Starbucks Not So “Dumb” After All

Last weekend in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, it appeared that coffee mogul Starbucks opened a new franchise. However, this new store proudly named itself “Dumb Starbucks,” and every menu item was preceded by the word “dumb.” Patrons could order Dumb Honey Blonde roast coffee or Dumb Chai Lattes, to name a few, in size Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande, or Dumb Venti. Oddly enough, Starbucks has decided not to go after the perpetrator of this stunt, Continue Reading →

Lanham Act Implications of the “USDA Organic” Label

The industrialization of food has radically changed the way Americans eat.  Some changes have been for the better: industrialized food production almost guarantees a steady food supply year round at a relatively low cost to both producers and consumers.  Food manufacturing processes remove pathogens from certain foods, making them safer to eat.  Nevertheless, the convenience and security the modern food industry provides come at a price.  We as consumers have very little control over what Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – January 8, 2010

Here’s the latest on the STLR radar: Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco decided to allow showing the trial challenging California’s Proposition 8 on YouTube, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.  The Wall Street Journal Law Blog questions whether that’s a good thing. Patent Librarian notes that Wikipedia citations in patent applications are up 59%, but Patently-O puts that increase in perspective. A report commissioned by the French government recommends taxing Google on Continue Reading →

Twittersquatting: Twitter Is Doing Something About It

Many prominent brand names and trademarks have been registered as Twitter usernames by non-affiliated individuals.  As Twitter’s popularity has skyrocketed, corporations have taken note and become much more interested in securing their usernames.  While trademark owners are understandably concerned that Twitter has complete control over the assignment of usernames, Twitter’s newly-updated terms of service and rules improve protections for trademark holders. Twitter usernames are valuable Twitter, created in 2006, is one of the fastest growing Continue Reading →

Apple / Cisco iPhone litigation primer, part 1 – what’s in a trademark?

We’re all pretty well familiar with the term trademark, and what it represents: a unique “mark” used to identify a product’s source, and to distinguish the product from goods made by others. But before we can get into iPhone vs. iPhone (in part 2), we have to dot our Is and cross our Ts, so to speak, when it comes to the finer points of trademark law. More specifically, a trademark can range from something Continue Reading →