Category Archives: Trademark

English Car Maker Rolls Out Legal Team to Protect its Trademark from Rapper Royce Rizzy

Last Wednesday, English automaker Rolls-Royce filed a lawsuit in the US District of New Jersey last week against up-and-coming rapper, Royce Rizzy, for trademark infringement.  The lawsuit stems from the rapper’s use of the Royce trademark and the “RR Badge.” The lawsuit claims that Atlanta based Royce Rizzy, otherwise known as Robert Davis, has been using the Rolls Royce trademarks to benefit his rapping career.  The luxury automaker cited to his YouTube channel advertisements, his Facebook page, his website, and a “Team Rolls Royce” t-shirt…

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US Gov’t Joins Fight Against “Redskins” Trademark

On Friday, January 9, the United States Department of Justice filed a notice of intervention with the Eastern District of Virginia to intervene in the lawsuit between Washington’s football team and the Native American group, who successfully petitioned to have the team’s trademarks revoked. The lawsuit stems from a June ruling by the US Patent & Trademark Office that revoked six of the Washington football team’s trademarks as the term “Redskin” was determined to be disparaging to a substantial amount of Native Americans during the…

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Benihana and Benny Hunna Battle For Naming Rights

Benihana, the self-proclaimed “leading Asian themed restaurant chain in the world” (see Notice of Opposition), has brought it’s a-game in a trademark battle with Mississippi’s hottest up and coming rapper and entertainment mogul, Benny Hunna. Benny Hunna, born Benny Hodges, is an aspiring rapper hailing from Mississippi who filed for a trademark of his rap name with the US PTO in May 2013 to use it as the name of the entertainment empire he is currently building.  His name, however, caught the ear of…

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Creedence Clearwater Mark Revisited

There’s a bad moon on the rise once again for John Fogerty.  Fogerty, the former lead singer and guitarist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a man who holds the distinction as being perhaps the only musician in the history of recorded music to be sued for allegedly plagiarizing his own recording in another one of his own recordings, finds himself feelin’ blue again, having been sued last week by his surviving former bandmates, Doug Clifford and Stu…

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Duluth Trading Company Takes it Easy and Don Henley Takes Them to Court

Maybe Duluth Trading Company should’ve known better. Maybe it was just living life in the advertising fast lane. But on October 6, 2014, the Wisconsin clothing company circulated an ad to its customers imploring them to “Don a Henley and Take it Easy.” The “Henley” the ad refers to is the famous, three-button long sleeve shirt that has become a symbol of relaxation and “cool” since it was first placed on store racks. But in invoking the surname of Eagles’ co-founder and lead singer Don…

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“World’s Most Interesting” Case Settled

On Monday, the parties in the “World’s Most Interesting” trademark suit filed a stipulation to dismiss the suit.  In 2013, the Mexican brewer of Dos Equis beer filed a trademark and copyright infringement suit against KCI, Inc. (“KCI”), a New Jersey company that offers storage area network (SAN) maintenance services, over its advertising campaign themed “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” a U.S. registered trademark of the brewer. The complaint alleged that KCI filed trademark applications for the marks “The Most Interesting SAN Architect…

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Cubs Bring Trademark Infringement Suit Over Fake Mascot Billy Cub

The Chicago Cubs filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against five individuals who allegedly have been dressing in a fake mascot costume near Wrigley Field.  The complaint claimed that these individuals in their “Billy Cub” outfits not only engaged in “mascot-like activities” but also participated in “unsavory actions.”  Like the genuine Cubs mascot Clark the Cub’s costume, the outfit includes Cubs cap and jersey with “Billy Cub” and the number 78 on the back. The fake mascots solicited tips near the ball park for dancing or…

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Trademark-Bullying Against Bills Fans

Texas A&M, the owner of the “12th Man” trademark, filed two complaints against four Buffalo Bills fans who infringed on the trademark when they included the term in their website 12thManThunder.com.  The fans may not have known, but the Bills have been paying Texas A&M licensing fees to use the term on the Bills Wall of Fame. The story then became rather emotional than legal when it was known that one of the Bills fans is Charles “Chuckie” Sonntag, a double amputee who had…

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Snooki Wins Trademark Lawsuit

Back in August of 2013, reality television star Nicole Polizzi, known to her fans as Snooki, brought a $2.4 million lawsuit against Excell Brands and its perfume “Snazzy.”  Polizzi alleged trademark infringement of her perfume brand “Snooki.” The brand “Snazzy Woman” by Excell Brands is marketed in a box containing similar leopard print and what Excell calls a disclaimer: “Our version of Snooki by Nicole Polizzi.”  While the smell and packaging may be similar, the text of the name “Snooki by Nicole Polizzi” on the…

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Washington Redskins Trademark Registration Cancelled

The Washington Redskins six trademark registrations have been cancelled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The office reasoned that the registrations were “disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”  Reviewed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the decision was based on federal trademark law that prevents registration of trademarks that “may disparage” certain groups or individuals or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” “The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks…

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