Monday, April 28, 2008

Trademarks, the recession, and use in commerce

From the New York Times comes a story about brand values in the economic downturn:

Recession Diet Just One Way to Tighten Belt

[C]hains that emphasize low prices, like TJ Maxx and Wal-Mart, are thriving. And cut-rate supermarkets, like Save-A-Lot, are swamped.

“People are not not spending, but they are changing how they spend,” said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at the NPD Group.

And they are often willing to sacrifice convenience or swallow their pride.

…. As the compromises mount, people are even coming up with clever schemes to hide their cost-cutting.

Holly Levitsky, a 56-year-old supermarket cashier in Cleveland, buys a brand of steak sauce called Briargate for 85 cents and surreptitiously pours it into an A1 steak sauce bottle she keeps at home.

“My husband can’t even tell the difference,” she said.

Let's hope A1 has better things to do than sending her a cease-and-desist letter. (And, one presumes, Levitsky hopes her husband neither reads the NYT nor has a Google Alert out on her.)

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