Justice and Justin Bieber


Justice and Justin Bieber

by Susan Basko, esq.

Justin Bieber has been sent a Cease and Desist by the French electronic music duo called Justice.  Justice registered the trademark on the left, in the French trademark system, but not in the U.S.  The Justice duo claims that the cover of Justin Bieber's latest album, called Justice, seen on the right, infringes upon their copyright.  

Let's look at why this claim is not likely to succeed.  There are many reasons.  First, Justice did not register their trademark in the U.S.  Second, Justin Bieber has not (yet) filed a trademark on "Justice."

Third, "justice" is a generic term, and this electronic duo has no hold or control over the name.  If their name were unique, such as "Megadeth" they might have some legit claim over the word.  As of now, there are 1014 live trademarks in the US trademark system that contain the word, "justice."

Fourth, Justice claims that Bieber's design on the word, "justice" is too similar to theirs, because they claim the "t" is elongated to create a Christian cross.  Look at the two designs.  Justice uses a graffiti writing style, with little arrows coming off the ends of the letters.  Bieber uses a totally different typeface, a very sleek, chunky, modern sans serif lettering. 

The overall line of the lettering on the Justice trademark swoops down and then up again.  Bieber's lettering has a straight bottom line.  In fact, Bieber's letter "t" is not elongated and has the same bottom line as the rest of his letters.

If we were discussing copyright, which is different from trademark, we would note that font styles do not have copyright.  Also, titles of albums do not have copyright.  Also, one cannot copyright a single word.  Also, a common symbol such as a cross does not have copyright. 

Then there is the idea of consumer confusion.  I doubt any fans of Justin Bieber's music have ever heard of the electronic duo, Justice.  Justice's fans have likely heard of Justin Bieber, but they are not likely to confuse these two highly divergent music artists.

I did a search of the US Trademark database to find trademarks that incorporate the word "justice" and also a design of a cross.  I found a short list, and most of them are dead.  

Then, I looked at each of these. I found three that had any possible similarity to the Justice trademark or to Justin Bieber's album cover.  This is the first -- the Medical Justice League, with a crest including a cross.  There is no similarity to either Justice's trademark or Justin Bieber's album cover design.

Next, there is an abandoned trademark using the word "justice" and a cross. Again, not similar.

Third, there is a live trademark for insurance claims that is uses a cross and the word, "justice."  It is the most similar to the French Justice music trademark and to Bieber's album cover design.  Even still, it is not similar to either.  The point here is that anyone can use the word "justice" in a trademark, along with a Latin Cross, and this does not mean it infringes.

I've read that Justin Bieber has a "Justice" clothing line planned.  He should probably get busy and file a trademark on that, before someone beats him to it.

There's another issue some people are complaining about.  Justin Bieber used some wording from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as lyrics in some of his songs.  He did so with the blessing of the King family.  There is a triple blessing to Bieber using MLK's words as lyrics.  The family/ estate holds the copyright on many of Dr. King's famous writings and speeches.  They use the copyright to protect the integrity of the writings, as well as to make money for the family and estate.  This is most helpful since Dr. King died very young and was therefore not around to support his family.  His words lived on, and protected by copyright, have helped support the family.  

Some people have complained that Justin Bieber named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr as "co-writer" on at least one song.  This is legally a correct thing to do.  The lyrics are written by MLK and therefore, he is a co-songwriter.  This also means that MLK's family or estate is entitled to publishing royalties on the song.  That could add up to quite a bit of money for the family.  

Justin Bieber is not usurping or misusing the MLK name, he is introducing MLK's words and ideas to a new generation.  He is helping spread MLK's ideas about justice.  By doing so, Justin Bieber is helping the MLK family and estate to make money.  By doing so, Justin Bieber is promoting justice in ways that are available to him as a very famous music artist.  

Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, Jason Lee Van Dyke, and Milo Whats-his-Name

Proud Boys Trademark Specimen

 Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, Jason Lee Van Dyke, and Milo What's-his-Name

by Susan Basko, esq.

As explained here back in April 2018, Texas lawyer Jason Lee Van Dyke registered the trademark on the words, "Proud Boys" for "Association services, namely, organizing chapters of a fraternity and promoting the interests of the members thereof" with his own legal entity, JLVD Holdings L.L.C., as the owner of the trademark.  At the time, Jason Lee Van Dyke was acting as a lawyer for the Proud Boys group.  You can read about that HERE.

