Trademarking Matters

Apple Trademarks Store Design

After an incident in China where a fake Apple store was created using the Apple logo, the company is taking measures to protect their signature store layout.  Apple has filed for trademark protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Apple’s former CEO and creator Steve Jobs designed the stores himself.

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Read more from the Chicago Tribune:

Last year, a fake Apple store in Kunming, China, featuring the white Apple logo and wooden tables drew widespread attention after a blogger wrote about visiting it. The store looked so authentic, even the upbeat salespeople thought they were working for Apple.

Chinese authorities quickly ordered the store to close, as well as more than 20 others selling Apple products, but were not authorized to do so.

Apple declined to comment Tuesday on the trademark approval.

The stores’ design was of great interest to the company’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs. In 2003, Apple was granted a design patent on the floating glass staircases featured in many Apple stores. Jobs is listed as an inventor on the patent, according to the Patent and Trademark Office.  Continue reading…

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DC Comics Seeks to Prevent “Superman Workout” Trademark

A fitness instruction publisher in Australia is seeking to trademark what he calls the “Superman Workout.”  He is meeting resistance, however, from DC Comics.  The central question in the case is whether or not the term “superman” is a commonly used term in the fitness world.

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DC Comics has taken its objections over a “Superman Workout” to federal court in Sydney, Australia, arguing a Melbourne fitness service should not be allowed to register the trademark.

According to 9News, the publisher is appealing a July decision by the registrar of trademarks that Cheqout Pty’s use of the “Superman Workout” mark, as it was unlikely to deceive or confuse consumers, or lead a significant number of people to presume there’s a connection between the fitness classes and DC Comics.

An attorney for the publisher contended the registrar erred on several grounds, including finding that the dictionary definitions of Superman are “a muscularly powerful athletic superman” and “an ideal superior being conceived by (19th century German philosopher) Nietzsche as the product of human evolution.” DC insisted, however, that its comic-book superhero is so widely known that the Man of Steel has become the first connotation of “Superman.”  Continue reading…

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Dispute Over Kevlar Trademark

Dupont Co. owns the Kevlar trademark, which sports equipment maker Easton-Bell has been putting on some of its products.  Dupont Co. attempted to work out a licensing deal with Easton-Bell, but they rejected it due to the cost.  Now they are both filing trademark suits against each other.

Read more from the Las Vegas Sun:

The DuPont Co. is feuding with sports equipment maker Easton-Bell Sports over the use of the Kevlar trademark in packaging for bicycle tires and locks.

DuPont filed a federal lawsuit in Delaware this week claiming that Easton-Bell’s prominent use of the Kevlar trademark on tire and lock packages infringes on DuPont’s trademark. DuPont says Easton-Bell’s packaging suggests that DuPont endorses or sponsors the tire and lock products, which it does not.

DuPont tried to work out a licensing deal with Easton-Bell, based in Scotts Valley, Calif., but Easton-Bell rejected it, saying DuPont’s proposed licensing fees were exorbitant.  Continue reading…

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Lexus Registers New Trademarks for New Models

Motor enthusiasts are speculating on what two recently registered trademarks will mean on the showroom floor this year.  Toyota has filed for trademark protection for the phrases, “Lexus RC 350” and “RC F.”  These terms will be associated with the latest Lexus model.

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Last November it was revealed that Toyota had filed for the trademark “Lexus RC 350,” leading to speculation that this would be the name of a new model from the Japanese luxury automaker.

In Lexus naming tradition, the “RC” part of the name suggested that the new model would likely be a coupe, just like the previous SC, which despite being a convertible still featured a hard-top roof.

The “350” part, meanwhile, signified that the new model would feature Lexus’ 3.5-liter V-6 currently fitted to cars like the GS 350 and IS 350.

At the reveal of the LF-CC coupe concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, just a couple of months prior, Lexus confirmed the concept was a preview of a new coupe it was planning to launch, so it’s not much of a stretch to deduce that this will be the new RC.  Continue reading…

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