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Tag Archives: Trademark Infringement

HOW IS AN AUTOMILE LIKE A DUCK TOUR? THINK GENERIC.

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Co-Authored By: Robert J. Morgan
For those businesses that might be tempted to enjoin another’s use of a common name, be advised: you might be inviting unexpected grief.  In a “where the rubber hits the road decision,” the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Court of Appeals ruled recently in the case of Bedford Auto Dealers Ass’n v. Mercedes Benz of North Olmsted, 2012-Ohio-927, 2012 WL 760626 (Cuyahoga App. March 8, 2012), that the relatively common term “automile” is generic and not entitled to trademark protection.…


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Latest Apple Trademark Dispute Highlights Need for Careful Mark Selection

Posted in Intellectual Property

Despite being the world’s foremost creator of hip consumer technology and a brand recognized worldwide, Apple has consistently managed to find itself embroiled in seemingly avoidable trademark disputes. As discussed in Hiroko Tabuchi’s New York Times article, "IPad? That’s So 2002," Fujitsu Says, Apple has found itself in another very public trademark dispute.  While the latest flap is that created by Apple’s use of iPad with its new tablet computer, it is by no means the first time Apple has been accused of trademark infringement.

In perhaps one of the most well known trademark disputes, Apple Computer sparred with Apple Corps on multiple occasions. Apple Computer’s first dustup with the corporate entity behind the Beatles’ Apple Records record label occurred in 1978 (shortly after the founding of Apple Computer in 1976) when Apple Corps sued Apple Computer for trademark violation. The parties settled that dispute in 1981 with the understanding that Apple Computer would never enter the music industry.

Predictably, in hindsight, Apple Corps filed suit against Apple Computer again eight years after the settlement—this time for violating the original agreement not to enter the music industry.…


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