The feature allows you to shoot live video of an animated version of yourself ( a “Memoji”). It’s a blast. In addition to Apple products, we also love trademarks. So, we were doubly excited to find out that there is a trademark issue involving Apple’s use of the Memoji trademark. Another company claims to [...]
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Uber Logo on Phone

Uber Logo Uber Alles

The Uber logo has changed again. This time, for the better. As you may remember, way back in 2016 Uber changed its "U" logo to a more "futuristic" design. The Internet, kind soul that it is, immediately noticed that when turned 90 degrees, the logo looked like a certain part of the human anatomy: It took Uber just two short years to come up with a new "cleaner" design. You may have noticed the change in the app icon design on your phone. The Old Uber Logo v. The New Uber Logo I like the new logo, but that's [...]
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lots o pot leaves

Weed Spectator sued by Wine Spectator

There is no doubt that the marijuana business is a budding industry. Negative public opinions about marijuana have faded and more and more states are legalizing its medical and recreational use. New businesses are seeking the pot of gold at the end of the legal marijuana rainbow by pushing marijuana use into the mainstream. One of these companies has launched a website that allows marijuana users to rate the various types of the plant, much like a wine connoisseur. The website is called “Weed Spectator,” which is a twist on the wine rating magazine “Wine Spectator.” Wine Spectator is not [...]
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Man with binoculars

TrademarkNow is Launching a Free Search

Usually things just get more expensive over time, so it's always great news when something comes down in price. That's especially true with something as notoriously expensive as trademark searching. So, we were tickled to find out that our search provider, TrademarkNow, is going to be offering a free search! Trademark searching is the most vital part of the trademark process. Not properly clearing your trademark can land you in some legal hot water. That means that every business needs to do a trademark search, even if you don't want to register your trademark. You should do an initial "knockout" [...]
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Sad Furry

Comic Con Trademark: Attorneys’ Fees Are No Laughing Matter

It doesn’t happen very often, but a judge has awarded attorneys’ fees in a trademark case. For years now, San Diego Comic Con has been in a dispute with Salt Lake Comic Con over San Diego Comic Con’s COMIC-CON trademark (Back in 2014, resident cosplay expert, furry aficionado, and larping champion Kevin Hartley wrote about this dispute on our old blog). In this installment of the dispute, the California judge has entered an injunction against Salt Lake City Comic Con and awarded attorneys’ fees. Other stuff happened too, but I want to talk about the attorneys’ fees issue. In many [...]
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Poke Bowl

Don’t Poke the Bear- The Aloha Poke Co. Trademark

As a trademark owner, you need to enforce your rights or you could potentially lose them, but sending out trademark cease and desist letters can be tricky. These letters can wind up circulated widely on social media, and every couple of months it seems like one devolves into a PR catastrophe. This episode of Cease and Desist Letters Gone Wrong involves the Hawaiian dish “poke”. Poke consists of cubed raw fish, rice, and sauce. It’s delicious and relatively healthy so, through the magic of capitalism, poke restaurants have sprung up all over the country. One of these poke restaurants, Aloha [...]
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9th Circuit in Empire State of Mind

Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ended Empire record label’s trademark infringement lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Television over the name of the television show “Empire,” on First Amendment grounds. The record label, Empire Distribution Inc., which reps hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg (and is not the fictitious record store) had sued Fox in 2015. Empire claimed, among other things, a likelihood of confusion between the Empire television program (which is about the rap game) and the label, at least when used on musical soundtracks accompanying the show. Fox argued that the name of the show relates […]

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Humvee sues “Call of Duty” Maker Activision for Trademark Infringment

AM General, has sued Activision Blizzard Inc., the maker of the popular video game “Call of Duty” for trademark infringement for using images of its Humvee military vehicles in the game. The Humvee (short for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles) has been widely used by the  US military for years, and is a favorite of barbarian-turned-governer, Arnold Schwarzenegger.   This will be an interesting case to watch since, in addition to the HUMVEE and HMMWV trademarks, it also involves trade dress.    

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