Tuesday 26 September 2017

The Deft Touch: Humor to Protect Trademarks

As every competent trademark attorney knows: beware sending a cease and desist letter.  There are many strategic reasons for care: forum selection; admitting a likelihood of confusion; and souring a potential profitable commercial relationship.  One important consideration is appearing to be a “trademark bully” with an overreaching claim—particularly against a small company and when free speech interests may be involved.  In the days of the Internet, you don't want your client portrayed as a "bully."  Some of my favorite cease and desist letters, include the Jack Daniels cease and desist letter and the recent Netflix cease and desist letter.  The recent (relatively hilarious) video by Velcro is perhaps the funniest educational video about genericide and a brand I’ve seen.  It is truly worth a watch.  I do have to say that I didn’t even know Velcro was a brand until now.  My apologies for my poor trademark usage.   

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