Complete coverage on


Trayvon Martin's family seeks a trademark on his name. CNN's Athena Jones explains why.

Latest Stories

Cashing in on Jeremy Lin showupdated: Fri Feb 24 2012 04:28:00

Entrepreneurs of all stripes are cashing in on the Lin-sanity phenomenon as swiftly as the NBA sensation can pull off his furious fast breaks.

Cho: 'Invisibility' of Asian-Americansupdated: Fri Feb 24 2012 04:28:00

Comedian Margaret Cho discusses the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin and reassessing stereotypes.

CNNMoney: Trademark wars heat up. Be ready.updated: Thu Dec 01 2011 11:51:00

A trademark can be a company's greatest asset. It can also be one of its biggest challenges -- especially lately.

CNNMoney: Occupy Wall Street applies for trademarkupdated: Mon Oct 31 2011 12:03:00

Even anarchic movements like to have some legal protections: Occupy Wall Street's organizers have applied to trademark their movement's name.

New York couple tries to trademark 'Occupy Wall St.'updated: Tue Oct 25 2011 08:00:00

A Long Island couple wants to trademark the slogan "Occupy Wall St." with the intent to sell sweatshirts, T-shirts, bumper stickers and hobo bags, among other merchandise.

CNNMoney: Amazon wins skirmish in 'App Store' battle with Appleupdated: Thu Jul 07 2011 13:11:00

Apple has been dealt a blow in its "App Store" trademark case, with a federal judge denying its request for an injunction to stop Amazon from using the term.

Game developer braces for fight with Apple over nameupdated: Wed May 04 2011 06:00:00

When Christiaan Rendle first heard Apple promoting software called AirDrop, he was flying high -- and concerned about a crash landing.

iPad 2 buying frenzyupdated: Wed May 04 2011 06:00:00

Apple's iPad 2 was launched in London with great fanfare. Nina Dos Santos reports.

CNNMoney: Facebook sues start-up for using 'book' in nameupdated: Fri Aug 27 2010 10:34:00

Facebook is suing start-up site for using the word "book" in its name, according to court documents.

Fortune: Keyword ad buyers bewareupdated: Tue Mar 23 2010 14:01:00

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled this morning on whether Google violated trademarks by selling brand-name keywords to competitors -- for example, allowing makers of Louis Vuitton knockoff or competitor handbags to buy the keyword "Louis Vuitton." The practice had been challenged by several trademark owners, led by Vuitton's parent company, luxury conglomerate LVMH. And while both sides are claiming victory, it's clear that the big losers are advertisers -- many of whom are small businesses, hoping to be noticed -- who now face potential legal peril when they go shopping for keywords.

Fortune: Could pricey handbags dent Google's money machine?updated: Mon Mar 22 2010 11:25:00

Tomorrow morning the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is expected to decide whether Google, and, by inference, other search engines, can continue to auction off other companies' trademarks for use as search "keywords" in connection with their sponsored advertising programs.

Apple may face 'iPad' legal battleupdated: Thu Jan 28 2010 02:46:00

Apple may face a legal battle with Fujitsu of Japan before it can it can use the 'iPad' name for its new tablet computer.

Inside the iPadupdated: Thu Jan 28 2010 02:46:00

Apple CEO Steve Jobs shows off the new iPad, complete with high-definition video function and 10-hour battery life. Tiffany Appeals eBay Counterfeiting Decisionupdated: Mon Aug 11 2008 15:00:00

Tiffany & Co. challenged Monday a federal ruling that largely absolved eBay Inc. of policing its auction site for counterfeit items, saying the judge was wrong to leave the primary burden to the jewelry maker The Weemote vs. Wiimote Tiffupdated: Fri Jul 18 2008 19:00:00

The makers of a gadget whose name is almost identical to the nickname of Wii's remote control wonder if their trademark is still worth anything Ebay Wins Tiffany Trademark Caseupdated: Mon Jul 14 2008 14:00:00

A judge said Monday that companies such as jeweler Tiffany & Co. are responsible for policing their trademarks online, not auction platforms like eBay

'Naked Cowboy' can sue makers of M&Msupdated: Thu Jun 26 2008 16:05:00

An underpants-clad New York guitarist known as the "Naked Cowboy" can proceed with his trademark infringement lawsuit against the maker of M&Ms and its ad agency, a New York judge has ruled.

