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Beauty Marks, live

For those interested in branding and trademarks, this looks like a very interesting and informative blog — Beauty Marks, by Jessica Stone Levy.  Her discussion of "bugging" marks with the TM symbol is pretty interesting and logical but but counter to all the legal advice I've received over the years. 

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Mitch Brisebois August 1, 2007, 6:59 am

    The IPR folks I've delt with usually advised me to use TM initially in a document. It doesn't have to appear in every instance of the trademarked term. What is more important is to avoid using the term as a noun or a descriptive modifier… You shouldn't ride a Harley. You should ride a Harley motorcycle. Of course in the internet software world this is more difficult as Brand itself IS the product. You use Google – not the Google search engine. You use Talk-Now, not the Talk-Now mobile productivity tool… It will be interesting to see how defendible internet brands will be.

  • Rich Lafferty August 1, 2007, 10:11 am

    The way she uses a famous mark as an example in a discussion of a new mark seems a bit off. Infringements on the Chanel mark and on a brand-new one would be handled very differently if it ever went to court.

  • Alec August 1, 2007, 10:17 am

    The principal should be the same, though, shouldn’t it Rich?

  • Jessica Stone Levy August 2, 2007, 11:20 am

    Honored to have my thesis debated. Things may be different there up north, but I’m unaware of any US authority finding a party’s claim of trademark right weakened as a result of the lack of placing trademark notice on a product. I’m looking at the ad for Sitofono that appears in the upper right of this page as I type: there’s no “tm” there, but I still have to assume it IS a trademark (again, under US law) simply because they’re using it. With legal documents, there’s no real rules on that either — basically the goal is to inform the parties of the status of the particular trademark. As far as internet brands go, there’s really no difference between the brick and mortar and internet worlds, we trademark lawyers have concluded after all these years. Think ROLLERBLADE: they had to scramble to create a generic term for the product once they realized that their legitimate competitors wanted to use the name because they couldn’t think of what else to call it. So they created “in-line skates” and saved their trademark from becoming generic. Google could face that same fate, although they profess to be happy about it. It’s only when there’s nothing else to call “the thing” that genericide occurs — e.g., if Scott Paper had no term other than “Kleenex” to use to describe its product. Kleenex and Kimberly-Clark, however, have done a good job making sure it’s always Kleenex(R) brand facial tissues.
    Just my .02, for you guys a bargain these days.

  • Alec August 2, 2007, 12:22 pm

    Hey thanks, Jessica. Appreciate the free advice 😉 Good luck with your blog. I’ll be following it regularly.

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