DuetsBlog

Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

No worries, I’m back at the keyboard, refreshed after a busy January, from the ATA Show in Louisville to Las Vegas for the SHOT Show, then Austin, and well beyond. 2019 is off to a rapid start, not sure where the first half of February went, so I’ll make sure this is a good one, and with a little luck, it might even be a great one: Did my iPhone capture a production anomaly in the soap on…
You might recall that several months ago, we blogged about an intriguing trademark infringement battle between Buc-ee’s and Choke Canyon. In June 2018, the Texan rivals competing in the over-sized gas station market–a real niche, to be sure–went to trial, with Buc-ee’s arguing that Choke Canyon’s alligator logo infringed Buc-ee’s beaver mark: Incredibly, the Texan jury found in favor of Buc-ee’s. The jury also found that Choke Canyon’s alligator mark diluted (a/k/a “blurred”) the…
–James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications Every now and then, lightning strikes where a creative team sees a terrific, fast-turn opportunity to have a little fun. I think of them as targets of opportunity. We had one some years ago when we were in the midst of creating a series of mailers for a search-technology client. Early in December, the spark hit and we scrambled to make this idea happen in time: Looks like lightning struck…
Over the last decade, we’ve covered Super Bowl topics, it’s that time of year again! We’ve probed the NFL’s overzealous activities and asked hard fair use questions. And, with Big Game LII in our backyard, we had a front row ambush marketing seat. With digital marketing, that front row seat can be anywhere your iPhone takes you: The top half of the email advertisement from Tuesday, landing in my inbox (shown above), seems to have a better…
— Jessica Gutierrez Alm, Attorney No one does the Carlton quite like Carlton Banks.  (Queue Tom Jones’s It’s Not Unusual.)  Since actor Alfonso Ribeiro first performed the unique dance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it has been readily associated with him.  When the dance move recently appeared as a purchasable avatar dance in the popular video game, Fortnite, players quickly recognized Carlton’s signature move.   Fortnite is a battle royale-style combat game in which…
Can a gang become a brand? This is a question asked in the new Netflix show, Trigger Warning,  produced by and starring Michael Render, AKA Killer Mike, one half of the Grammy-nominated rap group Run the Jewels. In episode three, “White Gang Privilege,” Mike explores America’s love of the Outlaw, real and imaginary, and typically white: Al Capone, Tony Soprano, Tony Montana, Michael Corleone, Johnny Cash, Gordon Gecko, and Hells Angels, to name…
– Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash In a recent article in The New York Times, John Williams discussed the evolution of our language through the “vowel dropping” trend. He mentions the use of vowel dropping in naming tech companies, as tech companies like Tumblr and Flickr dropped vowels “…both for distinctiveness and because the altered names made it easier to trademark, claim domain names on the internet and conduct other practical business.” In my book…
You may recall that DuetsBlog informed you in May of 2016 (here) that Beyoncé filed suit in New York federal court against a company and its owners who were using the mark Feyoncé on apparel and other products, such as mugs. She has now dismissed the lawsuit—likely based on a settlement (although the settlement has not been reported yet, and if there is a confidentiality provision in the agreement we may never know for…
Las Vegas has a welcoming brand, probably best known by the nearly decade old famous and iconic slogan: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. LVCVA owns it for gaming machines, slot machine services, and “promoting the Las Vegas, Nevada area as a destination for leisure and business travelers.” If you’re not aware of the origin and the connection to Minnesota, here you go. Las Vegas has welcomed the SHOT Show for…
–James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications Back in the ’70s, National Geographic ran a story on Boston firefighters. The writer mentioned a barb that a fireman tossed his way. “Ya gonna do another silver jets piece, huh?” Adding sarcastically, “Ya know: silver jets of water piercing the dark sky as they bravely battle the inferno…” I owe that firefighter a debt. Since I read his diss, Silver Jets has been a mental caution sign against veering…