Since this is April Fool's Day, I thought it might be fun to look at some of the ways trademarks have been used to levy pranks upon the unwitting. Here are a few of my picks.
Groupon announces acquisition of APRIL FOOLS trademark
Groupon announced that they were now the owner of APRIL FOOLS and had filed a patent application to more fairly police April Fool's Day pranks. The patent application is entitled "System and Method for Performing Jocular Activities on a Particular Date." Groupon also claimed it was renaming the holiday to GROUPON PRESENTS APRIL FOOLSTM. They even posted cease and desist letters to the likes of YouTube, Google and others.
In BMW's tweet today, they announced this new grill shaped mouth guard for rugby players. BMW owns a trademark registration for the shape of its automobile grill. If your product shape or packaging is distinctive (called trade dress), you can register this just like a trademark comprised of words.
UNICORN MEAT â An Excellent Source of Sparkles
When Unicorn Meat was advertised for sale for one day only â April 1, of course â The National Pork Board sent a cease and desist letter objecting to the description of the packaged unicorn meat as THE NEW WHITE MEAT. The National Pork Board has a trademark registration for THE OTHER WHITE MEAT. To read more about this one, check out Alex MacKay's blog post Some Pig.
IKEA âHUNDSTOL aka highchair for dogs
One of my favorites is IKEA's spoof product the HUNDSTOL, which was promoted as a high chair for dogs. IKEA even released a promotional video about its would-be highchair for dogs complete with inset food and water bowls and cut-out in the back to allow ample room for tail wagging. Here is their video for your enjoyment:
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