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Duke is a Trademark Bully!

Summary:
Duke University has gone to incredibly and absurd lengths to contest other people’s trademark applications. For example, Duke opposed the following marks by filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board : “The Dude Diet” for a diet-related website “Kuke” for electronic products “Goluke” for clothing “Le Duc” for food and drink services they have even tried to claim they own “devil” and filed oppositions against: “Werdo” with this scribbled image of a devil for shirts and hats “Devils Nightmare” for beer “Devil’s Garden” for alcoholic beverages “Pretty Devil” for slot machines It gets worse, Duke claims the letter D and the word blue with filed oppositions against: “Beach’d” for beach bags and cosmetic bags “D’Grill” for barbecue smokers and grills “DLove” for advertising and other

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Duke University has gone to incredibly and absurd lengths to contest other people’s trademark applications. For example, Duke opposed the following marks by filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board :

  • “The Dude Diet” for a diet-related website
  • “Kuke” for electronic products
  • “Goluke” for clothing
  • “Le Duc” for food and drink services

they have even tried to claim they own “devil” and filed oppositions against:

  • “Werdo” with this scribbled image of a devil for shirts and hatsDuke is a Trademark Bully!
  • “Devils Nightmare” for beer
  • “Devil’s Garden” for alcoholic beverages
  • “Pretty Devil” for slot machines

It gets worse, Duke claims the letter D and the word blue with filed oppositions against:

  • “Beach’d” for beach bags and cosmetic bags
  • “D’Grill” for barbecue smokers and grills
  • “DLove” for advertising and other services
  • “True Blue” for auto parts
  • “Stay Blue” for denim clothing
  • “Blue Ball Chiller” for alcoholic beverages
  • “Blue Solutions” for various goods and services related to car rentals and car sharing.

None of this is remotely consistent with trademark law which doesn’t convey an ownership right but is merely meant to help consumers purchase the products they intend to purchase. Yet, many of Duke’s oppositions have been successful since it’s often easier for the group asking for a trademark to simply give up and change their mark. Duke bullies far more than do other similar universities.

All of this is from an excellent paper, Mark of the Devil: The University as Brand Bully by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins both of whom are professors at the Duke University of Law! Bully for them!

The post Duke is a Trademark Bully! appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Alex Tabarrok
Alex Tabarrok is Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in patent-system reform, the effectiveness of bounty hunters compared to the police, how judicial elections bias judges, and how local poverty rates impact trial decisions by juries. He also examines methods for increasing the supply of human organs for transplant, the regulation of pharmaceuticals by the FDA, and voting systems.

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