A happy 2010 to all! Just a few observations here and there to get me back on my blogging feet again:
1. Kind of liking ideeli as the name of a “members-only shopping community,” at least from a trademark perspective.
2. Drove past a Dairy Queen recently and noticed signage is different from what I’d remembered. Now it says DQ Grill & Chill:
Survey says: I love it! I think it’s an excellent updating of the classic “Brazier food” designation (which I never failed to call “brassiere food”), and I think “Grill & Chill” is an excellent, suggestive slogan. It may be old news, but it’s news to me.
3. While I customarily counsel clients not to alter their trademarks or slogans because that can weaken them, I am not so doctrinaire that I cannot make exceptions. As you may know, I have previously discussed my passion for the Beaver Creek ski resort slogan “Not exactly roughing it.” Well, Beaver Creek recently opened an outdoor grill-your-own restaurant called Mamie’s Mountain Grill. The setting is lovely, the burgers top-notch, and the drinks ridiculously strong, at least until the bartender gets a jigger. But the best part is the banner at the entrance, where underneath the Mamie’s name, the sign reads “Slightly Roughing It.”
4. Next, in the ever-popular and expanding “I do not think it means what you think it means” category, we have a few contestants: (a) Sophistry Skin Care; and (b) The Flow, “a glass journal for the flameworking community.”
5. In the trademark overreaching event, we have – I know, shocking – the Olympic Committee, here in Canada, going after Lululemon Athletica* for marketing “a cheeky clothing line that’s named ‘Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition.'” One fine day I’ll sit myself down without the dog nipping at my feet to write the definitive post on nominative fair use, plain old fair use, sponsorship confusion, licensing, and why I have no damn problem with my local supermarket setting up a display with a sign “Get your Super Bowl party treats here!” But until then I’ll just continue to blurt out sporadic rants like this one.
6. Finally, as for the recent dustup over the unauthorized use by PETA and Weatherproof of photos of Michelle and Barack Obama, respectively, in advertising, I believe that both uses were wrong and actionable; I don’t see a free speech right to use a celebrity’s image, even if that celebrity is a political figure, for a wholly non-political, commercial purpose, in the Weatherproof case. As for the PETA photo, I can think of many reasons for Michelle Obama not to want to be associated with PETA, regardless of her assertion that she doesn’t wear fur. But all they really want is the publicity . . .
Once again, happy New Year to all.
H/ts to Nancy and to my dear friend and jewelry-maker extraordinaire Peggy, who didn’t realize what a chuckle I’d get when I saw that she had become a fan of The Flow.
*Many moons ago, so long ago there’s no record of it in the PTO database, I worked on a trademark application for Lululemon. Full disclosure and all . . .