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December 2015 Archives

Infringe Them You Should Not

A long time ago (circa 1977) in a galaxy not so very far away (our very own Milky Way galaxy) George Lucas unleashed a branding juggernaut when he released the first Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope. Since then, we've learned to love most things Star Wars (of course Jar Jar and Ewoks aren't on my personal list of favorites) and the lexicon of film characters (Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, et al.) and fictional places (Naboo, Tatooine, the Death Star, etc.) and the manifestation of gizmos and gadgets (light sabers, the Millennium Falcon, R2D2) have spawned a never-ending opportunity for mimicry, infringement, and outright counterfeiting under the guise of salutation. Nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in the realm of intellectual property, where blatant ripoffs and unlicensed uses of Star Wars trademarks and copyrights are more prevalent than the snow fleas on a tauntaun carcass.

Inspiration For The Jeep Trademark Finds a New Home

Ever since I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma, the one thing I've hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning more than anything else was a Jeep. And, I didn't want just any ol' Jeep. I've always wanted a 1945 Ford "script" Jeep, one of the World War II era quarter ton trucks manufactured for the U.S. military and that served in combat theaters around the world (the "script refers to the Ford name affixed to all the parts). It was the vehicle that established Jeep as a brand and as a trademark and served as the jumping off point for ensuing decades of sport utility vehicles manufactured by almost every automobile maker in the U.S.

Will There be Corn Syrup in Your Stocking on Christmas Morning?

With Christmas just around the corner, visions of sugar plums and other sweet treats are dancing in consumers' heads as they plan for the big event. Candy and the sugar used to make it are very big business in the United States and account for annual sales in the billions of dollars. Worldwide sales are even more staggering in their magnitude. So, it should come as no surprise that other sweetener manufacturers, envious of the stranglehold sugar has had as the sweetener of choice, have tried to make inroads against sugar's market share in recent years. Not least amongst these competitors has been the corn industry.

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