A Moron In A Hurry

August 1, 2006

Dooby Dooby Dew

Filed under: trademark — nick @ 5:30 pm

Usually I’m a Pepsi drinker, something about the flatter and more sugary taste than Coke does it for me, but today I decided to live dangerously and bought a can of Mountain Dew. A futile attempt to liven up my life by switching brands, which is a flawed strategy that is also a waste of money.

I haven’t had a Dew in years – my fellow intern Prasanna says it’s so “premillenium” – so I was startled by the new look of the can. The new design has caused some concern for being pro-communist, but even more troubling is what appears to be blatant IP infringement going on right there in front of us.

Dew. Be Dew. Be Dew.

Upon noticing that little slogan at the bottom I had trouble figuring it out. Then it hit me. Dew. Be. Dew. Be. Dew is also easily written as Dooby Dooby Do. And we all remember that as the jingle from the Bud Ice Penguin ads of years back.

So being an aspiring IP attorney, I have to ask if this means anything. Is Dooby Dooby Do trademarked? According to the USPTO ‘Dooby Dooby Do’ was an Anheuser-Busch mark from 1997 to 2004, when the mark was cancelled. All I know is that I am in the awkward position of staring at a can of Mountain Dew while singing the Bud Ice Penguin song to myself. If that isn’t a prime example of being confused (in probably multiple senses) then I’m not sure what is.

Perhaps copyright then, since Dooby Dooby Do comes from a song (have to protect those musicians) and is also from a commercial; someone has to have some claim over it, right? Perhaps not, since short phrases and slogans are not covered by copyright.

In the end, it appears that Mountain Dew is thus free use a homonym of Bud Ice’s cancelled mark on its can without fear of lawsuit. But of course, if anyone at Bud was paying attention, they might want to let some free advertising work itself out. After all, the beauty of the Bud Ice Penguin was that it would lurk in the shadows while it kept people in constant fear – quite subliminal – which is exactly what is happening now. Man I’d like a beer. Dew me barkeep.

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