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April 2019
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AB/InBev, Jealous Protectors Of Trademark, Pretty Blatantly Committing Trademark Infringement

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Even if you haven't read through our previous stories about giant beer brewer AB/InBev being very much into protecting its intellectual property to the extreme, you probably would have guessed that to be the case as a matter of instinct. With a large legal war chest and an equally large legal team, the company has had no problem with gobbling up questionable trademarks and then wielding them as a weapon against even the smallest of non-competitors. With such a strict view on its own IP rights and such an expansive view on trademark law, you would think that InBev would be super into making sure it's own actions fell well within the bounds of trademark law.You'd be wrong. Patagonia, the rather well known clothier, has sued InBev over how it's used a trademark it received in 2012 for "Patagonia". While you're sure to be wondering how there could be customer confusion, as the apparel and beer markets are quite different, the details in this case definitely matter. We can start with what InBev did in the early days of holding the trademark, which mounts to essentially: not a thing.

AB InBev was granted a trademark to sell Patagonia beer in the United States in 2012, but the company sat on the name until 2018, when it started selling beer with the branding. Patagonia says their brand was created in the 1960's and is registered in 90 countries.
So, one party has been using its trademark for decades while the other spent half a decade sitting on theirs. The rest of the details matter as well. For starters, Patagonia released its own brew, called Long Root, in 2016. InBev has also finally started using the Patagonia branding in part to tout a reputation for environmental work that InBev is now getting into. Patagonia, the company, has long been heavily involved in environmental initiatives as well. On top of that, InBev suddenly began setting up pop-up stores on ski hills and in ski villages, which is a prime marketplace for Patagonia. As part of those stores, InBev began selling Patagonia apparel, its rival company's market for its own trademark. And, keeping all of those details in mind, there is the logo InBev chose to use.

Now, are those logos super-duper similar? Absolutely not. On the other hand, given all of the details and shady actions mentioned above by InBev, it's not outlandish for Patagonia to suggest that the logos are close enough to be confusing when all other factors are taken into account.Once again, as seems to always be the case, we find a huge proponent of intellectual property, one that has been happy to use lawyers to bully others, is likely committing trademark infringement itself. It's enough to make one wonder if there are any true champions of IP among large companies, or only cynics willing to use it when it suits themselves.

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Six Mistakes That Companies Make On Social Media

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By Charles Phan For modern businesses, social media marketing has been absolutely revolutionary. Marketing reach has never before had such versatility nor measurability, and marketing trainees spend a lot of time and money trying to keep up with emerging technologies. But for many companies, the field is moving rather too rapidly, and it can be […]The post Six Mistakes That Companies Make On Social Media appeared first on Adotas.

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March Madness Fans to Advertisers: Make More Interactive and Visual Ads

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Over 40% more likely to make a purchase after seeing March Madness ads Arkadium, the company innovating visual, interactive content for more than 500 of the world's leading publishers and brands, released new data on how U.S. sports fans perceived online advertising and marketing campaigns for 2019's March Madness Tournament. For the study, Arkadium commissioned […]The post March Madness Fans to Advertisers: Make More Interactive and Visual Ads appeared first on Adotas.

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What Will Happen When Governments Disagree Over Who Is A Terrorist Organization... And Who Needs To Be Blocked Online?

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You may have heard the recent news that President Trump has decided to label the the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a "foreign terrorist organization." The IRGC is Iran's powerful military/security/law enforcement apparatus -- that also owns a ton of businesses. As the White House itself admits, this is the first time a foreign government agency has been referred to as a foreign terrorist organization. This is big news in a huge variety of ways -- in large part because it could end up criminalizing lots of people and businesses who unwittingly do business with the IRGC including (checks notes) a firm called The Trump Organization.But, leaving that aside, it raises some other issues as well. We've been talking about the impact of the terrible EU Terrorist Content Regulation that the EU Parliament will soon be voting on. But, as we've discussed in the past, there are lots of questions about who decides just what is "terrorist" content. Daphne Keller tweeted about the IRGC decision, wondering what happens when one country's laws demand the removal of content from another country's government and suggests (accurately) this is going to lead to a huge mess.

Of course, it also gets even more complex than that. On a recent On The Media episode, they discussed efforts by a few different websites to archive terrorist propaganda, both to learn about what's happening (in the form of open source intelligence), but also for the purpose of historical records. As the piece notes, many researchers and reporters find those archives to be incredibly valuable. And yet, they're dealing with issues of demands for the content to be taken down as "terrorist content."This is not a new issue. For years, we've pointed out how demands to delete "terrorist content" online has regularly resulted in the silencing of human rights groups documenting war crimes.Combine all of this together and we're creating a recipe for disaster. The EU is demanding that all "terrorist content" be deleted with one hour's notice. The US is designating government organizations as terrorist groups. And human rights groups trying to document war crimes are being kicked off the internet. None of this seems like a good way to actually fight terrorism. It really seems like a solution designed to pretend that terrorists can be swept under the rug, like if we don't know what they're doing out there, they'll just magically disappear.

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