Naked Cowboy lawsuitupdated: Thu Jun 26 2008 16:05:00

A judge ruled Tuesday that New York City's Naked Cowboy, Robert Burck, can sue Mars Inc. over an M&M's ad.

The naked truth about The Naked Cowboy caseupdated: Fri Apr 11 2008 16:13:00

Most New Yorkers and visitors to Times Square know of The Naked Cowboy.

Naked Cowboy sues Mars, Inc.updated: Fri Apr 11 2008 16:13:00

Robert Burck, otherwise known as the Naked Cowboy, says he is suing Mars, Inc. over a candy ad.

FSB: Help, a competitor bought my Web domain!updated: Mon Feb 18 2008 23:07:00

Editor's note: This story was originally published Feb. 12, and is being republished to add additional reporting. Dear FSB: Both the name and URL of my company's website were registered with a domain name registration company. After more than five years they have sold the URL for my company's name to another person who now runs it in competition to mine. Do I have copyright to this name and URL?

Famous phrases famous people own updated: Fri Feb 15 2008 16:30:00

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the New England Patriots had attempted to trademark the phrases "19-0 Perfect Season" and "19-0". Oops.

CNNMoney: Paris Hilton fumes over 'hot' Hallmark cardsupdated: Fri Sep 07 2007 07:39:00

Hotel heiress Paris Hilton is seeking at least $100,000 in damages from greeting card maker Hallmark for using a photograph of her face superimposed onto a cartoon body and her trademarked catch phrase, "that's hot."

CNNMoney: American Airlines seeks damages from Googleupdated: Fri Aug 17 2007 03:56:00

American Airlines, the world's largest airline, said Friday it was seeking damages from Internet search leader Google Inc. for selling search words involving its name.

CNNMoney: Levi's says Abercrombie pickpocketed designupdated: Wed Jul 25 2007 22:31:00

Denim maker Levi's Strauss & Co. has filed a second lawsuit against another competitor this month alleging that the retailer - Abercrombie & Fitch - illegally stole its trademarked back-pocket stitching design, according to a published report Thursday.

CNNMoney: Levi's sues the pants off of Poloupdated: Tue Jul 24 2007 06:31:00

Jeans and apparel-maker Levi Strauss & Co. is suing Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. for allegedly copying the denim maker's trademarked pocket stitching design.

Fortune: Small concessions, and tactful talkupdated: Wed Jul 18 2007 22:28:00

Question: What do you get when you put 16 sure-minded Chinese officials in a chandeliered room with a dozen lame-duck Republicans?

FSB: Your stay-out-of-court guideupdated: Wed Jul 11 2007 05:22:00

Going to court is near the top of the list of dreaded activities for small business owners. But many entrepreneurs say that their efforts to resolve disputes outside of litigation haven't worked, according to a 2005 report by the Small Business Administration. The result? Their companies end up with legal bills from $3,000 to $150,000 and have to cut overhead or drum up new sales to compensate.

CNNMoney: SAP admits 'inappropriate downloads'updated: Tue Jul 03 2007 04:00:00

SAP's chief executive admitted "inappropriate downloads" of documents from archrival Oracle by SAP's TomorrowNow unit but said on Tuesday SAP itself had not had access to that material.

CNNMoney: CSI for hedge-fund blowupsupdated: Thu May 24 2007 09:23:00

Growing concern about the effects hedge-fund blowups can have on global financial markets has renewed a push for tighter controls on the $1.6 trillion industry.

