This item was in my daughter’s Ipsy bag this month. Where do I begin?
Okay, we have “bella,” which is Italian for beautiful, mashed together with “pierre,” which is French for stone. Except “bella” bears an extraneous and incomprehensible accent mark; the combination sort of means “beautiful stone” (and it’s sheer coincidence that I photographed it on my granite countertop). I know I am meant to ignorantly assume that the accent mark imparts a certain quelle-heure-est-il cachet to the product but alas, I cannot. Rather, I am stuck repeating two of my constant refrains when it comes to trademarks: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” – and “I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.”
My daughter says the the liner is highly pigmented and is looking forward to using it and was happy to relinquish the packaging to her obsessive mother.
Would, or should, anyone really disagree with the proposition that the food you eat should taste good? I think not. But is that proposition on its own worthy of serving as a trademark? To wit:
I note that it’s registered, but think that registration won’t go far to enabling the mark’s owner to prevent others from saying – not using as a trademark – that food, in fact, should taste good. Your mission statement shouldn’t necessarily be the same thing as your trademark.
Similarly, if asked the question set out in this mark (which is registered, despite the absence of the symbol), I’d of course say “hell yeah,” though I wouldn’t necessarily view that question as a mark:
While a slogan or catchphrase may be registrable with the PTO (because “Food should taste good” and “Wanna betta butt?” are not technically descriptive of the goods they designate), that doesn’t mean they’re good trademarks. Multiple word brand names do not roll trippingly off the tongue, are difficult to remember and thus susceptible to misidentification,* and ultimately make me think of one of Saturday Night Live’s most memorable fake brands, Oops! I Crapped My Pants!
*Fun fact: I always refer to the women’s clothing store White House¦Black Market as “Black Tie, White Noise,” the name of a (highly underrated, IMHO) David Bowie album.
… finds the name of this company (from a tweet promoted on Hootsuite) to be pretty funny:
Forever young, as I like to say!
I cannot believe that after six and a half years of dog ownership I only just figured out the genesis of this product name:
Kudos, however belatedly.
Many years ago, I encountered (and am desperately sorry I cannot remember where) the charming phrase “lying around like a lox.” Anyone who’s seen a full side of lox will find the phrase beautifully evocative. I then extrapolated from that the coinage “loxin’ around the house,” something I do a lot of, often with dogs in tow.
Well, a recent visit to Ulta brought me another variation on the theme:
That’s right, snoxin. You’re loxin’? You’re snoozin? You’re both right – you’re SNOXIN!
A visit to the indeed labs (and despite the fancy smooshed “i” and “n” the URL is “indeedlabs.com”) website offers a wealth of other marks to probe, including “Matrixyl 3000 … [with] messenger molecules, Matrikines” and “SYN-AKE … an effective wrinkle smoothing compound”; re the latter, is it short for “synapse ache” or am I just falling into an ingredient name-generation syn-ake pit? See what I did there? Oy. As for Matrikines, that definitely rings of sci-fi and not science to me – perhaps a tribe of female supercows?
Fun fact about “snoxin” as a name? When you say it out loud while shopping at Ulta with your teenaged daughter, you will dissolve into hysterics and people will think you’re crazy.
In any event, would you like a visual aid to better grasp what I now conceive of as snoxin? Because snow’s coming again, and I’m sure we’re going to be back at it soon.
It’s bad enough that the Teen Spirit brand tarnishes Kurt Cobain’s memory. But this is even worse:
CUTE & GIRLIE? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? IT’S 2015 – AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICED? If you’re old enough to use antiperspirant, you’re old enough to be totally mortified if your mom buys you “cute & girlie [sic]” antiperspirant.
And for the final injury, it should be “girly” the adjective, and not “girlie” the diminutive noun.
Here’s the last ad of note from Aspen Magazine:
Don’t get me wrong – I love the word “sentient.” (And would love the idea of private jet service, but alas, will have to resign myself to the crumbs offered by my United Premier Silver status this year.)
But do we really think that “sentient” is the easiest word to pronounce? You, my literate readers, and I, and Wordnik, all know how it’s pronounced, but the full name just doesn’t roll off the tongue all that easily – the “shint” second syllable gets jammed with the “j” of “jet,” in my humble and fussy opinion. So while I loved the Sentient Jet mark at first sight, I liked it less at first recite. [I would insert a frowning emoji here if I knew how and were cooler. But I’m not.]
From Aspen Magazine, high society indeed:
Getting in the social responsibility angle? With tasteful graphics and a non-punning name? I’ll be right over – after I’m finished at Bogner and Prada and Gucci, of course.
Mr. Levy was speaking at an ABA conference this past weekend, so spousal solidarity impelled me to join him at Snowmass, where we enjoyed great skiing and dining.
Apropos of nothing trademark-related, Snowmass is a place where you can see this ad for Bogner skiwear in Aspen Magazine –
and think “Who on earth would ever wear that?” … And then, mere hours later, you’ll see someone at the Two Creeks chairlift wearing the exact same outfit!
Said Aspen Magazine offers so much more, though, so stay tuned.
