June 10, 2024

“Should Kellogg’s be Frosted by Seinfeld’s ‘Unfrosted’?,” IPWatchdog

In an article published on June 5, 2024, Harness IP Principal Bryan Wheelock discussed the use of trademarks in Jerry Seinfeld’s recent movie ‘Unfrosted.’ Wheelock provided insight trademark protections and explained exceptions or areas of confusion through other trademark cases.

“Generally, an expressive work such as a movie or television show that references or even focuses on a branded product is not necessarily likely to cause confusion. When that is the case, it does not infringe the brand owner’s rights. This does not necessarily mean that a brand owner has no remedy if the filmmaker goes so far as to disparage the product or its brand. However, courts will usually give filmmakers more leeway than brand owners may like,” Wheelock wrote.

“The situation is admittedly a little different where the product is the star of a movie, rather than just a prop in a scene. However, without additional context, moviegoers typically don’t assume that a movie about a product is necessarily sponsored by that product,” Wheelock explained.

The full article may be accessed here.




Harness IP is celebrating more than 100 years as an intellectual property law firm. Founded in 1921, the firm currently holds a No. 2 ranking from IAM Media for providing counsel to 44 companies with the largest portfolios of issued U.S. patents. The firm also ranks No. 6 for filing the most patent applications on behalf of those companies. Harness IP’s attorneys and IP professionals focus exclusively on patents, trademarks, global IP management, litigation and other IP rights. The firm has offices in metropolitan Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. Visit www.harnessip.com for more information.