FSB: When do trademarks expire?updated: Mon May 07 2007 17:02:00

Dear FSB: How long does it take to obtain a trademark? And how long will one protect my idea? --Chuck Christenson II, CBC Industries Columbus, Neb.

CNNMoney: India's elephant in the room: Weak patent lawsupdated: Fri May 04 2007 10:24:00

India's fast-growing biotech business has the potential to be one of the driving forces behind its enviable 8 percent GDP growth, and a government estimate sees the industry increasing 15-fold over the next eight years.

CNNMoney: Viacom sues 'GooTube' for $1 billionupdated: Tue Mar 13 2007 10:12:00

Viacom sued Google and its online video subsidiary YouTube for $1 billion Tuesday, the first big lawsuit against the online video site and its parent for copyright infringement.

Fortune: Starbucks vs. Ethiopiaupdated: Mon Feb 26 2007 05:56:00

To produce a pound of organic sun-dried coffee, farmers in the southern Ethiopian village of Fero spread six pounds of ripe, red coffee cherries onto pallets near their fields. They sun the fruit f...

Business 2.0: iPhone war: more than just a nameupdated: Fri Jan 12 2007 11:03:00

Think Cisco's lawsuit against Apple is just about a name? Think again.

CNNMoney: Cisco sues Apple over iPhone nameupdated: Wed Jan 10 2007 17:55:00

Cisco Systems is suing Apple Inc. in federal court for trademark infringement over the naming of Apple's new 'iPhone' iPod-phone, Cisco announced in a press release Wednesday.

FSB: Crushing copycatsupdated: Tue Nov 28 2006 09:41:00

Owner's Manual is written by entrepreneurs about lessons they have learned. Carter Weiss can be reached at

CNNMoney: IBM hits Amazon with patent suitsupdated: Mon Oct 23 2006 09:47:00

IBM has filed two patent infringement lawsuits against for unspecified damages, the company announced Monday.

FSB: 3-D without glassesupdated: Thu Oct 12 2006 13:06:00

HinesLab is open for business, but you'd never know it. It is tucked away in a corner of a dreary industrial park in Glendale, Calif. The front door is bolted and covered with a black shroud. Insid...

CNNMoney: High court mulls first business case of termupdated: Mon Oct 02 2006 09:32:00

In the first business case to hit the U.S. Supreme Court's docket this term, the chief justices will have to decide whether biotech firm Medimmune can have its cake and eat it too.

Fortune: Is my loophole really legit?updated: Thu Sep 07 2006 14:47:00

The IRS has a surprising new enemy in the battle against abusive tax shelters: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In recent years the Patent Office has begun granting patents to people who claim...

Fortune: Taxes: Patent that loopholeupdated: Wed Aug 30 2006 08:02:00

The Internal Revenue Service has a surprising new enemy in the battle against abusive tax shelters: The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Fortune: Patent review goes Wikiupdated: Wed Aug 16 2006 10:16:00

The problem: an epidemic of shoddy patents.

CNNMoney: Novo Nordisk sues Pfizer over Exuberaupdated: Wed Aug 02 2006 10:53:00

Novo Nordisk has sued Pfizer, alleging that the new product Exubera violates patents on inhalable insulin for diabetics.

Business 2.0: Cashing in on the patent messupdated: Mon Jul 17 2006 07:08:00

Pretty nearly everyone who deals with patents in the United States agrees on one thing: The system is a mess. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is swamped with a backlog of 600,000 applications ...

CNNMoney: Wal-Mart fights to keep the smiley faceupdated: Wed Jul 05 2006 06:24:00

The ubiquitous yellow happy face is at the center of an angry battle between Wal-Mart Stores and a company owned by a French family, according to a report Wednesday.

Money Magazine: Not exactly counterfeitupdated: Wed Apr 26 2006 16:34:00

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Gee, counterfeit products are getting so realistic!

