By Sukey Omran
What inspires a trademark? Everyone has their story… but none quite like NBA player, Lou Williams. Williams has filed a U.S. trademark application for LEMON PEPPER LOU for use in association with various clothing articles. The trademark application, in Williams’ words, came out of the desire to 'own a joke'.
In order to resume the NBA season, players were required to abide by strict rules to protect the safety of their quarantine bubble. On a pre-approved trip to attend a friend’s funeral, Williams stopped in at an Atlanta strip club, famous for its delicious lemon pepper wings. When the media caught wind of William’s pit stop, he was plagued with the name “Lemon Pepper Lou”.
William’s story goes to show that brands can originate from the most unlikely stories. Williams turned a joke into a business idea.
Contact us at Clancy PC to tell us your trademark origin story.
By Trish Sawhney
In March 2019, Nike Inc. filed a trademark application with UPSTO for the term FOOTWARE. You may assume I have made a mistake in the spelling of FOOTWARE but I assure you, there was no typo on my part: the athletic company is hoping to trademark the term FOOTWARE in relation to hardware and software products used on or within footwear products. Nike hopes to use the brand FOOTWARE to market its smart footwear.
Understandably, many rival companies have expressed concern about this potential registration. Puma SE not only filed a “letter of protest” with the USPTO but has also initiated opposition proceedings against Nike’s application, asserting that the term FOOTWARE is ‘merely descriptive’ of technology-based footwear and therefore is not registrable.
In its Notice of Opposition, Puma argues that Nike is not the only company that “combines footwear, hardware, and/or software technologies,” and so, “just as consumers understand that spyware describes software combined with spying, they will also understand that ‘footware’ describes software combined with foot products, including footwear.”
We will be closely monitoring this case and providing updates. If Nike can register its FOOTWARE trademark, it could be the beginning of a remarkable branding scheme.
Its been an exciting week at Clancy PC, with the addition of not one but two new articling students! Trish Sawhney majored in both business and music at the University of Western Ontario, and came in top of her class in law school at the University of Birmingham. Welcome Trish!
Clancy PC is delighted to welcome Sukey Omran as an articling student for the 2020-2021 term. Sukey is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. She is interested in pursuing a career in IP law. We are excited to have her on the team. Welcome Sukey!