Likelihood of Confusion

Counterfeits: More Annoying than a Mosquito on a Summer Night

Boy, is it ever hot in Tennessee right now. And, the mosquitos are thriving. Like an annoying mosquito on a warm, summer night, counterfeit products are hard to squish. The most significant indicator of an authentic product is the ™ or ®. However, many large brands do not use trademark symbols on their products, believing it stifles the aesthetic of the design. By leaving these well-known and understood trademark symbols off products, brands open themselves up for fakes and frauds to take advantage. See if you can tell which items below are real and which are fake (answers at the [...]
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Bourbon Barrels

Trademark Hell: Knockin’ on Heaven Hill’s Door

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 collaborated with the company to create a line of American whiskeys. In April, Heaven Hill, a 90-year old distillery, sent Heaven’s Door a cease and desist letter demanding that it cease use of the name and abandon several trademark applications seeking to protect HEAVEN’S DOOR. [...]
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A Rolling Stone Gathers No Trademarks, But Consenting Stones Do

Consent agreements are a practical way for two parties with similar or identical trademarks to overcome a rejection for likelihood of confusion. Let’s learn by way of example. The Rolling Stones are playing in our hometown tonight. At least one member of the Trust Tree team will be in the crowd. The concert got me thinking about the relationship between Rolling Stone magazine and The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962. Rolling Stone was founded in 1967. Both own multiple trademarks related to their names. Here is what Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner had to say about the name in […]

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How To Avoid A Trademark “Party Fowl”

Nashville is famous for being the home of country music, but it’s developing quite a reputation as a culinary hot spot. This has helped raise the profile of one of Nashville’s signature dishes: hot chicken. The origins of hot chicken can be traced to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Thornton Price was rumored to be quite the ladies man. After a particularly late night out, Prince’s girlfriend cooked him a fried chicken breakfast with extra pepper as revenge. Prince liked it so much that he created his own recipe and opened the restaurant bearing his name in the 1930’s. Hot chicken […]

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