China's leader begins U.S. visitupdated: Wed Apr 19 2006 02:02:00

China's leader Hu Jintao has arrived on his first visit to the United States since becoming president in 2003, landing in Seattle, Washington, on a four-day trip likely to be used to allay America's trade and currency concerns.

Fortune: Leading Indicatorsupdated: Wed Mar 29 2006 11:02:00


China creates 'piracy court'updated: Thu Mar 09 2006 23:49:00

China has created a special court to prosecute product piracy cases, a government spokesman said Friday, amid demands for Beijing to step up action against rampant illegal copying of movies, music, software and other goods.

CNNMoney: China: Your company name may not be yoursupdated: Tue Mar 07 2006 08:32:00

U.S. brands, beware!

Fortune: Google nudesupdated: Wed Mar 01 2006 10:22:00

The most successful Internet companies have grown rich by exploiting other people's content -- without paying for it.

CNNMoney: BlackBerry maker scores patent winupdated: Wed Feb 22 2006 12:19:00

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued the first final rejection on one the patents involved in the longstanding dispute between BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and patent holding company NTP.

CNNMoney: BlackBerry dispute showdown nearsupdated: Wed Feb 22 2006 11:52:00

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and patent holding firm NTP are set to face off again Friday, when a hearing begins on whether to shut down the popular wireless e-mail device in the U.S.

CNNMoney: Seahawks called for trademark encroachment?updated: Thu Feb 02 2006 11:52:00

The Seattle Seahawks face charges of trademark infringement by Texas A&M University just days before their Super Bowl appearance, according to a news report.

Poor countries win rules extensionupdated: Tue Nov 29 2005 18:27:00

The world's poorest countries have been given an extension until 2013 to follow rules covering protection of trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property.

CNNMoney: Mattel vs. bondage Barbie -- is it over?updated: Thu Jul 21 2005 14:40:00

A trademark case brought by Mattel against Barbies Shop, a Canadian store selling bondage clothing has been dismissed by a New York court, but the nation's largest toymaker said Thursday the case "isn't resolved."

CNNMoney: Branson trademark suit sparks debateupdated: Wed Jun 29 2005 09:42:00

The "rebel billionaire" Richard Branson started out some 30 years ago with a small company that he turned into one of the world's most recognizable brand names -- in part by making sure no one else used the word "Virgin" to sell their wares.

Fortune: COPYRIGHT CRUSADERSupdated: Mon May 16 2005 00:01:00

IN THE WARM AND FROTHY bubble bath that is American spirituality today, it's hard to think of anything quite as familiar and comforting as the mini-homily known as "Footprints in the Sand." For any...

Fortune: CHINA TRIES TO KICK THE PIRACY HABITupdated: Mon Jan 10 2005 00:01:00


Business 2.0: The New Science of Namingupdated: Wed Dec 01 2004 00:01:00

It took a half-day brainstorm session, followed by six weeks of conference calls, to work through the list of names. The client, a financial software startup called Aucent, was in the market for a ...

CNNMoney: Cashing in on the curseupdated: Fri Nov 05 2004 13:34:00

There's the equivalent of a land rush going on among Red Sox fans eager to cash in on the curse that has long haunted their team.

FSB: Anthony Maglicaupdated: Wed Sep 01 2004 00:01:00

Maglica's life story would make a great movie. He was born in New York City in 1930, but the Depression forced him and his mother back to their native Croatia. During World War II they suffered suc...

CNNMoney: Paris Hilton seeks tiara trademarkupdated: Mon Aug 30 2004 09:29:00

Paris Hilton, known for her forays into amateur home video and her role on the Fox show "Simple Life," apparently is looking to slap her moniker on everything from body oil to rubber stamps to shot glasses.

CNNMoney: Donald Trump as the Dean?updated: Fri Aug 27 2004 08:14:00

First a hit reality TV show, now an online business school?