Since then, Jason Lee Van Dyke was ousted from or quit the group.  Gavin McInnes, founder of the group, also quit.  

Subsequently, Enrique Tarrio was elected to head the Proud Boys.  Recently, Enrique Tarrio was revealed to be a long-time FBI Confidential Informant, which you can read about at Reuters, The Guardian, New York Times, and many other locations.

On January 6, 2021, a group of rioters entered the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., causing property damage and resulting in about 6 deaths of police and participants.  Various members of the Proud Boys have been arrested in connection with the attack.  You can read about that at The Guardian.

Jason Lee Van Dyke, the lawyer who owns the Proud Boys trademark, has issued a letter to Enrique Tarrio rescinding a license granted to him to use the Proud Boys trademark.  See below.  

Now, Milo Yiannopoulos has offered to buy the trademark from Jason Lee Van Dyke and give it to the Proud Boys membership, if Enrique Tarrio agrees to quit the leadership, other than being the head of a local chapter.

WHICH BRINGS UP THE TOPIC -- IS THIS LEGALLY POSSIBLE?  I think so, yes, as an assignment of trademark.  Jason Lee Van Dyke would have to agree to assign the trademark and the organization would have to agree to have it assigned to it.  Assignments are done using forms at the U.S. Trademark Office.  The reason I think it would be legal is because it would still be the exact same organization using and benefiting from the trademark.  Then, they'd file an ETAS form and pay a $40 fee
Note: This is NOT legal advice.  You are not my legal client.  Blah blah blah, etc.

WILL THIS HAPPEN?  We shall see.  

What is Milo's interest in the Proud Boys?  Who knows.  He has written that he wants to gift the trademark to the group so "the fraternity never again has to beg someone else to use its own name."  

The World Trademark Review recently published an article in which I am quoted, entitled, "Proud Boys™ – far-right group's trademark could face cancellation, legal experts claim."  The article is pay-walled, but if you register, it is a well-written article and worth reading. 

Marijuana and Trademark


Marijuana and Trademark

by Susan Basko, esq.

The U.S. Trademark Office will not register trademarks on any marijuana-related goods or services.  Period.  What the Trademark Office will do is jack around those who are foolish enough to try to register a trademark on marijuana-related goods or services.  

The reason the Trademark Office will not register trademarks on any marijuana-related goods or services is because marijuana is federally illegal, even though it is legal in numerous U.S. States.  It is possible in those States that, if the State itself has a trademark office, such trademarks might be registered there.  I don't know; I have never tried it, but in theory this makes sense to me.

(Note: There is a tiny exception in the trademark law for cannabis-derived products with negligible THC content, such as CBD oil that has less than 0.3 THC per dry weight.  And then, it cannot be an edible or touted as being a cure for anything.)

Now, you may ask, how does the Trademark Office jack around those who apply for trademarks on their goods and services?  Here is a cautionary tale. 

I got an email from a company called Camp Nova, which is a delivery service for marijuana and edibles. The photo above is from one of their emails, listing some of the celebrity brands of marijuana that Camp Nova sells.  So naturally, I looked up to see if Camp Nova had attempted to register a trademark on its name.  And yes, the owner of the company made two do-it-yourself attempts to register a trademark.  Trademark is not a do-it-yourself activity, ever.  If he had asked any credible lawyer, they would have told him that the trademark office does not register trademarks on any goods or services related to marijuana, period.

The first attempt at trademark registration, Camp Nova called its service: "Computer software platforms, downloadable, for mobile devices and herbal marketing." The Trademark Examiner sent out an Office Action saying the specimen provided was not correct for a software platform and that the goods were not specific enough. Camp Nova did not respond and the trademark application went DEAD.

About a year passed, and the owner of Camp Nova tried a second do-it-yourself trademark application.  This time, he called his service: "On-line wholesale and retail store services featuring hemp."   When he was searching for an identification for his goods or services, perhaps he noticed that there were no listings whatever for "marijuana" or for "cannabis."  Perhaps that still did not clue him in that the U.S. Trademark does not register trademarks on marijuana-related goods or services, or perhaps he thought he could sneak in by calling it hemp. However, the Trademark Examiner would look at the Camp Nova website and see it was a marijuana delivery service.

