STILLWATER, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 29, 2018--Just as consumers recognize Coca-Cola by its three-dimensional bottle, the German-themed Hammer-Schlagen® nail driving competition is recognized by its three-dimensional stump. This three-dimensional configuration of shapes and designs, known as "trade dress," is protected as a trademark under federal law. In a public notice issued yesterday, the United States government registered WRB, Inc. of Minnesota as the only entity allowed to use the Hammer-Schlagen® stump. Hammer-Schlagen® originated in 1957 near Stillwater, Minnesota.

"We encourage competition," says Jim Martin, the CEO of WRB who oversees the operation of Hammer-Schlagen® at hundreds of events nationwide, "There's nearly unlimited combinations of objects to use to hold similar competitions. Go to the Steele County Fair in Minnesota, the Apple Popcorn Festival in Indiana, and the Berlin Fair in Connecticut." Of the nearly 2.4 million active and registered trademarks on the principal register, the Hammer-Schlagen® stump is one of only 30 trade dresses for service. "Trade dress is not well understood," says Martin, "and that's a huge problem. If someone uses our stump to offer an inferior service, the perception of those engaging under the counterfeit is irreversibly damaged, even if the Hammer-Schlagen® name or logo is never used. And, if someone gets hurt, we get blamed even though we've never had an insurable injury." A registered trademark owner victimized by willful infringement can recover up to $2 million per incident.

"Lawsuits are expensive," says Martin. In 2015, the United States Patent & Trademark Office prosecuted the trade dress for over 2 years before acknowledging the Hammer-Schlagen® stump was a valid trademark eligible for registration. In 2016, Vision Marketing, LLC, of Washington was accused (in part) of counterfeiting the stump which ended in settlement earlier this year. This was followed by a court dismissing a 2017 case filed by Eichenfeld, LLC of New York for Eichenfeld's failure to produce any evidence the Hammer-Schlagen® stump was not a valid trademark or that WRB did not own it. In June, the Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corporation of Kentucky insured the famous Hammer-Schlagen® brand. In the event WRB is forced to take further litigation against Hammer-Schlagen® infringers, IPISC will pay for the legal costs up to $1.5 million.

Further details at < https://www.hammerschlagen.com/press_releases/?id=2018-08-29 >.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180829005793/en/

CONTACT: WRB, Inc.

Jim Martin, 651-705-6393

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MINNESOTA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WOMEN ENTERTAINMENT OTHER ENTERTAINMENT RESTAURANT/BAR GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES LEGAL RETAIL CONSUMER MEN

SOURCE: WRB, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 08/29/2018 06:01 PM/DISC: 08/29/2018 06:01 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180829005793/en