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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ESPN and Deadspin Set for Showdown over Grantland Trademark

Last Friday, ESPN gave bloggers everywhere something to write about when it abruptly jettisoned arguably its best known personality, Bill Simmons. Deadspin – a direct competitor with ESPN’s online properties – has spilled a Simmonsesque amount of ink since the news broke, publishing no less than 10 posts related to the subject. The majority of the posts are not so kind to Simmons. (Editor’s Note: I am a huge fan of Simmons, Grantland, and Deadspin) One of the posts asks, “So, Who Should Run Grantland Now?” The post seems to assume that the name “Grantland” belongs to ESPN and not Deadspin. Most people […]

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Trump Intends to Make America Great Again

The Daily Mail is reporting that Donald Trump has asserted trademark rights in the phrase “Make America Great Again” against fellow Republican Ted Cruz. According to the article, Cruz has agreed to not use the phrase. Trump told the Daily Mail that slogan “is my whole theme.” But here’s the thing: Trump does not have a registered trademark for the phrase. You do not have to be using a trademark to apply for registration. The USPTO allows you to file an “intent-to-use” application. The application is essentailly reviewed like any other application. Once the application is allowed, however, you have six months to […]

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Trust Tree Legal Co-Founders Named IP Stars

Trust Tree Legal co-founders Randy Michels and Bill Ferrell have been ranked “IP Stars” among the nation’s intellectual property law attorneys. The “IP Stars” designation comes from Managing IP whose researchers conducted more than 1,000 interviews and surveys with peers and clients of attorneys in the United States to compile the rankings. Michels, Ferrell and Kevin Hartley are the co-founders of Trust Tree Legal, an online trademark services company that makes the federal trademark application process easy, convenient and affordable for individuals and companies. The trio has a combined 30 years of experience in trademark law, patent litigation and working […]

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When It Comes to Trademarks, NFL Players are Role Models

In honor of the NFL draft (and rumors swirling about the big moves our hometown Titans might make), I felt obligated to post about the NFL. The NFL has not had a lot of positive coverage this offseason. Role models seem few and far between. But when it comes to trademarks, NFL players should be your role models. NFL players routinely register their names, nicknames, and other business ventures as trademarks. Here are a few fun examples: Tim Tebow Who remembers “Tebowing”? Because the Heisman winning quarterback owns the trademark. Considering the polarizing QB just signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after two […]

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Qwikster About Face: Netflix’s Non-Rebrand Rebrand

I have been known to binge-watch a TV season or ten. My most recent conquests were Season 3 of House of Cards, The Honourable Woman, and Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All were served up by Netflix. Not Qwikster. Remember Qwikster? It was the name chosen to rebrand Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service, which was to be split off as a separate division from Netflix’s streaming service. The split and rebrand were announced in September 2011. I remember Qwikster well. I had just finished binge-watching Season 4 of Dexter via Netflix’s DVD service when the Netflix/Qwikster split was announced by Netflix CEO and Co-Founder Reed Hastings. […]

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J.J. Watt Jumps and Reebok Pumps

A few weeks ago we wrote about Reebok bringing back its iconic Pump sneaker with the ZPump. Monday morning, NFL star J.J. Watt and Reebok announced a new partnership. Monday afternoon, J.J. Watt and Reebok went viral with this video of the 6′ 5″, 290 pound Watt in his Reebok ZPumps completing a flat-footed box jump onto a middle-schooler . . . OK, a  5′ 1″ stack of pads. You get my point. Big man. Jump high. After completing the record-breaking jump, Watt gave the Reebok brand a little CPR by pumping up his shoes and crediting his ZPumps for the fete. Just […]

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Harlem Globetrotters Show Off Trademark Tricks

College basketball’s best talent was on display in the recently concluded NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. Long before the NCAA tournament became the preeminent showcase for young basketball players, the country’s best talent was found on the Harlem Globetrotters. The Harlem Globetrotters began in 1926 as the Savoy Big Five. Now more than 89 years and 20,000 games later, the team has become one of the most recognizable franchises in sports. My first exposure to the Harlem Globetrotters was through one of my favorite cartoons from my childhood: Scooby-Doo. The animated incarnation of the team appeared in several episodes during […]

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First Annual Summer Movie Blockbuster Trademark Extravaganza

In a world where blockbusters are about more than just movies, we proudly bring you our First Annual Summer Movie Blockbuster Trademark Extravaganza! Come for the fun trademark facts, stay for the trailers. In 2014, the Summer box office grossed over $4 billion. The top five grossing movies were: Guardians of the Galaxy Transformers: Age of Extinction Maleficent X-Men: Days of Future Past Dawn of the Planet of the Apes What do all of those movies have in common? Other than digital (and other – ahem) enhancements? Trademarks! And lots of them. You see, today’s tentpole movies are as much about […]

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