Now, upon seeing that Camp Nova was a marijuana delivery service, one would think that the Trademark Examiner might simply send Camp Nova a notice saying something like, "Sorry, the Trademark Office does not register trademarks on marijuana-related goods or services because marijuana is federally illegal."  Instead, the Trademark Examiner sent out an Office Action telling Camp Nova they have 6 months in which to file a Reply to the Office Action and they must answer ALL of the questions that are shown below in the highlighted area.  Please notice that if Camp Nova answers these questions, they will be admitting under sworn written oath, that they are committing a whole roster of federal crimes.

Below is a large portion of the Office Action, directly quoted.  Notice the Questions numbered 1-11, which I have highlighted to make them easier to find.  Quite seriously, only a fool would answer these questions.
And now, I hope you see why Trademark Registration is not a do-it-yourself project.

The Office Action asks, "If so, do the cannabis or cannabis derivative used (or to be used) in these goods contain more than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis?"  Will Camp Nova respond, "Why yes, we sell Ice Cream Cake that has one hundred times that much THC, at 30% THC"?

The Nonfinal Office Action is dated September 4, 2020, which gives Camp Nova till February 4, 2021 to respond.  Will Camp Nova be dopey enough to respond and put it in sworn writing that they are selling Lemon Kush with 20% THC and Ice Cream Cake at 30% THC?  I hope not, but I will be watching their trademark file to find out.

Camp Nova ad - Ice Cream Cake

Camp Nova ad - Lemon Kush



The USPTO must receive applicant’s response to this letter within six months of the issue date below or the application will be abandoned.  Respond using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).  A link to the appropriate TEAS response form appears at the end of this Office action. 



Issue date:  September 04, 2020


 The referenced application has been reviewed by the assigned trademark examining attorney.  Applicant must respond timely and completely to the issue(s) below.  15 U.S.C. §1062(b); 37 C.F.R. §§2.62, 2.65(a); TMEP §§711, 718.03.


The trademark examining attorney searched the USPTO database of registered and pending marks and found no conflicting marks that would bar registration under Trademark Act Section 2(d).  15 U.S.C. §1052(d); TMEP §704.02.



  • FDCA Refusal – No Bona Fide Intent to Lawfully Use in Commerce as of Filing Date;
  • Controlled Substances Act Compliance Advisory
  • Information requirement
  • Specimen requirement

FDCA Refusal


Registration is refused because applicant does not have a bona fide intent to lawfully use the applied-for mark in commerce.  Trademark Act Sections 1 and 45, 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1127; see TMEP §907. 


To qualify for federal trademark/service mark registration, the use of a mark in commerce must be lawful.  Gray v. Daffy Dan’s Bargaintown, 823 F.2d 522, 526, 3 USPQ2d 1306, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 1987) (stating that “[a] valid application cannot be filed at all for registration of a mark without ‘lawful use in commerce’”); TMEP §907; see In re Stellar Int’l, Inc., 159 USPQ 48, 50-51 (TTAB 1968); Coahoma Chemical Co., Inc. v. Smith, 113 USPQ 413 (Com’r Pat. & Trademarks 1957) (concluding that “use of a mark in connection with unlawful shipments in interstate commerce is not use of a mark in commerce which the [Office] may recognize.”).  Thus, the goods/services to which the mark is to be applied must comply with all applicable federal laws.  See In re Brown, 119 USPQ2d 1350, 1351 (TTAB 2016) (citing In re Midwest Tennis & Track Co., 29 USPQ2d 1386, 1386 n.2 (TTAB 1993) (noting that “[i]t is settled that the Trademark Act’s requirement of ‘use in commerce,’ means a ‘lawful use in commerce’”)); In re Pepcom Indus., Inc., 192 USPQ 400, 401 (TTAB 1976); TMEP §907. 

The items or activities listed in the application in connection with which the mark is intended to be used involve a per se violation of federal law.  See In re Brown, 119 USPQ2d at 1352.  The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of a food to which has been added a drug approved under Section 355 of the Act or a biological product licensed under 42 U.S.C. §262.  21 U.S.C. §331(ll); see also 21 U.S.C. §321(ff) (indicating that a dietary supplement is deemed to be a food within the meaning of the FDCA and does not include an article that is approved as a new drug under 21 U.S.C.  §355, certified as an antibiotic under 21 U.S.C. §357, or licensed as a biologic under 42 U.S.C.  §262).

Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical constituent of the cannabis plant, was the subject of substantial clinical investigations before it was marketed in foods or as dietary supplements.  On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first prescription pharmaceutical formulation of plant-derived CBD, Epidiolex®, for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) placed Epidiolex® on schedule V of the CSA on September 27, 2018.  Nevertheless, marijuana and CBD derived from marijuana remain unlawful.  No other cannabis-derived drug products have been approved by the FDA.  Under the FDCA, any product intended to have a therapeutic or medical use, and any product (other than a food) that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body of humans or animals, is a drug.  21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)  An unapproved new drug cannot be distributed or sold in interstate commerce unless it is the subject of an FDA-approved new drug application (NDA) or abbreviated new drug application (ANDA). 21 U.S.C. §§ 331(d) and 355(a), (b), & (j); see also FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products: Questions and Answers https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-questions-and-answers copy attached.

Applicant’s goods and/or services are broad enough to encompass products that consist of, or include, items or activities that are or were prohibited by the FDCA, namely, “On-line wholesale and retail store services featuring hemp.”

As the applicant has identified that its services feature hemp, it is presumed that the goods also contain the prohibited substance of CBD.  Since CBD is an extract found in hemp plants, and since the applicant has not specifically excluded CBD from the Identification, it is presumed that the applicant’s services featuring goods containing CBD, and thus the FDCA refusal is applicable at this time

It is unlawful to introduce food to which CBD, an “article that is approved as a new drug,” has been added into interstate commerce or to market CBD as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. 21 U.S.C. §§321(ff)(3)(B)(ii), 331(d), 355(a); see also 21 U.S.C.  §352(f)(1) regarding mislabeled drugs.  See also Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.

 https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm628988.htm copy attached. 


In order for an application to have a valid basis that could properly result in a registration, the use of the mark has to be lawful.  See In re Pepcom Indus., Inc., 192 USPQ 400, 401 (TTAB 1976)  Because introduction of such goods into commerce was not lawful as of the filing date, applicant did not have a bona fide intent to use the applied-for mark in lawful commerce in connection with such goods and/or the identified services.  See e.g. In re JJ206, LLC, 120 USPQ2d 1568, 1569 (TTAB 2016) (“where the identified goods are illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the applicant cannot use its mark in lawful commerce, and ‘it is a legal impossibility’ for the applicant to have the requisite bona fide intent to use the mark.”); see also In re Brown, 119 USPQ2d, 1351-1352; TMEP §907.   




Use of a mark in commerce must be lawful use to be the basis for federal registration of the mark.   Gray v. Daffy Dan’s Bargaintown, 823 F.2d 522, 526, 3 USPQ2d 1306, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 1987) (stating that “[a] valid application cannot be filed at all for registration of a mark without ‘lawful use in commerce’”); TMEP §907. Thus, the goods and/or services to which the mark is applied must comply with all applicable federal laws.  See In re Brown, 119 USPQ2d 1350, 1351 (TTAB 2016) (citing In re Midwest Tennis & Track Co., 29 USPQ2d 1386, 1386 n.2 (TTAB 1993) (noting that “[i]t is settled that the Trademark Act’s requirement of ‘use in commerce,’ means a ‘lawful use in commerce’”)); In re Pepcom Indus., Inc., 192 USPQ 400, 401 (TTAB 1976); TMEP §907.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. Goods containing CBD derived from cannabis that meets the definition of “marijuana” are illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. §§801-971. On December 20, 2018, the CSA was amended to remove “hemp” from the definition of “marijuana” and specifically exclude “tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp (as defined under section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946)” from Schedule I, 21 U.S.C. §812(c)(17). See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334 (the 2018 Farm Bill), which amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA).


Applicant’s identified goods and/or services include: On-line wholesale and retail store services featuring hemp.”


To the extent applicant’s services contain goods that are derived solely from cannabis plants that meet the current statutory definition of “hemp,” such goods may be lawful.


Applicant must amend the identification of goods and services to specify that all cannabidiol-containing items are “solely derived from hemp with a delta-9 tetrahyrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” 


Applicant may adopt one of the following limitations and amend the identification of goods/services accordingly:


Class 035:  “On-line wholesale and retail store services featuring hemp with a delta-9 tetrahyrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis


Applicant should note, however, that even if applicant amends the application as outlined above, such amendment will not be sufficient to overcome the additional FDCA refusal set forth immediately below.


