Two gin companies -- Greenhook Ginsmiths and New Columbia Distillers' Green Hat Gin -- have pursued litigation in New Jersey for trademark rights to the phrase "Green Hat." Both companies claim to have superior rights to the trademark. Greenhook claims that it has used the Green Hat trademark in commerce since August 2011. On the other hand, New Columbia Distillers says it filed an application for a trademark on April 22, 2011 whereas Greenhook did not file until Sept. 28, 2011.
Thanks to the New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin's skills, fans and simple last name, people and companies around the United States were able to create a fun term to describe his increasing popularity. The player was an overnight sensation who was the team's leading scorer after being discovered sitting on a bench playing for Harvard. Although the hype has died down, the value of his name has not.
A trademark battle is brewing between two major sporting goods companies over one of the most popular names in the NFL. Nike, which will soon become the official supplier of licensed NFL apparel, is suing Adidas' Reebok International for using quarterback Tim Tebow's name on its New York Jets-related clothing.
An agreement to use "Jersey Shore" TV star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's name on a wide variety of merchandise has resulted in a breach of contract lawsuit. The entertainment figure is seeking to end her licensing arrangement with SRG Ventures. The signing of the deal was widely publicized and it was anticipated that her name would be used on denim clothing, personal lingerie and items for home use.
The trademark of catch phrases can be a tricky practice. A unique slogan such as Apple's "there's an app for that" is easily recognizable from the company's popular iPhone ad campaign, even when it's cited out of context. But in other cases, the shorter and more common the phrase, the harder it is to keep others from using it.
Hells Angels might be a household term, but that doesn't mean it's a generic part of the vocabulary. The Hells Angels want people to know that the term is a trademark and a brand, and they will sue anyone who thinks they can violate their intellectual property rights.
An interesting dispute currently being fought in the courts between fashion houses Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent is testing the limits in what can count as intellectual property in the business of fashion.
The bookstore chain giant, Borders Group Inc, is currently working on reorganizing the company while protected by Chapter 11 bankruptcy status. On Thursday, the company appealed to a bankruptcy judge to be given more time to put together a plan for exiting bankruptcy. Borders' attorneys said that the company was suddenly getting multiple offers to buy some or all of its stores still in operation and wanted more time to negotiate a sale.