Office Depot The Latest To Misunderstand Trademark Law

from the let's-try-this-again-for-the-slow-folks dept

Stories about companies getting upset over Google text ads on their name are nothing new. However, this latest case is slightly different in a few important ways. Office Depot is suing Staples for taking out Google text ads on the name of a brand they’re shutting down in the US. This seems like a totally legitimate way to try to get new business. People looking for Viking Office products probably would be interested in Staple’s alternatives. However, Office Depot is upset that the Staple’s ad seems to imply Viking is disappearing completely, which isn’t true outside of the US. That seems like a bit of nitpicking, but which could be solved in the ads were limited to the US. What’s more interesting, though, is that almost all previous lawsuits around this issue involved the complaining company suing Google rather than the advertiser in question. In this case, the suit is against Staples — which is at least a small step in the right direction (whether or not the case has merit). Of course, Office Depot and Staples just settled a different lawsuit a few days ago — so maybe both teams of lawyers just needed something new to fight over. Meanwhile, on the subject of trademark confusion in this space, has anyone figured out a way to tell Office Depot and Office Max apart?

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Comments on “Office Depot The Latest To Misunderstand Trademark Law”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: How to tell them apart...

There’s one OMX near me with a almost dead cafeteria next door. The Chinese buffet places are stalking the cafeteria waiting for it to go out of business.
Other tennants in the stripmall include a menswear store that keeps their doors locked at all times unless a shopper wants in or out. They have an armed guard standing at the door just like some jewelry stores. Guarding second rate suits.

The OMX is always empty of customers. Very typical OMX location, very typical store. Very typically not a place you want to be after dark.

Oh but there IS a worse Office Depot around here. It’s next door to an adult toy storearmotel and a truck freight yard. I am not kidding. You absolutely do NOT want to be near that one after dark.

Functionality works best says:

Re: Re: How to tell them apart...

One will usually greet you at the door and ask to assist you with looking for items — that one will also assist you with your UPS shipping (ODP). The other will have several do-it-yourself photocopy machines and staff that is difficult to locate when you need help searching for products (OMX).

I prefer an office super store that has plenty of locations near where actual business offices are located (ODP), rather than one placed mostly near shopping malls (OMX) or near grocery stores & warehouse Costco centers (STAPLES).

location location location…

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