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Archive for the ‘Trademark Cases, News & Updates’ Category

Florida Restaurant Alleges Trademark Infringement

Florida restaurant, C.R. Chicks brought a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Michigan Restauranteur, causing the Michigan proprietor to give up his restaurants’ name, C.R. Smokin Chicks, and go back to the drawing board in his efforts to name his restaurant, according to an article in The Detroit News. Ironically, this is only one of several names Gary Baja has turned to in his seemingly never-ending efforts to name his restaurant in a way that avoids claims of trademark infringement from others. He initially started the eatery with the name, Mother Cluckers, back in 2004.  That name was abandoned since the landlord found it distasteful.  When the restaurant’s name was changed to C.R. Smokin Chicks, Florida restaurant chain, C.R. Chicks, alleged trademark infringement. In an effort to resolve the matter, the owner Gary Baja put black duct tape over the letters C.R. so only the Smokin Chicks would show a seen below (if you look carefully, you w

Trademark Infringement Case is High Steaks

The Nashville Post reports that Orlando Florida-based Darden Restaurants, the owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, is being sued for trademark infringement by Nashville-based O’Charley’s owner of the Stoney River chain.  The dispute stems over Darden Restaurant’s new concept for a steakhouse, Rocky River Grillhouse, a lodge type eatery serving grilled steaks and seafood.  O’Charley’s find this concept too similar to its Stoney River Legendary Steaks, which opened last year in Nashville’s West End. According to the lawsuit, the word ‘rocky’ is synonymous with ‘stoney,’ no to mention the fact that the decor and menu for both establishments is strikingly similar.  The first Rocky River opened in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, last November as a test location.  There are reportedly more on the way. There have been earlier clashes of restaurant copycatiing, including the dispute between ‘Wendy’s‘

The Auger Buddy Fishing Equipment Patent Is Still Pending

If you’re an ice fisherman, the patent pending Auger Buddy may make your fishing trips easier. The inventors of the Auger Buddy have recently reached the patent pending stage for their lightweight, hand-operated sled, which transports the power auger and other ice fishing equipment across ice and snow. An article at www.pr.com touts the Auger Buddy as a hassle-free solution for carrying equipment and tackle to and from fishing holes. It’s convenient, and it also gives fisherman more time to fish and less time lugging.   You’ll see that many new inventions capitalize on convenience and work to give people more time. In this time-pressed culture, we need all the extra moments we can get.

Florida Trademark Litigation Avoided by Coral Gables and Orlando Via Joint-use Agreement

Florida trademark litigation avoided.  Two Florida Cities (Coral Gables & Orlando) have agreed to avoid potential trademark litigation by working together for shared use of the name "City Beautiful" according to an article (reproduced below) in Miami Today: Orlando Close to Getting Trademark for "City Beautiful" By Risa Polansky Orlando’s application to federally trademark longtime slogan The City Beautiful is in the initial stages of approval, leaving Coral Gables, which also uses the name, about a month to negotiate shared usage before a formal objection period begins. Coral Gables, which has called itself The City Beautiful since the 1930s, also was seeking the trademark but applied almost two months after Orlando filed its application. The cities, officials say, will work together for shared use of the name. "We’re now negotiating a joint-use agreement so everybody wins," said David Brown, Coral Gables city manager. City

Trademark Infringement Lead to Eye Injury

First Coast News reports on a Florida Intellectual Property litigation issue involving Joseph Pellegrino, a Jacksonville, Florida resident.  Several years ago, Pellegrino was at a gas station on Blanding Boulevard in Orange Country Park.  When he went inside to pay for his gas, he came across a pair of Oakley sunglasses retailing for $15, as opposed to the normal $200. When he tried on the sunglasses, a part of the glasses shot right into his eye, damaging his cornea.  His eye bled, necessitating surgery.  Pellegrino is now at risk for eye disease. Oakley has raided a number of stores in Florida to get rid of the counterfeit glasses.  However, they are still out there.  At one convenience store, the sunglasses retailed for only $7.99.  Pellegrino is suing for fraud, deceptive and unfair trade, as well a negligence.  It is a crime to sell knock-offs, which  violate trademark and copyright laws.  Oakley claims it has taken more than 2.8 m

Miami based Wheel Manufacturer Provides Low-End Prices for Premium Trademark Brands

