Indie game developers or any creatives in New Jersey may want to avoid using the phrase "choose your own adventure" in their work. Chooseco, the company that publishes the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books, has alleged that four games on itch.io have committed trademark infringement by using the phrase, and the games have been pulled from the platform. The company founder warned developers on Twitter not to use the phrase in their games.
New Jersey residents might be interested to learn that a Georgia woman has filed a lawsuit against the retail giant, Target, for allegedly infringing on her trademark with its Good & Gather line of products. The woman trademarked Garnish & Gather in 2014 as the name of her Atlanta-based business.
Intellectual property owners in New Jersey and around the country walk a fine line when they decide how vigorously to pursue infringers. Allowing trademarks and copyrights to be used without permission or consequence encourages further infringement and sets a precedent that could make future litigation more challenging, but initiating legal action against companies operating in completely different market segments just because they have vaguely similar names can seem like bullying and provoke fierce consumer reactions.
Many people in New Jersey have encountered hacked or fake Facebook or Instagram accounts. Some might be used to boost a user's follower count, while others are real accounts where the owner lost control or fell victim to a phishing scheme. Facebook has struggled to put an end to schemes that seek to gather users' passwords, and many social network users are technologically unsophisticated and may not be aware of best practices for security, despite the site's attempts to promote a higher level of account security.
While many Facebook users in New Jersey may be curious about the social media giant's planned jump into the cryptocurrency field, an e-commerce business is accusing it of trademark infringement. A company called Finco Services, which provides mobile online banking applications, says that its former design company produced the logo for Facebook's Libra token, the name given to the cryptocurrency. It alleges that the logo, which includes several wavy lines similar to tildes, is reused from work done for Finco's own cryptocurrency projects in violation of its trademarks filed for registration.
Companies in New Jersey and around the country file applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to protect branding elements like their names and logos, but their applications sometimes prompt other businesses to take legal action to prevent what is known as trademark dilution. They might do so to maintain brand uniqueness against businesses that have similar names even when their product lines do not overlap. The apparel and footwear company Under Armor has initiated several such actions.
Some people in New Jersey enjoy drinking Monster Energy drinks to pep up in the middle of the day, but they may not know that the company has developed a reputation for aggressive trademark enforcement. While companies have a responsibility to protect their intellectual privacy, some have questioned Monster's eagerness to pursue potential trademark violations that seem to be far from the company's primary area of work. In addition, the company is often unsuccessful in its trademark cases, especially those that seem to be a significant reach outside its registered area of protection.
Attempts to file for and receive trademarks are common among organizations throughout New Jersey and the rest of the United States. While some requests may sound unusual, there are many reasons to seek trademark approval.
WeWork is a popular brand for co-working spaces, attracting freelancers, small businesses and even outposts of large corporations to share office space at its locations in New Jersey and across the country. The company has been criticized, however, for its corporate structure. One area of criticism has been the relationship with the company's founder and CEO. Following media reports, the company's CEO recently returned around $5.9 million worth of stock options that he had received earlier. The CEO was paid in stock options for the company to acquire the trademark "We," which had originally been held by a smaller company controlled by the chief executive officer and his co-founder.
Football fans in New Jersey and around the country will likely know that a catchy nickname can add to the aura surrounding an athlete. Nicknames can be valuable intellectual property, but they can be difficult to protect if they are not original. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady learned this lesson on Aug. 22 when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected his application to trademark the nickname "Tom Terrific".