Home  |  Press  |  Contact


Macy's Files Opposition to Block the use of their Expired Department Store Trademarks. Strategic Marks, LLC plans to Fight.

(Newport Beach, CA, August 24, 2011) - Macy's Department Stores, the largest owner of department stores in the United States has filed oppositions to block the use of their expired trademarks with the United States Patient and Trademark Office. Strategic Marks, LLC the company applying for the expired marks calls it "Simply corporate bullying" and vows to fight.

Strategic Marks, LLC, a company focused on acquiring old brands and rebuilding their respective products such as Leaf Brands™ and the iconic candy brand Astro Pops®, filed for the defunct Macy's trademarks of Robinson's, May Company, Filene's, and Jordan Marsh in September of 2010 in hopes of rebuilding their names and hopefully the stores themselves. "We conducted quite a few months of research that showed consumers are not happy with today's shopping experience after Macy's merged with Federated and May Department Stores back in 1994 and 2005 respectively." Says Ellia Kassoff the CEO of Strategic Marks. The whole experience is quite drab with no localized marketing and buying for the local stores. People want to go back to the days when it was a real experience shopping at their local department store. They really miss that." Kassoff says. "I had a feeling Macy's would try and block the acquisitions of their old trademarks but they even admitted in their oppositions, they are no longer using the names, yet will not give them up." "This goes against the whole trademark process of the United States." " It's quite obvious they are only out to intimidate the small guy, even when they have no legal standing." Kassoff ends.

Macy's filed oppositions the day before Strategic Marks were set to finalize the old trademarks with the USPTO office, in hopes of blocking the use of any company using trademarks, even those that are expired. "Macy's has a history of intimidation," Kassoff maintains. "On April 26th 2011, Macy's tried to block our cancellation of the Abraham and Straus trademark, after we initiated the trademark cancellation process for non-use through the USPTO office." "Macy's then came back almost a month later after they defaulted for not responding and claim their merger paperwork and addresses were never updated when they bough Federated. Now, come on!" "This is a big corporation with many lawyers and they actually claim they didn't update their information properly 15 years ago?" "I really see it as an opportunity by Macy's to prolong these cases through litigation in hopes that we will go away." "Well, I'm going to fight!" says Kassoff. Macy's had not used these trademarks in over 15 years and by law, they lose them. I'm confident we will win.

The law offices that represents Strategic Marks against Macy's agrees it's a matter of the big corporation not using he patient and trademark laws as they were enacted, so this litigation works against the small guy. "Our office sees this type of opposition quite often with companies trying to keep trademarks that are cancelled, abandoned or are not being used." Strategic Mark's Attorney says. In the case of Macy's, they are trying to claim they still own trademarks which they haven't used in many years and still believe they have a right to them in perpetuity." "In their claim, Macy's even admits they are no longer using the marks!" "That's not what the US trademark laws were meant for." "We expect to prevail." "Many corporations try to file many oppositions and counterclaims in hopes the small guy will get scared and walk away." "Mr. Kassoff told me at the beginning, we need to fight for what's right and the consumer is yearning for more choices." "Macy's decided to get rid of these department store names and turn the stores into Macy's." "We think we have an opportunity to bring selection and service back to shopping." Strategic Mark's legal council ends.

About Strategic Marks, LLC: Started in 2010, Strategic Marks, LLC is focused on rebuilding of some of the most well-known companies and brands you loved from years past. Currently they have acquired Leaf Brands™, (once the fourth largest candy producer in North America) and the classic Astro Pop® candy lines. They are currently working on bringing back other iconic brands as well.

What's in a Name? How one company is bringing back the Brand Names you Remember

(Irvine, CA, June 28, 2011) - What do Atari®, Astro Pop®, Flicks Candy®, Bonomo Turkish Taffy® and Mini Cooper® have in common? They are all brand names that, once upon a time, were big businesses and part of the public vernacular, then died off and recently resurrected by loyalists who couldn't see those iconic brands fade away. More and more die-hard fans of some of the most iconic brands that faded off are focusing on bring them back with a real passion, not just to fit a corporate product mix.

Good trademarks are those that establish a strong and favorable connection, in the minds of the consumers, between a specific good or service and the source of that good or service. Therefore, even when the product leaves the marketplace due to company consolidation or because it was pulled off the market, consumers still hold strong feelings and attachments to these brands. In many cases, the loyal customers are the ones taking charge and acquiring these brands, making sure the mistakes that originally cause the brands demise won't be duplicated.

