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10-14-16 Weekly Round-Up of trademark News

Daniel Mills, Trademark Attorney

Posted Friday, October 14, 2016 by Daniel Mills

Its not just the Chicago Cubs who are concerned about knock-off merchandise being sold outside its stadium. The company that owns the rights to the Broadway hit Hamilton are suing two companies for selling merchandise that allegedly infringes on Hamilton’s trademarks and copyrights. HamiltonCo is seeking damages and profits from the maker of the t-shirts and the website that is hosting the sales. Read More here.

Oprah Winfrey wins trademark dispute over OWN YOUR POWER. When your pockets are as deep as Oprah’s you get a lot of law suits. Oprah put the words “Own Your Power” on an issue of “O” magazine and was sued by Simone Kelly Brown, who owns the trademark for the phrase. The trademark of the phrase was not a word mark, which offers broad protection, instead it was of a stylized version of the mark with a further limiting claim of a light blue color. A very detailed breakdown and examples of the mark can be found here. Oprah and the rest of the defendants won dismissal in 2012. This latest ruling should put an end to the dispute. The lesson here is know what you have before you file suit, especially when poking a bear.

In a slight twist on the above lesson, even a giant bear should know what it has before doing the poking. MasterCard filed a trademark infringement suit in New Zealand against a sporting event called the World Master Games. The logos in question are not even close to being the same. A funny summery of the case can be found here. When you look at the logos in question, you will have to seriously question the decision to pursue this case.

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