Back in May, clothing company Blue Sphere Inc., which does business as Lucky 13, sued singer Taylor Swift for trademark infringement over the use of “Lucky 13.” Thirteen happens to be the singer’s lucky number: she was born on December 13, uses the number in her Twitter account name (@taylorswift13), and in the past sold t-shirts on her website emblazoned with “Lucky 13″. The clothing manufacturer, whose clothes are aimed at the same demographic Swift appeals to, claimed that Swift’s use of the trademark is damaging its business,.

Last week, Swift’s legal team fired back, stating in court documents: “… the alleged uses of ‘Lucky 13′ are so drastically and obviously different that there’s no chance that any consumer could possibly be confused about the source of the goods.” The court documents go on to say that the differences in style and “purpose,” combined with the use of the singer’s name eliminates any chance of customer confusion.

When Lucky 13 originally filed the suit, Jess Collen wrote in Forbes: “The obvious legal defense here would be that no trademark use is being made of “Lucky 13,” but that this is just a favorite phrase well known to fans of the defendant, and not likely to confuse anyone. But a favorite phrase is not necessarily free for use if someone else has claimed it first.”

There are often attempts to trademark commonly used phrases like “Lucky 13” (read about “honest to goodness” and the battle over “app store”). And, not surprisingly, trademarks including numbers are common (e.g., Boeing 737, 747, etc.). Even that phone number made famous by Tommy Tutone — 867-5309 — has been registered as a trademark in the U.S. by a plumbing and heating business.


Wine in a Paint Can Sparks Trademark Infringement Suit

by T+B Blog Team on September 11, 2014

Packaging wine in a paint can sounds pretty original, doesn’t it? Pennsylvania-based Paradocx Vineyard has been selling wine in a paint can since 2007 and owns patents on the can design and trademarks for two of its clever brand names: Pail Pink and Whitewash. The vineyard was surprised to find out that the McCann Vilnius design agency in Lithuania released wine in a paint can earlier this year. Now Paradocx is suing the Interpublic Group of Companies, which owns McCann Vilnius, for patent and trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition.

Paradocx’s paint can wine is actually contained in a sealed bag inside the can, and there’s a spout on the outside for serving.

PaintCan Wine 1

According to Foodbeast, McCann Vilnius in Lithuania creates a limited edition wine packaging for each year’s new batch of Beaujolais Nouveau. The company’s most recent paint bucket was purple and featured printed details on how many glasses of wine it takes to turn your teeth and lips purple. Here’s a photo from Packaging of the World:

paintcan wine 2

While the paint can wine case works its way through the U.S. court system, boxed wine is growing in popularity since the packaging is environmentally friendly and lightweight. You can check out Epicurious’ list of the Top 5 Boxed Wines here. There are also several canned wines on the market, including Wild Pelican, Union Wine, and sparkling wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery (the Sofia Mini)— popular because of their portability.

Cans, bag-in-a-box, paint cans — what’s next in wine packaging? Tetra packs, cardboard bottles, stacked pre-filled glasses, and wine cubes are on the market now. And if you’re feeling creative, you can use that wine from a paint can to try a little painting with wine.




Twitter Hashtag Trademarks: #whatsthedeal

September 10, 2014

Tweet Dez Bryant, a wide receiver for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, filed a trademark application last month for his Twitter hashtag, #ThrowUpTheX. For those who haven’t seen Bryant celebrate when he scores a touchdown, he throws his arms up in the shape of an “X.” His trademark filing with the USPTO is in International Class […]

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Twitpic Shutting Down Over Trademark Dispute With Twitter

September 9, 2014

Tweet On September 25, photo-sharing website Twitpic will shut its doors. In a blog post published on September 4, company founder Noah Everett wrote: “Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe wholeheartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to […]

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NgTLD Update: .XYZ In The Lead, .MARKET, .WALES, & More

September 4, 2014

Tweet Highlights This week we see the launch of: Two new Rightside ‘Regulated’ TLDs (.MARKET and .MORTGAGE) Five new Uniregistry Sunrises (.CLICK, .HOSTING, .PROPERTY, .DIET, and .HELP) New georaphic TLDs .WALES and .CYMRU (Proud Welshpersons take note: general availability starts March 1, the day of St. David, patron saint of Wales!) .QUEBEC .BZH for the […]

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It’s New York Fashion Week: Let’s Look at Fashion Trademarks

September 3, 2014

Tweet Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week starts tomorrow in New York City so we thought it was time to take a look at recent fashion trademark stories. First up is designer Roberto Cavalli, who is being sued for copyright infringement and violations of the Lanham Act by three graffiti artists who claim their work was used in […]

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The ALS Association Withdraws “Ice Bucket Challenge” Trademark Applications

September 2, 2014

Tweet What a difference a day makes! Just as the media picked up the story that The ALS Association (ALS) had filed trademark applications for its wildly popular “Ice Bucket Challenge,” the association announced the withdrawal of the applications the following day. Here’s the August 29th announcement on the ALS Facebook page: “We’ve received several […]

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Denver Brewery Changes Name Over Threat of Legal Action

August 28, 2014

Tweet Just three months after its launch, the Denver Pearl Brewing Company is going to change its name, following complaints from two other breweries that claimed the company’s name sounded too similar to their own brands, according to The Denver Post. The company’s owner and general manager, Colby Rankin, commented that before selecting a name […]

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KIND and Clif Bar Involved in Trade Dress Infringement Case

August 27, 2014

Tweet Healthy snacks producers KIND LLC and Clif Bar & Company met in court to settle an alleged trade dress infringement regarding the packaging of their respective snack bars, Lexology reports. According to KIND, its unique packaging design incorporates a transparent front panel which allows customers to see the product itself. When KIND noticed Clif’s […]

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NgTLD Update: Getting The Most Out Of The TMCH With URDPs And Blocks

August 26, 2014

Tweet Think of the new gTLD space as one of those board games in which your goal is to control the most territory. Each square is a potential domain name relevant to your trademark. How can you expand your zone of control? ICANN created the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) to help, and many Corsearch clients are […]

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