Strategic Marks, LLC, a company based in Irvine, CA, is one of a handful of companies that wants to revive some of these long-lost brand names since many brand icons are pieces of "Americana" history and American popular culture.

"I started the company as a hobby by first acquiring the rights to Astro Pop®, (one of the most popular candy suckers in the world which Spangler Candy stopped making in 2004) then started acquiring other defunct retail and food brand trademarks that once emotionally resonated with the consumer during its heyday. " It really is a personal thing with me", says Ellia Kassoff, the CEO of Strategic Marks, LLC." It all started when I couldn't find my favorite candy sucker, Astro Pop® in any of the stores and called the manufacturer. When they told me they discontinued the product, my heart dropped. I asked myself, how can they just discontinue one of the most iconic candy brands around just like that? I then called the CEO of the company and asked if the rights for Astro Pop were for sale. Two years later, I own the brand!" After doing research on why companies drop brands I was amazed to find out sometimes, it's just a matter of simple ‘brand management'. Many large companies have a financial formula and if the brand doesn't meet the formula, they simply drop the product. Other examples include when Macys bought Federated Department stores and closed many of the old department stores names that people loved. They just didn't need them anymore. In one day they all fade away. Leaf Brands was one of the top 10 candy companies in the US, with iconic brands such as Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds®, Whoppers®, Heath Bar® plus they had the market share of gumball machines with their Rainblo® Bubble Gum line. When Hershey bought the US division of Leaf in 1996, all those brands became Hershey and the Leaf Name was tossed aside." Everyone in the candy industry remembers Leaf so we acquired the name and restarted the company. When we made our debut at the National Candy show in May, it was as if the Leaf name died. We had customers asking us to bring back the bubblegum and make a new malted milk ball. It was so amazing!" One article ran saying, "Major Confectionary Company Leaf Brands announces new product at the Sweets and Snacks Show." "I started laughing and said, Wow, we're only two days old and we're already a "major confectionary giant?"

Ken Wiesen, an attorney from NY brought back Bonomo Turkish Taffy® and Machinery manufacturer Jim Tjerrild brought back Flicks Candy® after Ghirardelli stopped making the favorite movie chocolate bits back in the 1980's. "These were our favorite candies growing up and no one stepped-up to resurrect them so we decided to do something about it," Says Ken.. "The brands are our babies!" "There are quite a few of us out there that are buying up our favorite brands." Ken continues.
"Consumers miss the unique and special things these nostalgic brands provided So much these days is generic and lacking that special touch," said Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Strategic Marks, LLC. We just want to bring back some of the memories and happiness these old brands gave us growing up. We're talking to mall owners that would love to license the old department store names and re-open them. We're really excited about these stores coming back! More selection, more competition, better service."

Brand Expansion
The key to success with any of these brands is not only re-starting them but also extending the line of the brands. "With Astro Pop®, we decided to create Astro Pop Sodas™, A Giant 2lb Astro Pop, small versions called Astro Pop Asteroids™ and plans are to create a frozen Astro Pop. "We have to move the brand foreword and not keep them the way they were." Ellia continues.

Strategic Marks, LLC has received the rights to the following trademarks and is in the process of re-launching and re-establishing these brands via in-house brand development and outside licensing/partnership alliance model, with plans to focus on e-commerce, private label, as well as offer special signature products, and licensed/brand extensions:

Retro Department Stores
Joseph Magnin
Bullock's Department Store
May Company
Jordan Marsh
The Broadway
The Bon Marche'
Abraham and Straus

Leaf Brands, LLC
Wacky Wafers
Astro Pop®

Newport Ski Company
Newport Surf and Sport
Retailer websites are planning to launch in late 2011.

About Strategic Marks, LLC: Based in Irvine, CA, Strategic Marks, LLC identifies, acquires, redevelops, and monetizes iconic brand intellectual property.

About Leaf Brands, LLC: The original LEAF Brands were started in the 1920's. LEAF Brands, once the fourth largest candy producer in North America, brought candy classics such as Whoppers® and Jolly Rancher® to the marketplace. Members of the Leaf family have assembled together once again to revive the Leaf name and its famous image after the US division was sold to The Hershey Corporation in 1996 and left the United States. Products include Astro Pops®, Yummers!™, Farts™ and David's Signature Beyond Gourmet™ products.



Copyright© 2011  Strategic Marks, LLC