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Sony Ericson Sues Clearwire Over Similar Swirl Trademarks

SONY Ericson Mark

Clearwire Mark

On the left is Sony Ericson’s trademarked logo (Reg. no. 3,690,6010) and on the right is Clearwire’s trademark (Ser. no. 77622804).  Is the one on the right confusingly similar to the one on the left?  This is what Sony charges in a recently filed complaint filed in federal court.  The crux of the lawsuit is the swirl motif, the colors used, and the fact that both parties sell to similar consumers.  Interestingly, Sony had previously filed an opposition against the Clearwire application but withdrew after commencing settlement talks.. Rather than continuing with the opposition, Sony decided to sue Clearwire for trademark infringement, after Clearwire’s mark was being used in commerce.

IBM Again Ranks First in Number of Patents

In 1911, IBM was granted its first patent and it took 50 years for it receive its 5,000th.  But things have certainly picked up.  According to an analysis by ifi Claims Services, IBM was granted more than 5,000 in 2010, ranking the company as No. 1 in patents.  This was the first time that any company has received more than 5,000 patents in a year.  The following is a list of the top 30 companies on the list:

Rank       Company                                                                                         Number of patents

1 International Business Machines Corp 5,896
2 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (Korea) 4,551
3 Microsoft Corp 3,094
4 Canon K K (Japan) 2,552
5 Panasonic Corp (Japan) 2,482
6 Toshiba Corp (Japan) 2,246
7 Sony Corp (Japan) 2,150
8 Intel Corp 1,653
9 LG Electronics Inc (Korea) 1,490
10 Hewlett-Packard Development Co L P 1,480
11 Hitachi Ltd (Japan) 1,460
12 Seiko Epson Corp (Japan) 1,443
13 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Taiwan) 1,438
14 Fujitsu Ltd (Japan) 1,296
15 General Electric Co 1,225
16 Ricoh Co Ltd (Japan) 1,200
17 Cisco Technology Inc 1,115
18 Honda Motor Co Ltd (Japan) 1,050
19 Fujifilm Corp (Japan) 1,041
20 Hynix Semiconductor Inc (Japan) 973
21 Broadcom Corp 958
22 GM Global Technology Operations Inc 942
23 Micron Technology Inc 917
24 Siemens AG (Germany) 873
25 Xerox Corp 858
26 Denso Corp (Japan) 853
27 Texas Instruments Inc 829
28 Honeywell International Inc 824
29 Sharp K K (Japan) 818
30 Toyota Jidosha K K (Japan) 802

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Starbucks Changes its Trademarked Corporate Logo

Recently, Starbucks announced that it would be changing its famous logo.  As shown to the left, the new logo emphasizes the image of the lovely woman which Starbucks has identified as a “twin-tailed siren”.  After considerable outcry from observers and supposed experts in marketing, an article in Fast Company finally has shed some light on the decision.  It seems that market research shows that the new logo is particularly attractive in Asian countries… and this move coincides with Starbuck’s agressive push in China and Japan.  Note the inclusion of the “TM” on the new logo, indicating that the trademark has not yet been registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office.