Applicant is advised that failure to amend the identification of goods/services will be grounds for refusal on the basis that the mark, as used/intended to be used in connection with the identified goods/services, is not lawful use in commerce under the CSA.  Trademark Act Sections 1 and 45, 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1127; see TMEP §907.  


SCOPE ADVISORY: Applicant may amend the identification to clarify or limit the goods and/or services, but not to broaden or expand the goods and/or services beyond those in the original application or as acceptably amended.  See 37 C.F.R. §2.71(a); TMEP §1402.06.  Generally, any deleted goods and/or services may not later be reinserted.  See TMEP §1402.07(e).




To permit proper examination of the application, applicant must submit additional information about applicant’s goods.  See 37 C.F.R. §2.61(b); TMEP §§814, 1402.01(e).


In addition, applicant must submit a written statement indicating whether all the goods, including the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. §§801-971 (see questions below). See 37 C.F.R. §2.69; TMEP §907.


Applicant must respond to the following questions and/or requests for documentation to satisfy this request for information:


1.      Do or will applicant’s identified goods include any oils, extracts, ingredients or derivatives from the plant Cannabis sativa L (also known as cannabis, marijuana or hemp), including CBD?  If so, please specify.

2.      If so, do the cannabis or cannabis derivative used (or to be used) in these goods contain more than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis?

3.      If applicant has any documentation relative to the THC content of the oils, extracts or derivatives used or to be used in the goods, please submit them with the response.

4.      If applicant’s goods do or will contain oils, extracts, ingredients or derivatives from the plant Cannabis sativa L which has more than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis, identify the part or parts of the plant used in obtaining the oils, extracts, ingredients or derivatives.

5.      If the “hemp” is grown in the United States of America, was the hemp used in the goods obtained from an authorized grower or supplier of industrial hemp from a hemp growing pilot program set up under the 2014 Farm Bill?

6.      Do or will applicant’s identified International Class 5 goods include CBD?

7.      If the answer to question 6 is “yes,” do or will applicant’s identified International Class 5 goods include CBD which is derived from, oils, extracts or ingredients from plants other than Cannabis sativa L?

8.      If the goods contain CBD, will there be more than a trace amount of CBD in the goods, that is, more than 50 parts per million (PPM)?  Please submit documentation of the CBD concentration of the goods.

9.      Is applicant currently seeking FDA approval for its goods in International Class 5?

10.  Upon information and belief do applicant’s goods comply with the CSA?

11.  Upon information and belief do applicant’s goods comply with the FDCA?

Failure to comply with a request for information is grounds for refusing registration.  In re Harley, 119 USPQ2d 1755, 1757-58 (TTAB 2016); TMEP §814.  Merely stating that information about the goods or services is available on applicant’s website is an insufficient response and will not make the relevant information of record.  See In re Planalytics, Inc., 70 USPQ2d 1453, 1457-58 (TTAB 2004).


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Trademark


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Trademark

by Susan Basko, esq. 

I answered this question on Quora: Is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s character copyrighted?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a song, a movie, etc. and these have Copyright protections. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is also a trademark registered by Trust of the author, Robert L. May, for use on books, films, games, toys, etc. It has been registered since the 1980s. 

The specimens on file with the U.S. Trademark Office show a Viewmaster slide show of Rudolph, a story book signed by the author, a coloring book, an RCA Victor phonograph record, and a pair of bedroom slippers with a reindeer head. It is safe to say the character of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is as legally well-protected as Mickey Mouse. Subsequent attempts by others to register trademarks on any Rudolph Reindeer-related goods or services have all failed and gone dead. 

The registration information is shown below, and above is a photo of the specimen provided of the coloring book and slippers.

  Word Mark


Goods and Services

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Filmstrips With [ and Without ] Sound Tracks. FIRST USE: 19470000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19470000

IC 016. US 037 038. G & S: Coloring and Activity Books. FIRST USE: 19470000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19470000

IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: [ Equipment Sold as a Unit for Playing Board and Dart Board Games, ] Stuffed Toys, Christmas Tree Ornaments, Hand Puppets and Jigsaw Puzzles. FIRST USE: 19470000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19470000

Mark Drawing Code


Serial Number


Filing Date

July 3, 1980

Current Basis


Original Filing Basis


Published for Opposition

October 9, 1984

Registration Number


Registration Date

December 18, 1984


(REGISTRANT) State National Bank of Evanston, co-trustees of Robert L. May, trust under will banking association UNITED STATES Orrington at Davis Evanston ILLINOIS 60204


Assignment Recorded


Type of Mark




Affidavit Text

SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20150110.


