Taco John and Taco Bell Take the High Road so Everyone Can Celebrate TACO TUESDAY

Old Taco Bell logo

Last week, Randy wrote about the “spectrum of trademark distinctiveness” and how generic terms cannot be protected as trademarks. This week, Taco John made news when it agreed to abandon its trademark registration for TACO TUESDAY for restaurant services after a recent challenge by Taco Bell alleging that TACO TUESDAY was generic and not entitled […]

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 […]

Weed Spectator sued by Wine Spectator

lots o pot leaves

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 […]

Comic Con Trademark: Attorneys’ Fees Are No Laughing Matter

Sad Furry

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 […]

Trademark Hell: Knockin’ on Heaven Hill’s Door

Bourbon Barrels

As Trust Tree’s resident bourbon expert* (sorry Bill & G) and Guns N’ Roses fan, I must uncork a post about the trademark dispute between Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. and Heaven’s Door Spirits, LLC that recently spilled over into a federal lawsuit. Heaven’s Door is named after the famous song by Bob Dylan, who has […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

North Coast Brewing Sues Corsair Over Old Rasputin Trademark

The legendary Rasputin is synonymous with a variety of immoral and evil practices. You wouldn’t normally build a brand around a guy known as the “Mad Monk,” but that didn’t stop North Coast Brewing from naming a beer after him or Corsair Artisan Distillery from naming a whiskey after him. North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin beer is supposedly well regarded in craft beer […]