FBI searches car at airport in anthrax caseupdated: Sat Aug 07 2004 19:15:00

FBI agents searched a car in an airport parking lot outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Saturday in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Fortune: Gunning for Linux The free operating system--backed by IBM, HP, and others-- is breaking Microsoft's monopoly. updated: Mon May 17 2004 00:01:00

In the ascetic waiting room of the SCO Group's Lindon, Utah, headquarters, the only reading matter is a stack of beige, telephone-book-sized binders. They are volumes I, II, III, and IV of the comp...

Trademark challenger: Fired up over 'The Apprentice'updated: Tue Apr 13 2004 01:11:00

While fans of NBC's "The Apprentice" gear up for the final firing, one failed contestant is gearing up for a fight with the man who fired her.

CNNMoney: Martha quits company boardupdated: Mon Mar 15 2004 07:16:00

Martha Stewart resigned from the board of the home decor and media empire that she founded, the company said Monday, just 10 days after she was convicted of obstructing an investigation into a well-timed stock sale.

Fortune: Penguin Slayer Tiny SCO Group thinks it can do what Gates can't: Hurt IBM by fighting Linux.updated: Mon Jul 21 2003 00:01:00

In mid-may, CEOs at every company on the FORTUNE 1,000 and FORTUNE Global 500 opened a letter to discover that despite their various industries, languages, and far-flung locations, they all had som...

Money Magazine: Breaking Windows Intellectual propertyupdated: Sat Mar 01 2003 00:01:00

One of Microsoft's biggest brands finds itself in legal jeopardy as the result of a suit filed by a tiny start-up with the unlikely name of Last spring, a federal district court in Sea...

Business 2.0: Numbers The figures that tell the story.updated: Fri Nov 01 2002 00:01:00


Money Magazine: Intellectual Property Trademark futuresupdated: Sat Jun 01 2002 00:01:00

Glenn Gundersen, author of the new 2002 "Trends in Trademarks" report, says you can read the future in trademark applications. Marketers, for example, are currently betting that Americans want bran...

FSB: Pay for Play On the Web Paid search has paid of in increased business for users. As it grows, it may take more effort to get theupdated: Sat Jun 01 2002 00:01:00

In the realm of online marketing schemes, pay-for-performance search is a doozy. Forget banner ads, for which you have to (a) hope that someone visits the site where you've stuck your ad; (b) pray ...


When Tom Hazzard and his wife, Tracy, launched their company, ttools, in 1998--selling a combination stylus-ink pen that can go back and forth from electronic organizers like PalmPilots to paper--t...

Fortune: A Hot Stock's Dirty Secret Remember when chip company Rambus was the talk of CNBC? Now it's been laid low--by its own duplicity updated: Mon Jul 09 2001 00:01:00

As attempted billion-dollar heists go, this one was unobtrusive. There wasn't a pile of cash in the room or a trove of jewels stashed in a vault. The target was far more ethereal. Inside a banquet ...

FSB: Live Wireupdated: Sun Jul 01 2001 00:01:00

The procrastinating, the overburdened, and the just plain lazy should all have lit a candle last May when Clifton Keith Hillegass died from a stroke at the age of 83 at his home in Lincoln, Neb. Hi...

FSB: Aida's Exit Interview She made the SBA bigger and better than ever, but does the outgoing boss have any regrets?updated: Thu Mar 01 2001 00:01:00

As a child, Aida Alvarez learned a few lessons about running a small business while helping out behind the counter of her mother's restaurant in Brooklyn. For the last four years, she's put those l...

Fortune: Knocking Out The Knockoffs How a Danish furniture retailer took on Chinese copycats and won (well, almost).updated: Mon Oct 02 2000 00:01:00

'I can make furniture just like Bo Concept's," brags Zheng Yong, a salesman at Xujiahui Furniture World in Shanghai, a cluttered department store near a busy shopping district. Based in one of the ...

