Wawa, the American convenience store chain, is suing a Florida restaurant called Wawa Curry Taste of India for “violating its rights to the name.” The restaurant’s owner, Yogi Patel, says the restaurant’s name comes from a Gujerati phrase meaning “good job” or “congratulations.”

The lawsuit claims that the restaurant’s use of the Wawa name “impairs the distinctive quality” of its trademark, seeks “unspecified compensation” for the use of the name, and asks that the restaurant be prohibited from using it.

Despite being common in the eastern United States (with over 600 stores), not many people know the origin of the convenience store chain’s name. According to the company’s website, Wawa, Inc. began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. The owner expanded into dairy farming and opened a small processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. The first Wawa Food Market opened in 1964. The company’s logo features a goose since “wawa” is a native American word for the Canada geese found in Pennsylvania’s Delaware Valley.

In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, a Wawa spokesperson wrote: “At Wawa we support the success of all businesses including Mr. Patel’s Indian restaurant. That said, we have an obligation to protect consumers from any likelihood of confusion that may occur in the marketplace and to protect the brand name, goodwill and reputation that we’ve worked so hard to build over the past 50 years…”

The restaurant’s owner told the newpaper: “We can’t fight them. We are just a small restaurant, so we will have to change our name.”

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Beware Counterfeit Ads in Your Holiday Shopping Frenzy

by T+B Blog Team on November 18, 2014

Nearly 25% of 1,000 fashion and luxury goods ads on Facebook turned out to be for counterfeit products, including Ray Ban sunglasses, Louis Vuitton bags, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts, according to a new study by two cybersecurity researchers reported on Mashable.

Although the ads and their URLs may look legitimate, be aware that you really don’t know where you could end up once you’ve clicked on it. One of the study’s authors, Andrea Stroppa warned: “… in many cases your credit card is at risk, thanks to obscure payment systems backed by companies you have no idea who they are.”

Besides the seemingly legitimate URLs, several of the sites examined in the study used fake logos not only for the “designer” brands, but also for the security and payment systems supposedly used on the sites. Many of the domains were found to be registered in China, although it’s impossible to know where the sites are actually located and who runs them.

A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable: “We prohibit fraudulent or misleading claims or content, and to enforce our terms and policies, we have invested significant resources in developing a robust advertising review program that includes both automated and manual review of ads.”

Facebook isn’t alone in facing this deluge of counterfeit advertising. Last year, Google removed more than 350 million bad ads and banned approximately 14,000 advertisers for trying to sell counterfeit goods —an 80% decline from 2012.

What’s the most obvious counterfeit ad you’ve seen recently?

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NgTLD Update: New Domain Block Debuts, New TLD Launches & More

November 17, 2014

Tweet Here is a round-up of the latest new gTLD news: You may be interested to learn that one the biggest registry operators, Minds + Machines, will launch its own “MPML,” for Minds + Machines’ Protected Marks List. As with Donuts and Rightside Registry’s DPML blocks, MPML will provide brand owners with the opportunity to […]

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Germany Pushes U.S. Out of Top Spot in Nation Brands Index

November 17, 2014

Tweet After five consecutive years in the #1 spot, the United States fell to second place behind Germany in this year’s Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index. Thanks to its FIFA World Cup win this year, and the country’s economic and political leadership in Europe, Germany has the best national brand image in the world. It last […]

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Canadian Court Denies Review of “Obscene” Trademark

November 13, 2014

Tweet First there’s Susan Fiedler, a Vancouver jewelry designer who began making “F**k Cancer” bracelets back in 2008 after she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Then there’s Yael Cohen, who founded the “F Cancer” organization in 2009 after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then joined forces with another fundraising organization called “F**k […]

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Major 2014 Logo Changes: Have You Spotted Any of These?

November 12, 2014

Tweet Business Insider writes about the changes that have been made to several major companies’ logos that you may not have even noticed yet. Among them are Viagra, which changed its packaging in Russia to include a very prominently vertical “A” in its name. Next time you fly on Southwest Airlines you might feel a […]

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Brand Marketing Trends: What’s Ahead for 2015?

November 10, 2014

Tweet Where does the time go? 2015 is fast upon us and marketing pundits have started publishing those Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, and Top Everything You Ever Need to Know lists about brand marketing trends for the new year. First up is “Top 5 Social Media Trends for Brands to Watch in 2015” […]

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Sportscaster Registers Trademarks for “Onions!” and “With a Kiss”

November 6, 2014

Tweet Basketball fans have known American sportscaster Bill Raftery and his familiar catchphrases for decades. Now Raftery’s registered trademarks for two of his famous sayings—“Onions!” and “With a kiss.” If you’re wondering what “Onions!” has to do with basketball, here’s the answer, as explained to ESPN by Raftery’s longtime broadcast partner, Ian Eagle: “So Kevin […]

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.London Domain Name Registration Prompts Playboy Enterprises Legal Action

November 5, 2014

Tweet A British property developer who secured the domain name www.playboy.london says the publishers of Playboy magazine have contacted him demanding the website address be transferred to them or face legal action. A Playboy Enterprises spokesperson told the London Evening Standard: “While we will not comment on this specific action, Playboy actively enforces rights to […]

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MasterCard Opposing “Masters” Credit Card Trademark Filing

November 3, 2014

Tweet The MasterCard credit card company has filed an opposition against a trademark application by Australian hardware store Masters Home Improvement, which had applied to use the name “Masters” on its store credit cards. Masters Home Improvement is a joint venture created by Australian retailer Woolworths and American hardware store chain, Lowe’s. This isn’t Woolworths […]

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