Blogs > Trademark, Copyright, and Unfair Competition Law Blog

Trade Dress

Aug 06, 2021

Capturing All the Dimensions: Intellectual Property Protection for 3-D Designs and 3-D Printing Methods

Three-dimensional (“3-D”) printing is an innovative way to make products without the expense of machinery in factories. At its core, 3-D printing uses computer code in a computer-aided design (CAD) file to instruct specially designed printers to print three-dimensional physical objects one layer at a time. » Read More

Feb 26, 2021

Trade Dress Claims Involving Food Design and Packaging

Your fond memories of the foods you enjoyed in your youth have to do with so much more than just the taste, the smell, and the mouthfeel. Try not to smile as you remember the curlicue on the top of a soft-serve ice cream cone, the sound it made when you opened a bag of potato chips, or the paper wrapping that would cling to the caramel of a Sugar Daddy lollipop when you unwrapped it just as the movie was about to begin. » Read More

Feb 12, 2021

Common Issues in Patent and Trademark Litigation

Utility patents protect ideas and inventions, design patents protect the ornamental aspects of a product, and trademarks protect the exclusive consumer association with your company that your brands, logos, or designs evoke. Despite the differences in these types of intellectual property (“IP”), lawsuits involving patents and trademarks have striking similarities and crucial differences. » Read More

Oct 29, 2018

Splenda’s Fight over the Yellow Sweetener Packets at IHOP, Applebee’s Settles Amicably

The maker of Splenda sweetener, Heartland Consumer Products, LLC, filed suit in 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution against DineEquity which owns and operates Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants.  » Read More

Oct 22, 2018

Norris McLaughlin Hosts “A Taste of Trademarks” Seminar in New York City for Food, Beverage, and Restaurant Industries

Last week, my partners, Danielle DeFilippis and Deanna Koestel, and I had the pleasure of attending The New Jersey Food & Beverage Summit hosted by NJBIZ.  Our firm sponsored the event.  We enjoyed a series of informative panel discussions, as reported in our last post, as well as the exhibits put on by a wide range of food manufacturers, vendors, and students of food science.  » Read More

Apr 12, 2018

Register Now for FoodBiz NJ!

We are excited to present the breakout session, “Appetite for Branding,” during the FoodBiz NJ conference, sponsored by NJBIZ, on Tuesday, April 24, at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset. Along with Esther Psarakis, Managing Partner of Foodpreneur, we will discuss the business and legal challenges of branding in the food and beverage industry, and protecting restaurant decor. » Read More

Jan 30, 2018

Did you miss our seminar today?

Today my colleague, Jeanne Hamburg, and I presented, “An Appetite for Branding: Securing Trademark Protection in the Food & Beverage Industries,” to a group of food and beverage professionals. We discussed:

  • Developing and maintaining your brand
  • Trademark selection, protection, and enforcement
  • Trade dress issues
  • Registration process
  • Proper usage of trademarks

The presentation included real examples from NMM’s trademark cases as well as a discussion of some important decisions out of the Trademark Office. » Read More

Dec 12, 2017

Let Them Eat Chocolate

A recent trade dress case pitted Mondelez, the maker of Toblerone chocolate, against the discount English chain Poundland.

The bargain store’s design features repeating peaks evocative of Toblerone’s protected trade dress, a distinctive shape.

The Toblerone bar features a series of peaks, and the Poundland  “Twin Peaks” bar features a series of double peaks.  » Read More

Nov 19, 2015

Veteran-owned Consulting Firm Wins Trademark Dispute over its Right to use Military Themes in its Business

Last week, the Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed a trademark infringement case against a veteran-owned organization seeking to use military-themed concepts in its business model.  Atlanta-based Afterburner, Inc., a military-themed consulting firm, filed suit against The Corps Group alleging that The Corps Group impermissibly used jet aviation imagery and military themes in violation of Afterburners trademarks and trade dress. » Read More