Google might have joined the common vernacular — it was entered into the venerable Oxford English Dictionary back in 2006, after all — but it has staunchly resisted attempts to render the actual trademark "Google" invalid. A recent suit to invalidate the term has been decided in Google's favor, so that's one more attempt thwarted. Instead of joining the vaulted halls of cellophane, linoleum, and thermos, Google will remain a trademark.
Genericization is a big problem for big businesses. Companies like Xerox and Zamboni have had to launch ad campaigns in the past to keep their terms out of common use. Read More
Last night, we received a tip that the Play Store listing for AirDroid, a popular app that allows users to see notifications, respond to messages, and manage content from their Android devices on a desktop, had been removed from the Play Store. The listing was directing to Google's infamous "Not Found" page.
We reached out to the AirDroid team who, at the time, were still trying to figure out what had happened. As it turns out, Google had removed the listing after a mass-complaint from Facebook. The sweeping set of complaints picked up tons of apps with "WhatsApp" in their names, but also apps - like AirDroid - that simply mentioned WhatsApp in the description. Read More
It seems like ages ago that Apple and Samsung finished duking it out in court over Samsung's "borrowing" from Apple's early iPhone designs. However, the $930 million judgement against Samsung was just the beginning of the legal tussle. This whole time the lawyers have still been racking up billable hours, and now a US appeals court has reversed a big chunk of the damages saying Apple's trademarks on the look of the original iPhone aren't valid.
Samsung seems to have a big target on its back that is particularly attractive to lawyers. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a media company focusing on photography and management is suing Samsung over its use of the "Milk" trademark for its proprietary music service. The New York- and Los Angeles-based agency alleges that Samsung knowingly and willingly violated its trademark when designing the new service.
Milk Studios isn't particularly well-known for everyday consumers, but it's more notable than you might think. While Milk Studios started with photography services in the 90s, it has expanded into a range of niche business-to-business media sectors, including online services, equipment rental, brick-and-mortar galleries, talent management and representation, and full production of websites, commercials, and more pertinently, music and music videos. Read More
Twitter killed Twitpic. Now Twitter will save Twitpic. Well, sort of. Not really. Kinda. But it's still dead. Alright, try and follow along here: early in September, the original and independent image hosting site for Twitter, Twitpic, said that it was in danger of shutting down after Twitter (the main one) opposed its trademark application. Then Twitpic said they had found a buyer and would remain open. Then they said they wouldn't, and would shut down October 25th, yesterday.
Surprisingly, it seems that Twitter itself has stepped in to help the beleaguered image hosting service and its users. According to a last-minute blog post on Twitpic's official site yesterday, Twitter Inc. Read More
One of the more inflammatory stories in the world of gaming over the last few months has been the rise of casual game publisher King and its emphatic defense of its "Candy Crush Saga" intellectual property. After applying for trademarks on the terms "Candy" and "Saga" for video game and clothing applications, King opposed the trademark application of the PC Viking-themed RPG The Banner Saga.
Both of these games include "Saga" in the title. You can decide which one is more appropriate.
King's own application to trademark "Candy Crush Saga" was likewise opposed by indie developer Runsome Apps, whose CandySwipe game from 2010 bears a striking resemblance to Candy Crush Saga. Read More
Remember when we reported that T-Mobile was suing AT&T because the marketing for the Aio budget carrier used a shade of purple that was too close to T-Mobile's (literally) trademark magenta? Yes, that is a thing that happened. And apparently at least one Texas judge thought it was a valid complaint, because a federal court has ruled that Aio did, in fact, infringe on T-Mobile's corporate trademark.
Here's the PR statement that T-Mobile issued after the ruling:
Federal Court Rules that AT&T was Infringing on T-Mobile's Magenta Trademark Color and Orders an Injunction
A federal court has halted AT&T's transparent effort to infringe on T-Mobile's distinctive magenta trademark.
The US Patent and Trademark Office, in its infinite and infallible wisdom, has opted to approve a trademark filing from King, the developer of the wildly popular game Candy Crush Saga. King was seeking a trademark on the word 'candy' in the context of games and clothing (for some reason), and it appears the attorney who examined the request thought King had a sufficiently strong case, so here we are.
The Moto X marked the spot for the the company's Google-centric rebrand earlier this year, and it looks like the naming convention may stick around for future models. The US Patent and Trademark Office is showing a new trademark filing from Motorola: the "MOTO G." This doesn't indicate that a new phone is coming, but it does mean that Motorola is interested in using that particular name for a future product.
(The USPTO doesn't allow direct links to trademark pages. If you want to check our work head to this page, search for "Moto G," and click the first result.)
The filing points to use for "Mobile phones, smartphones and accessories therefor, namely battery chargers, adapters and removable covers," and it was submitted to the USPTO on October 15th. Read More
International trademark, patent, and copyright law is a bit of a legal minefield, and Apple has proven itself to be among the best in navigating it these last few years. But there is one exception to their otherwise impressive track record: the lucrative South American market of Brazil. While Apple iPhones have been sold in the country for years, Apple has never owned the trademark for the name. A regional phone manufacturer, Gradiente Eletronica, registered the trademark for "iphone" way back in 2000.
That didn't stop Cupertino's legal bulldogs from suing Gradiente after they released the iPhone Neo One, a ~$300 mid-range Gingerbread phone, in December. Read More