Fortune: The New Online Marketplace of Ideas Pennies for your thoughts? Intellectual property is the newest thing for sale on business-toupdated: Mon Apr 17 2000 00:01:00

For years companies like Du Pont have been struggling to find better ways to market their intellectual property. In Du Pont's case, the chemical giant has a warehouse of 18,000 patents, a huge sour...

FSB: They Saved Small Business When corporate America tried to seize the patent system from independent inventors, updated: Sat Apr 01 2000 00:01:00

Robert H. Rines is no stranger to complex topics or to controversy. An MIT-trained physicist and inventor, he holds dozens of patents on advances in fields as diverse as radar and fish farming. A p...

Fortune: Managing Risk In the 21st Centuryupdated: Mon Feb 07 2000 00:01:00

The year 2000 arrived right on time. Planes stayed up till they were supposed to come down. Phones worked. Power flowed. My pay was directly deposited in my bank account for a sum no less (and, ala...

Fortune: Why Is CD Packaging So Godawful?updated: Mon Nov 08 1999 00:01:00

We all hate CD jewel boxes. They're hard to open, their hinges snap, and those little plastic hubs that hold the disk inevitably break. Who is responsible for the jewel box, paragon of consumer pac...

Fortune: Copyright Protection Is for Dinosaursupdated: Mon Apr 26 1999 00:01:00

Why do we need to protect intellectual property? Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if we really need government protection of intellectual property in our new cyberworld.

Fortune: What Should We Do With Microsoft After the Trial?updated: Mon Dec 21 1998 00:01:00

Say the government wins. Then what? What the heck should we do with Microsoft?


One day last September, private investigator Douglas Erb sought enlightenment, as he often does, sitting in the back of a parked truck in central Los Angeles. Hidden behind a black glass window, he...

Money Magazine: HE'S MAKING THE BEST MONEY OF HIS LIFEupdated: Wed Nov 01 1995 00:01:00

THIS MONTH: U.N. pay and perks: Are yours this good? Coping with Medicare cuts The best Websites for investors


China's flagrant piracy of American pop music, movies, and computer software is more than the biggest rip-off in global commerce. It's also the latest evidence of the growing and increasingly visib...

Fortune: GETTING HIGH TECH BACK ON TRACK Without waiting for a government policy, smart managers can do plenty to restore America's edge updated: Mon Jan 01 1990 00:01:00

YOU'VE GOT TO WORRY about American technology when the newspapers seem to tell you there's less of it every day. Nikon emerges as the leading candidate to buy the division of Perkin-Elmer that make...

Money Magazine: WILL THE IRS SHAKE US DOWN IN 2016 IF OUR '86 IRA WAS LATE?updated: Fri Dec 01 1989 00:01:00

Q. On April 10, 1987, Vanguard, the mutual fund company, received a check from my wife to open two 1986 Individual Retirement Accounts. Because the dollar amount on the check did not agree with oth...

Fortune: CHU? WU? OR WHO?updated: Mon Feb 13 1989 00:01:00

Just when the fever over superconductivity had begun to cool, an acrimonious dispute has broken out that has the circuits sizzling. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is grappling with the questi...

Fortune: NEW PROFITS FROM PATENTS A legal revolution is helping companies protect product ideas and wrest fatter license fees from rivalsupdated: Mon Apr 25 1988 00:01:00

FORTUNES HAVE been made and lost over the ownership of ideas. The concept of intellectual property takes on special urgency in high-technology businesses because invention is the industry's stock i...

Fortune: THE SURPRISING NEW POWER OF PATENTS Thanks mostly to a new appeals court, patent holders are winning many more suits against infupdated: Mon Jun 23 1986 00:01:00

RUSHING to introduce an instant camera by 1976, Eastman Kodak's development committee issued a startling directive: ''Development should not be constrained by what an individual feels is potential ...

We recommend