Founded in 2004 in Miami, Modular Wheels has created a new 2006 line of customized wheels for such luxury trademark names as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes, and BMW vehicles. According to the article at businesswire.com, the average costs for custom wheels for these vehicles is usually between the $1,000 to $1,500 range. Modular Wheels has cut that down between $350 to $550, a savings of more than 50%.   This is a perfect example of the importance of trademark recognition. While it is essential to file a patent for a new invention with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, such as Modular Wheels’ three piece forged style custom wheels, it is also important to trademark the name, i.e. Modular Wheels, to build a solid business reputation that will provide name recognition associated with certain products. In this case, it is high end products for a very lucrative niche.   Anyone interested in filing a patent application for a new […]

Tampa, Florida Internet Company Sued for Trademark Infringement for Novelty Pay Stubs

Ever wish your pay stub showed a higher salary? Well, an internet company in Tampa, Florida offers to print a novelty pay stub for $89.95 that looks genuine according to an article in Newsday. The company’s novelty paycheck stubs, however, are at the center of a trademark infringement lawsuit brought in San Jose, California.   New Jersey based Automatic Data Processing, Inc. believes that the Florida company’s fake check stubs are infringing rights to their trademark and damaging their reputation. ADP has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in San Jose, California against NoveltyPaycheckStubs.com and the operators of the website. The complete article is available in the St. Petersburg Times.   What should you do if you come across unauthorized usage of your company’s trademarks on the internet?   Remember that trademarks function to exclusively identify the source or origin of a product or service by a name, word, sound, picture, design, image, logo,

Scripps Research Institute Encounters Trademark Squatters in South Florida

The Scripps Research Institute is grappling with the unauthorized registration of their trademark with the Florida Division of Corporations. The name was registered by South Florida residents Virginia Scott of Jupiter, Florida and David Heilman of Lake Worth, Florida, according to an article in the South Florida Business Journal.   Other names allegedly improperly registered by the Lake Worth and Jupiter, Florida residents include Salomon Brothers Realty, Inc., Geico Direct, Inc, The Free Trade Area of the Americas of Miami, Inc., and Clearchannel Communications, Inc., according to the article.   After Scott and Heilman’s application with the Florida Department of State’s office for the trademark “The Scripps Research Institute” was filed, it was followed two weeks later with Douglas Bingham’s application for the same name. Bingham works in the legal department of the actual Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California.   Needless to say, Bingh

Florida Trademark Applicant Seeks Rights to “KATRINA BLOWS BUSH SUCKS”

Roughly two weeks after Hurricane Katrina battered South Florida, a trademark applicant in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is seeking rights to the mark KATRINA BLOWS BUSH SUCKS.   Details of the application can be found on the Patent & Trademark Office Website. Simply click on status and enter serial number 78706886 and request status.   The Office Action has already been issued rejecting the application as being “disparaging and/or scandalous” and for bringing into contempt or disrepute the President of the United States, George W. Bush.   The applicant will be given six months within which to file a response. Should be an interesting application to follow. Not surprisingly, a dozen or so (at last count) other trademark applications have also been filed for marks containing the term KATRINA.

Hershey Sues Publisher for Trademark Infringement

  A federal lawsuit filed on December 16, 2005, alleges that publisher Simon & Schuster’s front cover of “Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams” is in violation of the candymaker’s ( Hershey Chocolate Corporation )trademark rights because the cover looks like a Hershey bar.   So much for not judging a book by its cover.   The company claims the cover gives consumers the impression that the company “authorized, sponsored or approved” the book while the author’s position is that the Hershey Co. is more concerned with the content of the book than its cover.   It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit plays out. The book is scheduled to be released on January 3, 2006.

Florida Creater of a Skateboarding Move Known as an “Ollie” Sues Disney and Sega in Broward County Circuit Court Over Use of the Word

The Florida creater of a skateboarding move known as an “ollie” claims that he owns exclusive trademark rights to the name “ollie” and that Disney, Sega, and Ron Jon Surf Shop are infringing upon his trademark rights, according to an article in The Miami Herald.   He has retained a trademark attorney and brought suit in Broward, Florida Circuit court seeking damages of $20 million for use of the term that he claims violates his trademark in “Ollie”. Gelfand owns the skateboard park Olliewood in Hollywood, Florida.   A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office database shows three pending trademarks by the Florida based business owner and an issued trademark to him for the mark “Ollie”.   Pending and issued trademarks can be searched for free online by utilizing the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.