Highlights

Following a recent decision of the ICANN Board of Directors, new gTLD registries will soon be able to release all two-character domains, which were initially reserved due to the potential for confusion with two-letter country code domains (ccTLDs), e.g., .US). This is good news for dot-brand applicants that may want to run “regional” domains such as uk.brand.

The French registry AFNIC has announced that .FR domains with one- and two-characters will soon be allowed. The Sunrise runs from December 8–February 9, 2015 for French and European Community trademarks, or international trademarks designating France registered before July 9, 2012. Rights holders also include companies formed before July 9, 2012. There will be a Landrush phase from February 16–March 16th and General Availability will begin March 17, 2015.

The Portuguese registry DNS.PT will introduce two-character .PT domains beginning November 3, 2014. At that time a list of two-character domains (available at https://www.dns.pt/en/regras-2-carateres#Annex – paragraph 1) will be released for registration on a first-come, first-served basis. A small number of premium domains (listed in paragraph 2 of the Annex) will be auctioned at sedo.com between December 4–11, 2014.

This week we see the launch of:

  • .HOW and .WHOSWHO
  • .an IDN TLD using theChinese characters “I love you.”
  • Two new Rightside Registry Sunrises for .DENTIST and .REHAB, which may be of interest for professionals across diverse industries, including addiction and refurbishment, physical rehabilitation for athletes and the injured, as well as the financial rehabilitation of an individual’s credit rating. Note that if you have registered a Rightside DPML (Domain Protected Marks List) block you are already covered here, and no one else can register your mark.
  • One new Donuts Sunrise for .WORLD. Note that if you have registered a Donuts DPML block you are already covered here, and no one else can register your mark.

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The Rise of “Brand Ebola”

by T+B Blog Team on October 28, 2014

As the Ebola virus continues to dominate newscasts, marketing efforts to capitalize on the deadly virus through sales of protective equipment, fraudulent cures, and random Ebola-branded products are on the rise.

Brandchannel points out the plethora of Ebola-named products, from sexy Ebola Nurse costumes for Halloween to a dietary supplement called Ebola-C. In China, there’s a hand sanitizing spray from SinoTistar that promises to prevent Ebola. The big e-commerce sites like eBay and Etsy are overflowing with items like “Got Ebola?” t-shirts, “fashionable” Ebola protective masks, even an “Ebola awareness sock monkey,” decked out in protective gear. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a man was arrested for selling Ebola-branded heroin.

In the world of domain names, Ebola.com recently sold for $50,000 to a medicinal marijuana company, while others like EbolaMonitoring.com and EbolaforDummies.com can be yours for slightly less than that. We found a few recent U.S. trademark filings for Ebola-related products, including Ebola-Away and Ebolaway for antibacterial and antiviral sprays and wipes, and one for Ebolaman covering everything from coffee mugs to sporting equipment.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration are actively monitoring for fraudulent Ebola “cure” claims. So far, they’ve sent warning letters out to three companies known to be making false claims. Richard Cleland, assistant director for the Division of Advertising Practices at the FTC told the National Journal: “The concern is that if the public anxiety over Ebola continues to grow, we’re going to see more and more.”

Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management told Digiday that the Ebola brand’s high awareness and “fairly simple story” make it “the ice bucket challenge, but bad,” referring to the recent ALS campaign that went viral.

What Ebola-related merchandise have you seen in your part of the world?

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Lucasfilm Opposes Brewery’s “Strikes Bock” Beer

October 27, 2014

Tweet Would you think that Empire Strikes Bock beer is an official Star Wars product? Disney’s Lucasfilm, in a notice of opposition filed with the USPTO, thinks it will likely cause confusion and has demanded that Empire Brewing Company stop using the name. In addition to the Star Wars-inspired name, the Syracuse-NY based brewery used the phrase, “May […]

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Court Rules Against Trademark Claim Over Food Flavor

October 24, 2014

Tweet A Texas judge ruled this week that the flavor of Russo’s New York Pizzeria’s pizza was not entitled to trademark protection. Russo’s had sued another restaurant, Gina’s Italian Kitchen, for trademark infringement, claiming it had copied the taste of its food, using its recipes, suppliers, and allegedly hacked documents. Judge Gregg Costa dismissed the […]

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Trademark Fight Over “Eau Rouge” Pits Race Track Against Carmaker

October 23, 2014

Tweet Automaker Nissan’s effort to trademark the name of its concept car, the “Eau Rouge,” has caused some consternation on the auto racing circuit. “Eau Rouge” happens to be the name of one of Formula One racing’s most famous turns at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Nissan’s U.S. trademark application in International Class 12 (automobiles) will be […]

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Millennials Want Brands to Be Their Friends

October 20, 2014

Tweet Way back in 2010, we wrote about a study that showed that Millennials didn’t feel particularly strongly about … anything. At that time, they didn’t have much love or hate for any particular brands. Apparently that’s changed because a new study shows they’re now feeling strong connections to brands, especially those that listen to them […]

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Don Henley Sues Clothing Retailer Over Use Of Name and Song Title

October 17, 2014

Tweet The music world’s Don Henley, a founding member of the Eagles, is suing Duluth Trading Company, a Wisconsin-based clothing company for trademark infringement and false advertising over its use of the phrase: “Don a Henley and Take it easy.” Take a look at the ad: This case seems to easily lend itself to a […]

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Lady Godiva at the Center of Trademark Dispute

October 14, 2014

Tweet Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Lady Godiva. The wife of an 11th century English nobleman, she opposed the steep taxes her husband imposed on the townspeople. Her husband, Lord Leofric, said he would rescind the taxes if Lady Godiva would ride her horse naked through the streets of Coventry. […]

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“Kinesio” Case Highlights Use of Root Words in Trademarks

October 13, 2014

Tweet American company Kinesio Holding Corporation and Kinesio IP, LLC, known as Kinesio, is threatening legal action against a Canadian kinesiologist whose business is called Kinesio Sport Lab (KSL). Kinesiology is “the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement,” according to the Merriam-Webster.com. And, Jeff Zahavich, director of KSL, […]

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Branding: The “Why No iWatch?” Discussion Continues

October 10, 2014

Tweet The conversation around “Why no iWatch?” continues—was it a trademark issue or a strategic branding choice? One factor cited in the debate is Swatch’s ownership of several trademarks for iSwatch, yet Apple had already registered iWatch trademarks in Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and several other countries. Apple began using the “I” in 1998 when it […]

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