Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is Chocolate Recession-Proof !?

(Source: Google Images and HERSHEY'S is a registered trademark of the Trademark Holder and is used here strictly as a fair use for academic and scholarship purposes).

According to the WSJ, 01.28.09, "Hershey Co's fourth-quarter profit and sales growth suggests that demand for chocolate remains strong despite the dismal economy." I could have told them that from my own personal experience, granted.....but this is Great News for Trademark Owners of Chocolate Brands and Trademarks. The undersigned's preference for Dark Chocolate, notwithstanding, consider: HERSHEYS, M&M's, SEE's, FANNIE MAY and even grocery store chain, Trader Joe's, has got its own private lable chocolate. CAVEAT: this short blog post will kindly and respectfully not torture the reader by discussing such European Chocolates like Nestle, Lindt and Cadbury.

On the other hand, premium chocolate brands, e.g., the so-called designer chocolates, may be taking a hit, with consumers apparently trading down according to the WSJ in its article dated Jan. 28, 2009 at which can be seen at the following link:

Everyday CHOCOLATE, however, is apparently the Elvis of of sweets. So HERSHEYS and the like are reaping the rewards of cost-conscious chocolate consumers (hereinafter, CCCC).

In any event, this being a trademark blog, for those of you interested in all things chocolate should know that Chocolate is registrable in International Class #30. An example of a U.S. Federal Trademark Registration for chocolate includes:

Word Mark: HERSHEY'S


Serial Number 71016827
Filing Date February 8, 1906
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition April 24, 1906
Registration Number 0054041
Registration Date June 19, 1906

This is a remarkable registration. Registered in 1906 with first use since 1894! Hallelujah! Hershey's is clearly the Holy Grail of American Chocolate. That's for sure !

And with that, it's time to "Exit, Stage Left" to Trader Joe's...

editor's note: After 4 oz of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate you will be saying to yourself, "Recession, What Recession ?!"


Monday, January 26, 2009

TrademarkEsq Is Here For You !

If you live on the westside of Los Angeles, chances are our office is close by. Our W.L.A. office is located at 11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90064-1525. We are located in the City National Bank building at the corner of Olympic and Colby, approx. 4 blocks west of the 405 Fwy.

During our lunch break today, I captured the following two shots with my digital camera three blocks west of our office at Barrington, as well as at the corner of Colby and Olympic.

"Olympic and Barrington"

"Olympic and Colby"

Please remember:

TrademarkEsq is here for you !

Trademark • Copyright • Licensing

Will Maguire

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Gran Torino" Script is a Classic !

While it was not easy to track down the script for this most recent Clint Eastwood starring film, here is the link for your convenience.

I recommend Pages 82 - 89 for the banter at the Barbershop with Walt (Eastwood), the Barber and Tao (the kid).

The link to said script is provided as a courtesy only. Rights to reproduce said script must be obtained from the proprietary rights holders. "Gran Torino" Copyright 2008 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved. Screenplay by Nick Schenk.

Enjoy !

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The USPTO Brush-back

Happy New Year to our subscribers and to our visitors !

TrademarkEsq received some good news today via email from the folks at the online dictionary, Urban Dictionary,, as follows:

Subject: Urban Dictionary - Brush-back was published
Date: January 21, 2009 2:22:47 PM PST

"Thanks for your definition of Brush-back!

Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on

It should appear on this page in the next few days:

Urban Dictionary



To refute, reject, deny or disagree with a position or argument made by another to advance their agenda. Cross-reference, brushback, e.g., the brushback pitch in baseball to reclaim the corners of the strike zone from an encroaching batter.

The position advanced by the Applicant was refuted and rejected by the Examiner citing typical brush-back "Laudatory" denial language as set forth in the statute and case law."

Readers may recall our earlier blog post dated Oct. 8, 2008 entitled:

USPTO Trademark Practice: The USPTO Brush-back

We invite you to visit or revisit this article from this past October, 2008, esp. now that the referenced term of art, "Brush-back", has received web cred !

TrademarkEsq is here for you !


Thursday, January 08, 2009

L.A. Burger Wars 2009: R+D vs. LITERATI II

The Kobe Chedder Cheeseburger at R+D KITCHEN, Santa Monica, Calif., January 8, 2009 (photo by Will Maguire. Low light/no flash).

The R+D KITCHEN Carrot Cake (low light/no flash)

The Kobe Chedder Cheeseburger at LITERATII II, in West L.A. (photo by Will Maguire. Natural light).

The LITERATI II Carrot Cake, aka The Big Kahuna of Carrot Cakes. Hands down the clear winner. Trust me.

January 2009

Although the clandestine photos of the cheeseburger and carrot cake at R+D KITCHEN in Santa Monica were taken in low light with no flash, the undersigned can assure the reader that the burger was quite tasty and the carrot cake quite moist and delicious.

The photo comparisons above of said R+D specimens vs. the infamous Kobe Chedder Cheeseburger at West L.A.'s LITERATI II, as well as its Carrot Cake, leave no doubt that the battle of the burgers continues into the year 2009.

The burger at R+D is worthy of a center spread in Bon Appetit'. The presentation is simply gorgeous. The burger at LITERATI II, is larger but does not share the same presentation skills. The LITERATI II burger, however, is a monster and very tasty.

One thing is certain, however, the service at R+D KITCHEN is "Exceptional"! It is Outstanding ! From the hosts to the waiters, the staff is friendly, professional and polite. And it's not a put on either. After three plus visits to this establishment, the exceptional service has not wavered. This, of course, is the reason I keep going to this restaurant. The people there are just nice. Check out their website at:

LITERATI II does not have the same level of service. It is good service. The staff is professional and meals are served properly and timely, but the people skills that are so exceptional at R+D do not shine as bright at LITERATI II.

The Carrot Cake is BETTER at LITERATI II, however. No Question ! LITERATI II takes the cake on this count ! Check out their website at:

You will just have to try these two restaurants to choose which you like better. And just to really shake things up, you may want to try the Kobe Cheeseburger at nearby Santa Monica based "Rustic Canyon" on Wilshire just east of 11th St ( This burger is a bit smaller than at LITERATI II but it does come with fries which are very fresh and tasty. The fries are extra at R+D and they cost $5 bucks for not a lot of fries. So R+D gets demerits for short changing its customers on its shoestrings. If you are into wine, then Rustic Canyon and R+D have extensive and exclusive offerings. If your thing is coffee, check out the very elegant coffee service at Rustic Canyon where you get your very own several cup big stainless steel carafe of freshly brewed coffee with all the accoutrements. Very civilized. Trust me on this ! You will be delighted.

What does all this have to do with Trademarks ? Each of these three referenced restaurants have established common law trademark rights in the names of their establishments in the form of service marks. The undersigned has helped several Los Angeles area restaurants maximize their rights by obtaining Federal Service mark registrations for 'restaurant services'. This entitles the owner to exclusivity under most circumstances. The last thing a restaurant needs is a competitor stealing customers by advertising and promoting itself with the same or similar name.

For more information on this topic of restaurant trademark protection, please see our earlier blog post of Nov. 10, 2008, which can be observed by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Section II therein

Bon Appetit',

is here for you !