2ND RENEWAL 20150110

Live/Dead Indicator


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Brat Pack


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Brat Pack
by Susan Basko, esq.

You've probably seen the marvelous video above, which features now U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez back when she was a student at Boston University.  In the video credits, she is listed as "Sandy Ocasio-Cortez."  What are the origins of this great little video?

Back in 2009, the French group named Phoenix released a catchy pop tune called Lisztomania.  The term, Lisztomania, refers to the freaky fandom that was rained down upon the composer Franz LIszt in Berlin in the 1840s.  Liszt was like the Justin Timberlake or Shawn Mendes of his day. 

Someone using the name AvoidantConsumer created a perfect dance video using the Lisztomania song from Phoenix with footage from the 1985 John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club.  "It stars Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy as teenagers from different high school cliques who spend a Saturday in detention with their authoritarian assistant principal (Paul Gleason)."

The actors that starred in The Breakfast Club and other teen movies of the 1980s became known as The Brat Pack.  John Hughes made a series of movies depicting the lives of white teens from Chicago's wealthy northern suburbs.  Those movies included The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  The John Hughes movies followed in the footsteps of the 1983 movie Risky Business by Paul Brickman, which also depicted lives of wealthy white Chicago suburban teens, and Class, directed by Lewis John Carlino, which did the same.  In the mid-1980s, it became a movie genre unto itself to tell stories of mischievous wealthy white teens challenging authority in suburban Chicago.  Their big freedom escapades often involved driving from their sleepy suburbs into downtown Chicago.

This rich Chicago teen genre and its tropes got turned on its head by 1992's Wayne's World, directed by Penelope Spheeris.  Wayne's World depicted ersatz Chicago suburban "teens," played by the older Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth.  Wayne and Garth did not drive fancy sports cars; they had a 1976 AMC Pacer, a funny little car with huge windows that looked like a circus clown car.  Wayne and Garth were not pondering what to wear to the prom; they were busy making Public Access TV shows down in the paneled-and-brown-plaid finished basement.

The AvoidantConsumer video (below) was imitated by young people in Brooklyn, and then in Boston, and soon in cities all over the world.  You can see in the video below that the role that AvoidantConsumer created for Ally Sheedy was later imitated and reprised by Sandy Ocasio-Cortez in the Boston remake.  Allegedly, AvoidantConsumer's Youtube channel was shut down for Copyright infringement claimed against the video.  That person has resurrected on Youtube as AvoidantConsumer3. 

The first spin-off video was made on a rooftop in Brooklyn in New York City.  Notice it is pretty faithful to the AvoidantConsumer - Brat Pack original.

Rome, Italy, came up with a nice mashup of the video:

Michigan State University did a decent rendition:

This group from Moscow, Russia, does a pretty good job once they get up to the rooftop.  They capture the spirit of the original, even if they lack a brunette dancer for the Ally Sheedy part.

These folks in Rio de Janeiro look like they are having a lot of fun against the gorgeous scenery.

Students at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, get points for a diverse cast and good dance moves.


These folks in Vienna, Austria, posed against the scenic local backdrops to make their Lisztomania mashup.

A family in Curitiba, Brazil, cast the mom, dad, and kids in the roles.  They made the video as a thank-you to Curitiba, which they enjoyed visiting.

These people in Versailles, France, look like they are having a lot of fun.  While they did not imitate the original Brat Pack video, they made up for it in energy and fun.

A shop in Paris, France, became the scene for this remake. Not everyone has a rooftop where they can go to dance around.

Dancers in Taipei, Taiwan, performed their mashup on a city train and on a big staircase. They stayed true to the energy and spirit of the original video, if not to its specifics.

San Francisco put forth an excellent version, with a producer, director, and choreographer listed in the credits.   The video is cast with beautiful young women and men, as one would expect in San Francisco. 

This group of dancers in Rimini, Italy, made good use of the charming local scenery.

Lecce, Italy, cast a beautiful brunette woman in the Ally Sheedy role.  The whole cast looks like they are having lots of fun.  

