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Three Retailers Settle “Honey Badger” Infringement Lawsuits

Christopher Gordon got his 15 minutes. When his YouTube video, "Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger," went viral, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's jumped on the Honey Badger bandwagon and started selling products based on the catch phrase “Honey Badger Don’t Care” on some of its merchandise. Mr. Gordon filed lawsuits against all three companies claiming both trademark and copyright infringement.

Arby's Will Drop Intoxicating Sales Pitch

Fast food icon Arby’s has announced that it will cease use of “Eat Your Bourbon” to market its new line of sandwiches that feature a bourbon-flavored sauce. This decision is the result of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Bourbon Barrel Foods, claiming that Arby’s was infringing its trademark.

As far as we are concerned, “Eat Your Bourbon” is not very clever nor particularly appealing. If there were laws against bad marketing, we’d have filed charges.

Trademark Infringement Claim Does Not Make It to First Base

A U.S. District Court judge threw out a claim by Parks, the manufacturer of “Ball Park” hot dogs, that Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands infringed the “Ball Park” trademark by using the slogan “Park’s Finest” on a line of hot dogs. While the judge did dismiss the claim by granting Tyson Food’s and Hillshire Brand’s motion for summary judgement, it was a 1-0 game since the judge denied Tyson’s and Hillshire’s request for sanctions against Parks for filing a frivolous claim.

No Room at the Table for “Churasscos”

When the Cordua Restaurant chain filed for a trademark for “Churrascos,” the Trademark Office turned them down on the basis that “Churrascos” is the generic term for Spanish and Portuguese-style grilled meat. The Cordua folks had a beef (sorry, we cannot help ourselves) with the Trademark Office’s decision, so they appealed it the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Insurance Does Not Cover $35 Million Lawsuit Judgment

Back in 2013, Ashley Reed Trading lost a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Fendi Adele claiming that Ashley Reed was selling counterfeit handbags that were labeled as genuine Fendi Adele. The judge ordered Ashely Reed to pay Fendi Adele $35 million, three times the company’s sales from 2001 through 2006, the period during which it sold the counterfeit handbags. Ouch! But they had it coming.

We Hope He Did Not Learn How to Do This in Law School

Jason T. Throne, the former Intellectual Property General Counsel for Hunter Douglas, the U.S. affiliate of the $2.6 billion-in-sales Dutch-based manufacturer of window shades and blinds, has pled guilty to felony mail fraud and false tax submission charges. It appears that Mr. Throne misappropriated $5 million dollars from his employer by diverting funds to a company he owned, and charging off the expenditures as patent application searches that were never performed.

David's Bridal Sued for Selling Copy-Cat Convertible Dresses

National bridal chain David’s Bridal has been accused of infringing designs for “convertible” bridesmaid’s dresses that belong to one Jenny Yoo. Miss Yoo claims that David's Bridal is producing knock-offs of her convertible dresses and selling them at its stores, so Jenny Yoo Collection is suing David’s Bridal in U.S. District Court in New York for patent, trademark and trade dress (no pun, intended or otherwise) infringement.

How to Trump the Competition: Pay Your Trademark Renewal Fee

Back in 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the “Trump Your Competition” trademark to a Nevada-based marketing consulting firm, Trump Your Competition. The trademark was cancelled in 2012 when Trump Your Competition (the company, not the trademark) failed to pay the renewal fee for Trump Your Competition (the trademark, not the company).

That’s $461 Billion with a “B” – But Just 2.6%

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a unit of the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, just released a report that the value of imported counterfeit and pirated goods has topped $460 billion. These fake rip-offs include handbags, watches, perfume, machine parts, chemicals and medicine. According to the agency, counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for $461 billion of the $17.9 trillion worth of goods imported globally in 2013.

Here’s an Easy Way to Get Out of Jury Duty

British rock group Led Zeppelin is being sued for copyright infringement over claims that the music for its 1971 song, "Stairway to Heaven," was lifted from an instrumental, “Taraus,” by the late Randy Craig Wolfe, who wrote his song back in 1967 and passed away just four years later. As part of the upcoming trial’s vior dire, jurors are required to complete a questionnaire that will query them on their knowledge of 1960s and 1970s rock-and-roll bands, their own music-download habits, and their opinions of “celebrities’ honesty.” Really? How honest do you think celebrities are?