NASCAR Brand Gasoline at a Pump Near You?
With the Strafford Publications webinar later today discussing the Lanham Trademark Act’s “Use in Commerce” requirement, with some of my favorite panelists no less, the topic has been on my mind, even when pumping gas into my rental car in Houston, Texas, this past weekend:
So, what do folks think, does this photograph of a gasoline pump constitute “use in commerce” of the NASCAR trademark and brand in connection with gasoline, classified in Int’l Class 4?
NASCAR has all sorts of stuff that can be purchased online with it’s brand name and trademark on it, but to serve a trademark function (identify, distinguish, and indicate the source of gasoline), and to demonstrate proper use in commerce of a word mark (as opposed to non-traditional subject matter like colors and scents — we’ll pass on the possibility of taste for this one though), applying the mark directly on the goods isn’t possible given the liquid state.
NASCAR also has an impressive trademark licensing program and more than a semi truckload of federal trademark and service mark registrations to protect its licensed brand, but interestingly, none presently covering Int’l Class 4 or gasoline.
It appears the closest NASCAR has come to protecting gasoline in Int’l Class 4 is through this expired NASCAR registration for motor oil and automotive greases in Int’l Class 4.
Yet, I’m thinking TMEP 904.03(c) contemplates the issue and fully supports using the above photo as an appropriate specimen to demonstrate use in commerce of the NASCAR mark for gasoline, by showing the mark directly on the containers or packaging for the goods: “gasoline pumps are normal containers or ‘packaging’ for gasoline.”
Why do you suppose NASCAR hasn’t taken this step (yet)?
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January 31, 2017 at 01:14AM
The Old Man and The Pen
This is a simple story about the life of a particular writer, and how he ignored the one thing about his craft that would have given him everything he truly wanted …
A young man in his late twenties decided to become a writer.
At the beginning of the pursuit of his craft, he sought out all the writing advice he could find. He attended writing workshops, went to many parties of a literary nature, drove far into the woods seeking the wisdom of writing retreats, and read countless books on writing by countless other writers.
After several years of this, he began to despair. He seemed to have found the correct knowledge, and a few seemingly valuable contacts along the way, but he hadn’t yet written anything of consequence.
He felt very validated by a number of his very nice friends in his Thursday night writing circle, but he couldn’t keep down the horror in his gut that something was going terribly wrong.
He was having a good time. There were the parties, the drink, the pills, and the long conversations about art and writing.
Then, somewhere in his mid-thirties, the not-so-young-anymore writer looked around and realized that he had wasted many years. This confused him, because his entire circle of friends were “writers” after all.
He had a decision to make.
On a particularly starry Thursday night, the phone rang — like it did almost every other night of the week — at 11:03 p.m. Pacific Time. Only this time, he didn’t answer it. It rang again, and again, and four more times before midnight. He did not pick it up.
Instead of going out with his “writer” friends, that night he just sat at his desk and stared at a blank sheet of paper. He did manage to get 133 words down before sunrise. It was a bad feeling to have accomplished so little — while also missing out on the booze — but it was a much better feeling than anything he could remember in years.
So, he did not answer the phone on the next night, or the next. Instead, he stayed in, staring at blank pages and slowly filling them up with words. And then he just … kept going like that … for another 42 years.
A few weeks before his death, a reporter asked the old writer for the secret to a great literary career.
The old man held up a worn Bic pen and said, “If there is a secret, it’s in here somewhere, swirling around in all that black ink. It spills down on the page, and something happens, or it doesn’t, and you spill more and more of it to try to find your way.”
“What if I use a keyboard instead of a pen?” the reporter asked.
“Don’t get cute with me kid, same damn thing,” the writer said. “Slow and steady.”
The old writer had not become famous or particularly wealthy; he hadn’t won any international awards or even made a single bestseller list. Those things, he said, were not up to him, not in his control, or yours. But, over the course of many years, he had built an unimpeachable reputation, a vast audience, and a very good living.
He could not say what had become of his old “writer” friends, but he was grateful that they had eventually driven him straight into the arms of his chosen craft.
“You can outlast the other guys if you try. If you stick at stuff that bores them, it accrues. Drip, drip, drip you win.”
– Seth Godin
Image source: Eli Francis via Unsplash.
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January 31, 2017 at 01:13AM
This Tattly is a good reminder that right now The craziest thing we can do is nothing.
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January 30, 2017 at 09:14AM