November 27, 2014

Fun Thanksgiving Trademarks

by Guest Blogger

Like many Americans, I am spending Thanksgiving with my family. The turkey day agenda has remained virtually unchanged since I was a kid. We will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning. The 88th edition of the parade kicks off at 9 am, and it features 16 giant character balloons; 33 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 27 floats; 1,300 cheerleaders and dancers; 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and various celebrity performers. 50 million viewers are expected to tune in to watch the parade (not to mention the 3.5 million people who will watch the parade live).

The parade generates millions of dollars for Macy's. Macy's charges about $200,000 per float, companies pay to sponsor balloons, and NBC pays Macy's for exclusive broadcasting rights to the parade and performances given in front of Macy's.

Macy's protects its valuable intellectual property with a federal trademark registration. U.S. Reg. No. 2,206,890 issued on December 1, 1998 for the phrase MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE. Here is an example of trademark use from the 82nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:

10 27 14 Blog Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Original

After the parade, my family and I will turn our attention to the true purpose of Thanksgiving: gorging ourselves on turkey. Portion control is not on the agenda. In fact, the only limits on Thanksgiving gluttony are unforgiving waistbands. This problem was famously demonstrated in the sitcom Friends. In one of the Thanksgiving episodes, the loveable goofball Joey Tribbiani changes into "Thanksgiving Pants" to finish off a substantial meal prepared by Monica:

Friends ended its run 10 years ago, but the "Thanksgiving Pants" mantle has been passed to the Beekman Boys. The Beekman Boys rose to prominence with a reality TV show that followed their adventures as they learned to become farmers. They subsequently won the 21st season of The Amazing Race. Their Thanksgiving tradition includes wearing pajama pants to ensure maximum eating pleasure. They refer to their pajama pants as "Thanksgiving Pants". The Beekman Boys take their "Thanksgiving Pants" so seriously that they have a pending federal trademark application for the term in connection with pajama pants.

Thanksgiving Day gluttony is not just for people though. Merrick Pet Care caters to 4-legged pilgrims and indians with its THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER dog food (U.S. Reg. No. 3,350,890). The mouthwatering recipe includes turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and Granny Smith apples. And no Thanksgiving Pants are necessary! An example of trademark use is set out below.

11 27 14 Blog Thanksgiving Day Dinner Original

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