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  • Posted by: Nicole Briggs on Tuesday, February 14 2012 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

    On January 26, Beyonce’s company BGK Trademark Holdings, LLC filed for “Blue Ivy” and “Blue Ivy Carter” covering a large variety of goods and services including cosmetics, clothing, key chains, DVDs, baby carriages, toys, entertainment services, and online retail etc. This trademark filing does not come as a surprise, coming from a couple who already has numerous trademark registrations for their own names — and who set up a Tumblr account to introduce their daughter to the world.

    As mentioned in a previous post, one Joseph Mbeh was aiming to beat the celebrity parents to the punch of securing a registration in their child’s name. Mbeh’s attempt was a complete fail. On January 24, Mbeh’s application for “Blue Ivy Carter NYC” was denied due to likelihood for confusion, false connection, and name identifying a particular individual. Baby Blue Ivy Carter may only be part of the reason Mbeh doesn’t have rights to the trademark. While Mbeh was blocked due to false connection with Beyonce’s child and using the child’s name without consent, there is another factor in this story. There is currently a registered trademark for “Blue Ivy” owned by Blue Ivy LLC. The company Blue Ivy LLC has secured a trademark registration for retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, home and clothing accessories, and giftware. The company has held their registration since August 2011, before the Blue Ivy Carter was born on January 7, 2012. The USPTO has noted that Mbeh’s application conflicts with Blue Ivy LLC’s Blue Ivy due to likelihood of confusion. But will Blue Ivy LLC’s registration be the reason that you may never see Beyonce’s baby name on clothing or jewelry?

    While celebrities do not gain automatic rights to their names or child’s name, they may have priority at the USPTO. As seen in Mbeh’s case, the government’s trademark office does acknowledge names belonging to very famous infants as conflicts. The office is up-to-date with the media and recognizes potential trends in trademark filings and pop culture to hopefully prevent any infringement. This example is a good way to show potential baby name trademark predators that it isn’t easy beating the parents to the punch or in this case to the USPTO.

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  • Posted by: Bertrand Chovet on Tuesday, August 31 2010 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

    This month, a new offer is available on Sephora's shelves. It is called O2 D-BIOTIC and it is a range of cosmetic products, including face cream, eye cream and make-up remover. The new brand replicates the structure of yogurt to nourish your skin and provides the benefits of a probiotic. While historically, milk has been a key ingredient in body care (think Dove Cream Bar), this launch marks a new step forward in the relationship between yogurt and cosmetics in Europe.

    Until recently, probiotics (the live micro-organisms in yogurt that act as positive bacteria) were more commonly known for supporting digestive health, improving immune systems and regulating the body’s yeast levels. However, studies have shown that they also promote healthy skin and hair – a secret that Japan has been aware of since 1935, due to the success of its probiotic yogurt-drink Yakult.

    Danone was the first in Europe to make this claim with its yogurt, Essensis. A clinical study determined that daily consumption of Danone’s Essensis not only provided nutritional and antioxidant benefits, but also improved the quality of user’s skin. While Danone Essensis was not as successful as anticipated and shelved in 2009, probiotics have since surged in popularity: Mintel cosmetic research just identified probiotic products as emerging trends for skin care and hair care products. Indeed, products like Korres (skincare) and the Davines (hair care) are good examples of this trend beginning to take off.

    It is too soon to tell if O2 D-BIOTIC will see the same success, but the time seems right for probiotic cosmetics to rise in popularity – that is, if O2 D-BIOTIC manages to communicate and brand the product appropriately. Yogurt as food and yogurt as cosmetics has never before before converged this closely and it is likely that this trend will provoke consumer's interest in additional functional food offers.

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  • Posted by: Helen Gould on Tuesday, April 20 2010 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

    Brand extensions always delight me. It shows that somewhere, someone is actively thinking about what the core of the brand stands for, and how it can be transmogrified. The results aren’t always what you’d want to buy, but at least someone’s trying.
    Two brand extensions recently caught my eye:

    Hot Tamales gum.
    Like the candies, the gum is red, cylindrical, chewy, and has a hot cinnamon burst that tingles the tongue. The flavor lasts two to three minutes–gum designed to be consumed serially.
    Maybe this new form is really Hot Tamales Lite. All the taste and texture with one-third the calories. (Surprised the gum is sugar-free? So was I.)

    The gum doesn’t budge the brand—it basically reinforces the chewy cinnamon candy profile—but it does give us a less caloric cinnamon treat to enjoy at the movies. Sometimes the best ideas are in your own back yard.

    OXO Good Grips retractable ballpoint pen.
    OXO and Staples really nailed the co-branded packaging. The genius is the window that lets you feel the matte pen barrel. The cool factor is upped by the clip that retracts as the pen point extends.
    To the question, “How does it write?” I say, “Did you feel the pen?” Like other OXO products, it’s above average quality, but not top of the line. The pen is part of a fairly extensive co-branded line of office supplies, from staplers to push pins.


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  • Posted by: Jennifer Bassett on Monday, July 20 2009 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

    The recession has hit Starbucks hard, with McDonald's stealing market share with high-quality, coffee beverages, and lower performing stores shutting its doors.

    So what's the company to do? One wouldn't have predicted its latest move. After spending millions to build its brand, Starbucks is going undercover by opening 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, one of several stores Seattle that will be unbranded. Selling itself as a local community hangout, the store will serve alcohol, serve espresso from a manual machine, and host book readings and music performances.  

    I'm curious to find out what people make of this. The new stores don't seem to address Starbucks real issue right now: its high price point.


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