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Eat Mor Chikin – Not if it tastes like a T-shirt!

Now for the second time, after allegedly abandoning their first claim, Chick-fil-A sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bo Muller-Moore who makes screen printed “Eat More Kale” T-shirts by hand.  Apparently, Chick-fil-A believes that use of the slogan “Eat More Kale” on T-shirts is confusingly similar to their slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” for their restaurants.

Although I think this is legally ridiculous, I don’t think I like to try Chick-fil-A if it tastes like a T-shirt.

In another equally interesting and legally ridiculous claim, the porn company Vivid Entertainment accused Taiwan-based phonemaker, HTC of violating their trademark by marketing their new phone called Vivid.


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How to Destroy Your Brand

Once you decide on on the direction of your brand, never forget it and never deviate from it. I noticed two recent examples of brand deviation or destruction by major corporations.

Recently, Domino’s announced that (after 40 years) they discovered their pizza wasn’t good! Can you imagine that? So they reinvented their pizza and recent advertising has focused on nothing but how proud they are of their new taste.


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What’s in a Name? $19 Million!

New Year’s Eve was Tavern on the Green’s last night for dinner under its current ownership. Now, after a fight for ownership rights of the brand, a Manhattan federal judge will decide who gets to keep the name Tavern on the Green, valued at $19 million. That makes the brand worth 50% of annual gross receipts of $38 million. 1 2

While a name like Tavern on the Green has tremendous value as a brand that draws people to the restaurant, lawyers are in a different situation with two distinct differences.


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Is Your Law Firm’s Name or Brand Being Used to Commit Fraud?

Brand fraud online is increasing and law firms are not immune.

CMO COUNCIL reported that “A global audit of 306 marketers, sponsored by MarkMonitor, a leading provider of solutions for enterprise brand protection, found that trademark trespassing is moving increasingly online, and fraud is becoming more difficult to identify due to the increased sophistication of brand hijackers.”

For quite a while, e-mails have circulated which purport to come from a law firm or in some illegal way use the name of a law firm to perpetuate a fraudulent scheme. A search on Google came up with a myriad of complaints about schemes involving the name of a law firm.


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Will Your Business Be Successful?

When there is little competition, business is easy and brute force advertising, using lots of money, works. But, when the going gets tough, brute force is destined for failure.

When the competition intensifies, differentiation decides success or failure. A few large companies may survive by increasing brute force, but most will fail. Companies that differentiate themselves and their service or their products will not only survive, but will succeed.

When the first IBM PC came on the market, there was little competition and IBM had the funds for brute force advertising. When the competition got tough years later, brute force advertising stopped working and instead of differentiating their product, IBM simply pulled out of the PC market.


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How Valuable Is a Brand?

Yesterday, Imus was interviewing George Carlin on MSNBC. Joking about some future catastrophe, George Carlin said he expected to wake up some morning and see it on CNN. He could’ve said that he would expect to see it on MSNBC, especially since he was appearing on MSNBC, but he said he would expect to see it on CNN because CNN is the dominant brand in his mind.


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Lawyer Advertising Isn’t Just for Lawyers Anymore – Cobranding Anyone?

The latest in lawyer advertising on TV brings together two giant companies in a joint advertising effort and they’re not even lawyers. I just saw, this Saturday morning on WNBC TV4 New York, a TV commercial co-branded for both FindLaw.com and NBC.com. FindLaw.com is owned by West Publishing Corporation which is owned by Thomson Corporation, which I believe is the largest publisher in North America. Of course, everyone knows who NBC is. The TV commercial, which is the first one of its kind that I have seen, advised that if you need a lawyer you can go to FindLaw.com which is available at NBC.com. The TV commercial displayed the graphics of both company logos with FindLaw.com above the NBC logo.


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Can Your Law Firm Compete on TV With a Small Budget?

You’re considering lawyer advertising on TV, but you’re afraid your law firm can’t compete. You’re probably thinking that you can only afford somewhere between $5,000 and $15,000 per month, but there are two or three law firms each spending $200,000 per month on advertising, monopolizing your market. With the public seeing your competitors’ commercials all day long, can you successfully compete and ensure that your money will not be wasted?


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Always Focus Branding

Advertising for lawyers, particularly law firms providing services to individuals, is usually direct response advertising which presents different advertising issues than those seen in traditional TV brand advertising.


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Branding Your Law Firm vs. Direct Response Advertising, What You Should Know

What is branding? Branding is an attempt to evoke an image that is retained in the mind of the target audience by use of a memorable symbol or name. Why create a brand? Would Yahoo or Google be where they are today if they chose a generic name like “Best Search Engine”? I don’t think so!

A brand capable of graphic representation can be protected by registering as a trademark or servicemark. A trademark or servicemark can be claimed under common law simply by using a TM or SM with the mark. Greater protection can be had by registering with the U.S Patent & Trademark Office. Upon acceptance of the registration, the brand can be shown with an R in a circle.


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