I can’t decide what bothers me more about this product name:
Is it (a) that the mark consists merely of the product’s main ingredient, with an additional letter slapped onto it? Or (b) that said mark rhymes with “goats”? Or (c) that when you try to pronounce it your mouth contorts uncomfortably and you’re not sure anyone can understand you? [Try it. I’ll wait. “Want some Woats?” See?] Or (d) that it reminds me of the egregious and (for me, at least) hackle-raising misspelling of “whoa” as “woah”?
I’m afraid it’s (e) All of the above, which is unfortunate, since the founder of the company has some very laudable goals for giving back to the community.
Just a not-so-gentle reminder:
The phonetic spelling doesn’t make it more protectable.
I have noted in the past (sorry for the missing photo; it was of a brand called Redskins) that the French may have a bit more leeway than we do about using Native American nomenclature in their ads and products; yes, it may be culturally insensitive, but they’re an ocean away and bear less culpability for the ills inflicted on our native populace. Still, I don’t think that leeway extends as far as this company would like to take it:
This ad copy is translated as “In Sioux country, for the pretty ‘Red Skins,’ an incantation is uttered by the Shaman of the Tribe: May My Red Spots Disappear!”
First of all, “May My Red Spots Disappear”? Doesn’t really flow off the tongue as a brand name. Second, what is that photo? A winged serum bottle on a rope? Third, are these two ads for one company’s two products on one page? My middle-aged eyes are bugging out of my head! Fourth and finally, shaman? Really?
I was not surprised to find this ad in the cheap pages at the end of the magazine. That should be the most prominence it ever gets – before it hits la poubelle, that is!
I’d rather not go into too much detail, but I’ll tell you that this product name –
has the unfortunate consequence of making me think of this. And this timeless (heh) classic joke, which makes me really not want these chips, as if the cilantro weren’t enough to keep me away for life.
I’d say this clothing company takes the ampersand naming trend to a new and unpronounceable level:
But I like the rugs.
More TJ Maxx antics:
Just decide on one and stick with it. But I’ll give you a hint – it’s Provence! (Also, this chateau appears not to exist at all. Tant pis.) This wooden tray was tempting, and you know I love a good typo, but helas, this was not marked down enough.
Yes, though it’s been a month since we got back from Paris, it’s taken me time to get to my magazines. So here’s Exhibit A – a brand name I kind of like:
… even though my iPad keeps wanting to change it to Hip Anemia.
I spend so much time and money at DSW that it’s no wonder I have been officially designated a “Shoe Lover” (duh, as if I haven’t known this since Mr. Massey’s shoe shop in Newark back in the 60s …) With me, two teenage daughters, and a husband who loves shoes too, we’re there all too often, and are all too familiar with the brands they carry.
But when I saw this one I was speechless. I don’t care how many registrations* their owner has for this mark and marks incorporating it:
IMHO, that’s a whole lot of money spent on something that’s virtually unprotectable. Is it worth trying to buy a krazy spelling of clogs? And would you even try to enforce it? (Hint: TTABvue contains no records indicating the owner of the KLOGS trademarks has opposed any applications based on its ownership of KLOGS. I rest my case.)
*2(f), Supplemental, and with disclaimers of the right to use “clogs” apart from the mark as shown.
Yes, again. I needed a week of intensive walking, eating, and bus riding. Nothing suits me better. And of course there are the airport magazines and photos to share with my vast readership.
So if I haven’t mentioned the fact before, I am the daughter of a car fanatic and am also married to a car fanatic. The total number of cars my dad and husband have owned over their collective lives probably approaches 100. Naturally, some of this rubs off on me, and I’m no slouch when it comes to model recognition, for example, and of course, car names.
What a thrill then, to see that this model name has been given a new lease on life:
Yes, it’s the Duster, once a fine Plymouth model and now part of the Renault-Dacia family. Too bad they ditched the zany original Duster typeface:
Fun facts: I learned from the Wikipedia article on the Duster that it was built on the same platform as the Plymouth Valiant and the Dodge Dart. Re the former, we owned a snazzy white Valiant convertible with turquoise vinyl interior – boy was it cute! And re the latter? Well, like the Duster, the Dart name was resuscitated by Chrysler as of 2013, long after its original 1960-1976 heyday.
It has been quite a while since I last did any drinking for research purposes. Let me tell you, this one isn’t likely to make me resume the practice:
I think the only way this wine’s marketers could’ve pandered to their target market more would be to have made the label pink. With flowers. And a photo of Ryan Gosling.
N.B. Somehow I lost all my photos in my blog transition. I apologize. Technology is hard.
I can’t believe I haven’t yet found a reason to discuss my visceral disgust at the popular marketing term “melty.” What in dog’s name is wrong with “melted” and “melting,” I implore you? Every time I see a commercial using the term – and it rears its ugly head more and more often (though the public seems to have been cringing about it for many years now) – I scream at the screen. (I mean honestly, why not “meltish” then while we’re at it?)
So it was with even greater disgust that I turned over a package of Starbucks Via to see this fresh horror:
Yes, that’s “roasty.”
Now for a quick detour: I had the great honor and pleasure of being a guest lecturer on trademark prosecution at the University of Denver Law School last week, in a trademark class taught by the esteemed adjunct professor Marc Levy (okay, I had an in). And one of the topics I discussed my steadfast reminder to clients to look terms up in Urban Dictionary to make sure your new trademark isn’t a dirty word.
Let’s just say that Starbucks should’ve done that before forging ahead with its “roasty” usage.