Coloring Outside the Lines: Challenging Color as a Protectable Trademark?

Watching my oldest son color in his many coloring books and notebooks is a sight to behold. His crayon and marker meanderings may not sway a more “unbiased” eye, but to me, he’s a budding Kandinsky. I am continually amazed by his creativity…and, for an energetic little boy, the casual disregard for the lines he is supposed to color within. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder…and in the context of trademark rights, such aesthetics appear to be at the core of a simmering area of trademark law involving the use of color as a trademark in the fashion industry.

Lines in the Sand: Handling a Trademark Bully on the Digital Playground

Unlike the seemingly never-ending Texas heat this past summer, at least the temperature of one dispute has cooled down (if not completely cooled off).  On or about August 25, 2011, Facebook apparently settled its ongoing trademark dispute with parody site Lamebook (although I am sure Facebook does not legally agree with the “parody” characterization).  As […]

From Launch Date to Court Date: The Curious Case of the Motorola Xoom

Ever since Apple’s launch of is iPad tablet helped jump start (if not redefine) the tablet computer marketplace, other manufacturers have been playing catch-up for a piece of the action.  As Apple’s launch of the iPad 2 was looming on the horizon, Motorola launched its own Android-based tablet computer the end of February 2011 to […]

“Suffix Policing” Trademarks in the Social Networking Era

Spurred on by the explosion in social networking, there appears to be an interesting trend by certain trademark owners to stretch the boundaries of “likelihood of confusion” under U.S. trademark law. Facebook has taken issue with online teacher community Teachbook, which has escalated into litigation, and its well-publicized bout with Lamebook has resulted in Lamebook filing a pre-emptive declaratory action (prompting an interesting knee-jerk reaction from Facebook from which they later backtracked). Facebook’s aggressive trademark policing tactics even induced online location-based service Placebook to change its name (er…pronunciation…can you say “Placéboök”?) It’s easy to see the underlying theme here – Facebook seems to believe that its “-book” suffix is highly distinct in the online world.