Articles by: Bill Ferrell

Trademarks Become NFL Trash Talk Fodder

It’s no secret that we are big fans of trademarks, but we understand that it’s not an exciting topic for most folks. So, we were super excited to see trademarks become the center piece of a widely-discussed Twitter beef between two NFL teams this Saturday. The feud started when the Redskins foolishly decided to go after the Panthers on their home turf the day before the two teams were supposed to play: Carolina is #Redskins country. #HTTR pic.twitter.com/mwOxn2IGxS — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) November 22, 2015 Before picking this fight, the Redskins should have probably done a better job assessing their vulnerabilities. […]

Read More

Update- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Wins Trademark Dispute

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Sturgis Motorcycle Rally had sued Walmart and Rushmore Photo and Gifts for use of the "Sturgis" trademark. I also pointed out that I seemed to be writing a lot about motorcycle clubs and trademarks. So, when I saw that a jury had reached a verdict in the case, I couldn't help but write another. Here's the update on the case, which is Part 4 in my ongoing series on bikers and trademarks. As I mentioned in my last post, Walmart and Rushmore argued that Sturgis' trademark was "geographically descriptive" and not entitled to [...]
Read More

John Lewis Christmas Ad Gets Me Again

The leaves are falling. There’s a chill in the air. I’ve finished eating all my kids’ halloween candy. That can mean only one thing. It’s almost Christmas! It also means it’s time for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas commercial! I’m talking about John Lewis, the upscale department store chain in Great Britain (I’m not sure if Congressman John Lewis does a Christmas commercial). Every year, the store airs a touching Christmas “advert” that attempts to capture the heart and soul of the holiday. Every year, they succeed in making me tear up and smile. So, here’s your official kick-off to Christmas: https://youtu.be/wuz2ILq4UeA […]

Read More

Sons of Trademarchy

It is now an undisputed fact that bikers love trademarks. I have twice written about the intersection between outlaw motorcycle clubs and trademark law. First, I wrote about how many of these clubs own and litigate federally registered trademarks. The following week, I wrote about how the feds are trying to use trademarks to stop outlaw motorcycle gangs. Now, there is yet another trademark dispute involving bikers.

Read More

New Book Offers Deep Dive into Logo Design

Trademarks are a pretty rich subject. Proof: A Slate magazine article reports that famous graphic designer Jens Müller is releasing a book that traces the roots of modernist design influences on corporate logos. The book, Logo Modernism, includes a history of corporate logos and other logo-related essays. The main feature of the book is a beautiful catalogue of 6,000 modernist trademarks, which makes a convincing argument that implementing a clean, simple, aesthetic for your logo is still a good idea today. Plus, seeing logos as little works of art makes us proud to make our living protecting them. Logo Modernism is expected to be out next […]

Read More

Nashville Gets Outdoor Ice Rink for 2016 NHL All-Star Game

The NHL season is well underway and our hometown team, the Nashville Predators, have started the season 2-0. Nashville may be a Southern city known for Southern things like biscuits and country music, but we have one thing in common with those yankees up north. This town is hockey crazy. I believe this is not only the result of the excellent product the Preds put on the ice every year, but of incredible branding by the Predators organization as well. In addition to having the best logo in sports (derived from the saber tooth tiger fossils unearthed during construction of a downtown skyscraper), the team has made a mission of […]

Read More

Don’t Play with Fireball

If you are from the South and ever leave your house, you’ve heard of Fireball. Fireball is a cinnamon flavored whiskey distilled by Sazerac. In addition to being a great drink to sneak into football games on cool, fall days, it’s also replaced Jägermeister as the go-to drink for your buddy who buys everyone shots when everyone’s already had too much to drink. The Fireball logo shows exactly how it makes you feel. But, it’s whiskey, so I like it. Well, it appears that Sazerac is pretty protective of its Fireball trademark. It recently filed suit against a North Carolina brewery, claiming that its […]

Read More

Trust Tree® Registered on my Anniversary

What a great day! Today, we were granted a federal trademark registration for Trust Tree®! The trademark registration is for the “word mark” TRUST TREE, which protects the words without any limitation on the particular font, style, size, or color. Because word marks offer the broadest protection for trademarks, we always recommend pursuing a registration for a word mark when possible. The registration gives us nationwide protection for our firm name, which we can now indicate by using the ® symbol (Randy is going to talk about the timeline for registering our trademark in his post on Thursday). This registration couldn’t have come on a better day, because […]

Read More

Boom Beach Logo Lesson

Our director of Accounting and Finance, George, recently got me into a mobile game called “Boom Beach.” Boom Beach is a combat strategy game set in fictional tropical islands. In the game, you build and develop your island base with troops, ships, defenses and other resources. You can attack evil “Blackguard” bases or other players near you. You can also organize a “Task Force” with your friends and coordinate attacks against Blackguard bases. I’m not a gamer by any means (I’m the sole reason our Task Force loses operations), but it has been a ton of fun playing. Boom Beach is made by Supercell, […]

Read More

Trademarks are Perceived Just Like Human Faces

Obviously, we believe that selecting a great trademark is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Now, that belief is backed by science. A new study by the Institute for Experimental Business Psychology at Leuphana University of Lueneburg (which, incidentally, is the lab that created our Director of Finance and Accounting, George Lifsey) shows that people evaluate trademarks in the same way they evaluate human faces. South African TV news channel eNCA reports that the Institute had subjects evaluate several famous trademarks and computer generated faces. The result of the study showed that people evaluate the trustworthiness, care, strength or assertiveness […]

Read More