Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

trademark law Archives

Lawsuit against Apple has confusing trademark paper trail

Financial motives typically motivate companies in New Jersey to defend their intellectual property. The trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Social Technologies LLC illustrates the high stakes that prompt companies to establish their trademarks and patents. The companies are contesting ownership of the trademark for Memoji, but a strange paper trail from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confuses the matter.

Dunkin' Donuts heads toward a new future for its trademarks

When people in New Jersey think about an early-morning coffee or sweet treat, the Dunkin' Donuts name may be one of the first things that come to mind. The brand is well-known nationally and internationally for its doughnuts, donut-hole treats and coffee beverages. It has also garnered attention for its announced plans to rebrand itself in January 2019, dropping the term "Donuts" and becoming simply "Dunkin'". Some have argued that it is an attempt to make the brand seem more health-conscious, while the company noted that it is because it is focusing more heavily on coffee, a major driver of daily visits to the chain stores.

"Honey Badger" creator seeks to stop unauthorized cards

Many people in New Jersey have seen the famous "Honey Badger" video on YouTube. Since the "Honey Badger Don't Care" catchphrase in the video has been widely referenced in a variety of media, it could come as a surprise that the phrase may have federal trademark protection. A federal appeals court overturned a judgment by a lower court in August 2018, reinstating a lawsuit filed by the video's creator against a greeting card publisher.

Universities aggressively prosecuting their trademarks

New Jersey residents may have heard about businesses that aggressively protect their trademarks. In addition to companies, many universities are now likewise aggressively prosecuting their trademarks against potential infringement.

Bob Dylan's whisky company sued for trademark infringement

Even young music fans in New Jersey likely know that Bob Dylan was a major counterculture figure in the 1960s, but they may not know that the 77-year-old folk singer is now a successful entrepreneur. Dylan's thriving whisky company, which was launched in April 2018, is named after one of his most famous songs, but Heaven Hill Distillery has taken exception to the name and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit that aims to shut Dylan's nascent commercial venture down.

Actor's family files trademark lawsuit against Ferrari

One ongoing intellectual property dispute may be of interest to classic movie and automobile fans in New Jersey. The descendants of the famous actor, Steve McQueen, are suing the luxury car company Ferrari for marketing cars by making use of the actor's image without compensation. The family members allege that the sports-car company made an unfair profit from the legacy of McQueen when it created and sold a special branded vehicle in 2017. The limited-edition "McQueen" model was issued as part of a 70th anniversary commemoration of the production of Ferrari cars.

New study links trademark registrations to higher employment

According to a recent study funded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, trademark registrations could be tied to company growth and employment rates. With new trademark laws on the way, unemployment rates in New Jersey and other parts of the country might begin to drop even further. The evidence suggests that companies are willing to spend more on research and development when they know that their intellectual property is protected from trademark infringement and theft.

About trademarks

Business owners in New Jersey can use trademarks to protect aspects of their company, such as a logo or brand. However, some illustrated intellectual property can present some complications when it comes to trademarking if the illustrations are not representative of the business brand or do not have sufficient uniqueness.

Tradmark protection isn't always ironclad

The romance genre is a popular one among readers in New Jersey and throughout the country. Therefore, those who read or write romance novels may be familiar with something referred to as "Cockygate". The story begins when an author filed for a trademark to the word "cocky" through a company called Hop Hop Productions, Inc. It is not clear if the author has a financial interest in the company itself.

Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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