The Israeli version was performed in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa.  Parts of it were shot using what looks like a big orange Alexander Calder sculpture as a backdrop.  They do some couples dancing as well as some folk dancing moves. 

And finally, this ambitious group from Amsterdam, Netherlands, bring their dancing energy to a scene of graffiti-painted rocks and a water taxi boat.

If I missed any videos, please email me the link if you want me to add it onto this post. 

 Happy Dancing!

Broccolini Trademark


Broccolini Trademark
by Susan Basko, esq.

A great use of trademark is to create a new product out of an existing one.  Mann Packing Company has done just that by creating the name, "Broccolini," and registering a trademark on it.  

Broccolini is actually a Japanese vegetable called, "Asparation."  Mann Packing Company got a packing and distribution contract with the Japanese company, but needed a better name than "Asparation," which sounds more like a self-help group.  Mann's came up with the name, Broccolini, and to protect it, registered a trademark on that name.  The trademark application was filed in 1998 and the trademark certificate was granted in 2000.  It is a word mark on the word, "Broccolini," and it is for the goods of  Fresh Vegetables.  

You might be wondering if a patent can be registered on a vegetable.  A patent is protection for an invention.  According to this great little article, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/plant-patents.html, a vegetable can only be patented if it is created by breeding or grafting.  Otherwise, plants might be protected in the U.S. by the Plant Variety Protection Act.  

If you enjoy broccolini, you might wonder what is the difference between broccolini, broccoli rabe, and Chinese broccoli.   According to Eater.com, Chinese broccoli is a leafy vegetable without flowers.  It is served often in Thai restaurants in pad see ew, a dish with thick noodles, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, a protein, and a savory dark sauce.  Broccoli rabe, which is often called rapini, looks like broccoli, in that it has flowers, but it also has many leaves.  Rapini is one of my favorite vegetables because it sautes up nicely. I use rapini in Asian dishes.  Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli that was invented in 1993.  Broccolini has tender stems that can be sliced and sauteed, stir-fried, or eaten raw in a salad.  Broccolini is one of most favorite vegetables, for its beauty as well as its versatility.

Trademark can be a rather magical thing.  With Broccolini, trademark has been used by Mann's to create a highly marketable product, as well as to create a product sold exclusively by Mann Packing Company.  Depending on the contract with the Japanese inventor of Asparation, other U.S. companies might be able to sell Asparation, but none of them would be able to use the Broccolini name, unless they license use of the name from Mann's.  

U.S. Trademarks can continue to exist as long as the trademark owner makes the proper renewals and as long as the trademark is still being used in commerce.  That makes trademarks different from U.S. patents, which only last 20 years.  Thus, Mann Packing Company can have a corner on the Broccolini market indefinitely.  

I think of Mann's as an excellent, innovative company that has done great service in creating and packaging highly desirable fresh vegetables.  Mann's sells bags of fresh vegetable mixes where the vegetables have already been cut up into their usable parts, washed, and sorted.  For example, Mann's sells such things as bags filled with broccoli and cauliflower florets.  The company also sells bags of vegetables ready to stir fry, such as a mix of broccoli, carrots, and pea pods. 

You can truly appreciate this if you are old enough to remember back when, if you wanted a few florets of cauliflower, you had to buy an entire softball-sized head of cauliflower, soak it, wash it, trim away the leaves and stump, and cut a few florets to use.  In most cases, a good deal of it went to waste because an entire head of cauliflower is way too much for most people to use before it goes brown.  Now, Mann's allows one head of cauliflower to be shared between many households.  Every bit of that cauliflower head is used, with much of what would have gone to waste being turned into products such as cole slaw and crunch salad mixes, "cauliflower rice," and cauliflower pizza crust.  That cauliflower rice is good as a base for any dish, just like brown rice and is a great addition to a stir fry.  People who don't want to eat flour because of gluten sensitivity or other reasons can use cauliflower rice as a pizza crust.

With all these fantastic, easy-to-use fresh vegetable products, everyone should be eating and enjoying plenty of nutritious vegetables.  

Other companies have created trademarks for vegetables.  For example, Jolly Green Giant has a trademark on the word "Niblets" for canned corn.  Mann's itself has 50 live trademarks registered on various vegetable product.  You can see these listed below.

Serial NumberReg. NumberWord MarkCheck StatusLive/Dead
20872593215510811SINGLE CUTTSDRLIVE