One toke over the line . . .


I don’t think that even the parody defense will save the “420 Football League,” whose goal, as it were, is that players take a bong hit, hold it as long as possible, time themselves, and advance the ball [?] one yard for every second the hit is held.

Much as I enjoy criticizing frivolous trademark claims, I have to admit that this one pretty much hits the dilution by tarnishment nail squarely on the head.  Thanks to TMZ for the tip.  See?  There is value in reading gossip sites!

New Year Stuff and Nonsense

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 . . .

          

Miscellany from all around

Apologies for the blogging drought.  Thanksgiving and ski season, not to mention Chanukah (for which I’m woefully ill-prepared) are keeping me hopping already.  So let’s just call this post a potpourri of things that have flitted across the radar screen recently.

1.     Noted, in Plantation, FL, by my cousin Craig: a lawn service company truck bearing the name “Lawn Order.” 

2.     I’ve been agonizing over the new slogan adopted by the IFC movie channel, “Always, Uncut” for two reasons.  First, the comma: Not needed and frankly, confusing.  Because that brings me to the second point: Sorry, but given some of the offerings on IFC, “uncut” suggests a particular genre of movie that I am not entirely certain the channel wished to emphasize.  Basically, are we talking editing, commercial interruptions, or circumcision here – and whatever it may be, why the damn comma?

Thank you for your patience.  I have enough trouble with the idiotically-spelled Syfy channel’s moronic “Imagine Greater” slogan; this one serves only to reinforce my conviction that television naming is the opposite of reasoned.

3.     When I first exercised my urge to write about trademarks.

4.     Speaking of slogans, I’m not always a curmudgeon about them.  This weekend we’re heading off to ski at Beaver Creek, where their slogan is “Not exactly roughing it.”  If ever a phrase expressed my philosophy of life, that’s the one.

Photo of grooming cats from Beaver Creek website.

Excuses

One of the many reasons for which I’m grateful to have married my husband is that we have the same, i.e., limited, interests in sports.  We hate football, are mildly interested in basketball, will watch hockey only until the moment blood flows or teeth are broken – and love baseball.  Marc is a Dodger (LA, not the real ones) fan, and although for most of my life I have followed the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the Mets, my practice is to become a fervent supporter of the home team wherever we’ve lived.  So that means 15+ years as a Mariners fan, and the last two seasons following the Rockies.

Obviously, with such a background, I hate the Yankees.  Few public figures disgust me as much as George Steinbrenner and Rudy Giuliani, and the latter’s leering dentition creeped me out during the playoff season.

But what’s a girl to do when the damn Phillies beat both the Rockies and the Dodgers?  I couldn’t simply turn around to root for them, so alas, I grudgingly allotted my cheers to the Yankees.  Maybe it was just A-Rod’s channeling Edgar Martinez at the plate, maybe it was sheer loyalty to my roots.

That doesn’t mean I don’t feel dirty, though.  So in tribute to all that’s icky and unsanitary about baseball, I offer you the baseball dugout mainstay, ever so appropriately named: