How counterfeits enter the supply chain at companies like Amazon and Best Buy

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on July 15, 2015   Information Tags: , , , ,
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On the XDA forum, a user had bought a counterfeit OtterBox but was stunned on how it happened. The user had known that the internet is full of counterfeit OtterBox cell phone cases, so he had bought the case at Best Buy to avoid getting a fake. After the purchase at Best Buy, the user thought the case looked fake. He posted on the forum thread and was referred by another user to Stigma Search’s counterfeit guide. From that guide he was able to tell that the case was indeed fake. But he asked how did Best Buy sell him a counterfeit? Read More

Why you should always check to see if your business name can be trademarked. As Seen On TV edition

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on May 13, 2015   Information Tags: , , ,
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Following up on my other post, on how the Portland band “The Slants” cannot get a trademark from the Federal Government because of their race, there is a company called “As Seen On TV” that cannot get a trademark either. But unlike the Slants, this is because of basic trademark law. The company cannot get a trademark because their name is to generic and has been used since TVs first came out.

We all know the company. Their commercials usually appear late at night featuring some new products that you should buy. The company does not make any, it usually just markets and sells other peoples inventions. They are publicly traded on the stock market, so we can see their earnings over the years. And yes, you guessed it, the company is losing money each year. Why? Well as the internet becomes faster and more people use it, the market for goods also expands. But that is just one problem the company has. A lot of companies are losing money because they are not adopting to the internet.

“As seen on TV” is in the public domain and you can use it yourself:

The biggest mistake the company made was its name. It cannot be trademarked. There name is great for a business name, but as stated before, it is to generic to be trademarked. Same goes for the red logo, as companies have used that long before them.  Read More

Why you should always check to see if your business name can be trademarked. The Slants edition

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on April 22, 2015   Information Tags: , , , ,
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The U.S. Court of Appeals has turned down the trademark request from Portland band “The Slants” . If you are not following the story, basically the band has been trying to get their name trademarked for the past six years, and has been denied each time. The Trademark Office is not allowing the name to be trademarked because it is deemed offensive to Asians. So much for the land of the free. The band is in a tough position. They have stated that when they go on tour, sellers will sell fake tickets with their name, as there is nothing protecting their band’s name.

The band is not giving up though. And I encourage them not too. They need to take this case to the US Supreme Court. As I have posted before, the US Government is not upholding the first amendment. They are actively trying to remove a already approved trademark from the Washington Redskins because someone was offended.  Many media companies  and popular journalist have said in public that the attack on free speech and free press in unprecedented under the current administrationRead More

Does the US Government have the power to remove trademarks from people or companies that did not commit a crime

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on April 4, 2015   Commentary Tags: , , , , , , ,
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That is what this whole removal of the Redskins trademark is about.

This case, Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc,  will be headed to the Supreme Court if the Redskins lose their case in court. While I feel if it does reach that point, the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Redskins, I wonder what will happen if they rule against them.

Basically what the court would have said is that the Federal Government can remove issued trademarks at any time if a elected official finds them offensive. Does not matter if your brand is 83 years old and is worth $2.4 billion like the Washington Redskins. Yes, the name is offensive to some, but does that mean it loses its trademark?

Does the US government have the right to remove trademarks for a company that did not commit any crime? That is the question.

If the Washington Redskins lose the court case over their trademark, it will stage a dangerous precedent for other companies.
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Justice Department continues attack on the Redskins and free speech. What other words are offensive but not banned?

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on March 27, 2015   Commentary Tags: , , ,
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“A government of laws and not of men” – John Adams

The 2nd president of the United States could not be more right. Some elected officials decided that they don’t like the name of a sport’s team, and at the stroke of a pen, the US trademark was gone. 83 years of brand building and a brand that is worth $2.4 billion could be lost if the court rules against them. Lets not forget, the Redskins did not commit any crime. They are going to lose their trademark for doing nothing illegal.

The Justice Department today released a update regarding the removal of the Washington Redskin’s trademark. According to them, the trademark is not free speech because it is commercial. Using that logic, video games and music are not protected either.

The Redskins are arguing that the US Constitution protects their free speech as much as a anyone else.

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China regulator ironically attacks Alibaba for not doing enough about counterfeits

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on January 30, 2015   News Tags: , , , ,
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China, home of the world’s counterfeiting industry has sent a letter to Alibaba accusing the company of not doing enough to fight counterfeits. According to estimates, 8% of China’s GDP is based on counterfeiting. So is it ironic that the regulators are attacking one company, but doing nothing on a nation wide scale. Nike left China years ago because the government would not enforce any intellectual property law.

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