Food Truck Copycats Get 86’d By Federal Judge in NYC

by T+B Blog Team on January 29, 2015

Food trucks are a familiar sight in most major cities these days. From tacos to schnitzel to Korean barbecue, you can feast on just about any type of cuisine prepared in and served from the side of a parked vehicle.

Even in the dead of winter, ice cream trucks are a familiar sight in New York City and you may have noticed that many of them look quite similar. So similar, in fact, that a Brooklyn judge has now banned some copycat trucks from the streets.

Last May, the owner of the long-established Mister Softee brand of ice cream trucks sued the operator of “Master Softee” trucks for trademark infringement. Copycat Master Softee didn’t take its trucks off the streets—they not only kept on running, they brazenly continued to sport the same colors and decals as Mister Softee trucks. Cue the customer confusion.

This week, federal Judge Joan Azrack issued a permanent injunction against Master Softee’s owner, Gus Toufos, ordering his trucks off the street and requiring him to pay Mister Softee’s legal fees.

The most familiar thing about Mister Softee might be his music (in the video below). What you might not know is that that catchy tune actually has lyrics: “Listen for my store on wheels ding-a-ling down the street”, etc., etc. It’s based on a song called “The Whistler and His Dog,” written by Les Waas.

What surprisingly similar food trucks have you noticed in your travels?

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Seattle Seahawks Tackle a Slew of Trademarks

by T+B Blog Team on January 27, 2015

If you’re reading this blog and planning to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, then we’re fairly certain you’ll be interested in this trademark story.

The Seattle Seahawks are not only on a roll on the field, after their win against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, they’re also on a trademark roll. This NFL football franchise is no stranger to trademarks. The team has filed about two dozen trademark applications since October 2013. And it already owns trademarks for the 12 flag, its mascot Blitz, and the phrases Legion of Boom, Spirit of 12, and Bring in the 12.

Now it’s been revealed that the Seahawks have attempted to trademark the number 12, the word “boom,” and the phrase “Go Hawks” and they’re facing some challenges. The phrase “Go Hawks” is facing opposition from two sports leagues who also have teams with hawk-related names: the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.

The Seahawks’ plans to register a trademark for “boom” were also upset by the USPTO who said the word could be confused with other brand names. And, finally, when it comes to trademarking the number 12, the team’s trying to get beyond past failures on that front by filing an application for the trademark of “12” in the same font used on its jerseys. Some say that’s pretty similar to the 12 worn by its Super Bowl XLIX rival quarterback Tom Brady.

So have the New England Patriots been up to anything trademark-wise? Team officials told The Seattle Times that the Patriots have requested two trademarks since October 2013—one for coach Bill Belichick’s phrase: “Do Your Job.” We also found recent Patriots-owned registrations for Next Game Up and The Patriot Way.

No matter which team you’re routing for, we know everyone’s eager to see the entertaining Super Bowl commercials. Ad Age gives an inside scoop on who’s advertising and what’s in store. A few advertisers, like Toyota, have provided a sneak peek. Check out 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist Amy Purdy backed by the words of Muhammad Ali:

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Rolls-Royce and Rapper in Trademark Dispute

January 26, 2015

Tweet A rapper known as Rolls Royce Rizzy sells shirts on his website emblazoned with “Team Rolls Royce.” And, as you might expect, luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is not standing idly by. Rolls-Royce sent the rapper multiple cease-and-desist letters to no avail and has now filed a trademark infringement suit. Rizzy told TMZ […]

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NgTLD Update: .POKER, .FLOWERS, .TIRES & More

January 24, 2015

Tweet This week, we see the registry launches for seven new TLDs: Afilias (.VOTE, .VOTO, and .POKER) Donuts (.TIRES). If you have a Donuts DMPL Block you are covered here already. Public Interest Registry Services (.ONG/.NGO – for the Non-Governmental Organization community) Uniregistry (.FLOWERS) We also alert you to the postponement of General Availability for […]

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Maltesers Wins in Trademark Fight Against Maltitos

January 23, 2015

Tweet U.S.-based Mars Incorporated claimed that Australia’s Maltitos trademark infringes on its iconic Maltesers chocolate brand. Maltitos, manufactured by Delfi Chocolate (which is owned by Petra Foods Pte, Limited) are made from biscuits and chocolate. Maltesers are made of malt and honeycomb covered in chocolate. Is all of this making you hungry? Let’s move on […]

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Trademark Dispute Over the Word “Foodie” Erupts In Hong Kong

January 21, 2015

Tweet The South China Morning Post received an email recently from Foodie magazine telling the newspaper to avoid using the word “foodie” since it owns the trademark for the word in Hong Kong. Foodie suggested the SCMP “replace it with a similar word.” Susan Jung, the South China Morning Post’s food and wine editor followed up […]

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Calgary Flames’ Gaudreau Registers “Johnny Hockey” Trademark

January 19, 2015

Tweet Johnny Gaudreau of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames is the newest Johnny-come-lately to the world of trademarking nicknames. You may have already heard of “Johnny Football” (a/k/a  Johnny Manziel, quarterback of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and trademark owner of his nickname). Now Gaudreau wants to own the trademark for “Johnny Hockey” in both […]

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Monaco Is Just Too Famous For Its Own Trademark

January 16, 2015

Tweet The European Union’s General Court upheld an Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) decision refusing protection of a trademark for the word “monaco” in the EU. Monaco had been granted an international trademark (which included the EU) by the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2010, but the EU refused to accept it. […]

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How Will Warmer U.S.-Cuba Relations Affect Trademarks?

January 14, 2015

Tweet On December 17, 2014 American President Barack Obama ordered full diplomatic relations be restored between the United States and Cuba. Although the warming of relations isn’t expected to bring about quick change, the possibility of changes to the trade embargo has sparked the attention of trademark professionals. Forward-looking American companies that expected the restoration […]

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Van Halen Trademark Lawsuit Ends In Dismissal

January 12, 2015

Tweet As we asked back in 2013 in our original post about this case: After a divorce—who has the right to use the couple’s last name commercially? Well, we’ve got an answer in the case of ELVH, Inc., the holding company for the rock band Van Halen v. Kelly Van Halen, the ex-wife of the group’s […]

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