Articles in Trademark
This season’s fashion shows have been making an unusual connection with food. While the fashion industry is often associated with starving models subsiding on cigarettes and Diet Coke, Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week presentation spoke to …
A UK food company trademarks the word “Pho” and attempts to enforce the trademark against an independent Vietnamese restaurant named Mo Pho. Yes, the common and descriptive name for the Vietnamese national soup is a registered mark in the UK. How did this happen?
A little over 6 years ago, Pho Holdings Limited filed an application and received the trademark for the word “Pho.” While the company argues they only trademarked the word for their company name, the actual application on file states the trademark covers meat, fish, poultry game, and rice and noodle products. According to an online dictionary, these are precisely the ingredients used to make pho.
Pho Holdings is arguing that they trademarked the name years ago when Vietnamese food was not as popular as it is today in the UK. This argument doesn’t work in the context of pho because the name merely describes a soup dish and is therefore descriptive. Pho Holdings also included a logo with the trademark to make it more distinctive. The logo in its entirety could be used against other restaurants if they are attempting to “pass off” as Pho Holdings, but the independent Vietnamese restaurant in question was using the name “Mo Pho” and it is unclear if the logo appeared similar to Pho Holdings’. Pho Holdings would have to show that consumers would be likely confused by Mo Pho’s restaurant and that confusion would harm Pho Holdings’ brand. Although pho got off to a slow start in the UK when the trademark was granted, it’s popularity makes pho as a trademark for food a weak and generic word that is unlikely to be enforceable. Pho Holdings later received better legal advice and has agreed not to enforce their trademark against independent restaurants.
In 2013, King.com, the European app developer who created the online game Candy Crush Saga, caused an outcry from other developers when the corporation filed a trademark application for the word “Candy.” Now, King.com has decided to abandon its trademark application, stating that it has other means of protecting its mark in the United States.
Jay-Z is named as a defendant in a trademark suit for using the name “Brooklyn Nets” by an entrepreneur named Dr. Francois De Cassagnol. De Cassagnol claims the defendants “fraudulently conspired” to influence the U.S. Patent Office.
A previously trademarked Glee Comedy Club might kick the popular TV show out of Great Britain
Last week’s viral publicity stunt left many questioning the boundaries of fair use.
Victoria’s Secret’s PINK collection is one of the company’s best selling and recognizable trademarks, with its huge logo (pictured) splashed on lingerie, clothing, and accessories geared towards females ages 15-to-22. Claiming likelihood of confusion, Victoria’s …
Trademark registrations for “Downton” and “Downton Abbey” have been granted to several Chinese entrepreneurs for wine and spirits, jewelry, and other merchandise categories. As the creators finalize licensing agreements for Downton Abbey-themed merchandise being sold in European and US markets, China’s market is now off limits. Could China’s new trademark law, effective May 2014 offer hope to those who have fallen prey to trademark hijacking?
The idea of claiming trademark in a single color seems far-fetched, but what about when a company sets up subsidiaries with your color scheme…to steal your customers? That’s just what AT&T did. The low-cost, no contract wireless phone company, Aio, chose to use a color remarkably close to T-Mobile’s trademarked magenta, with the intention of capturing T-Mobiles customers by association.