7
Oct/02

7th Circuit Fair Use Decision re: BARGAINBEANIES.COM


Important domain name case from Seventh Circuit  (decision by Posner, J.) upholding use of bargainbeanies.com by third party (analysis to follow): Ty v. Perryman.

UPDATE:  You can use the domain name BARGAINBEANIES.COM if you are really selling bargain Beanies.  You cannot use it to sell competitive plush bean-bag animals.  Also, if you get caught over-reaching in Judge Posner’s courtroom (Ty v. Publications Int’l) a first time, you will probably lose the second time.

Strange Dicta: The owners of the THERMOS trademark will be distressed to read the Judge’s view that the THERMOS no longer functions as a trademark.  And the genericide of the arbitrary yerm ASPIRIN kind of rebuts Posner’s theory regarding the relation of descriptiveness to genericness.

Stranger Dicta: Posner started a strange discussion of dilution law spinning a fact pattern involving a hypothetical TIFFANY retaurant in Kuala Lumpur.  I’ve represented TIFFANY & CO. going after various businesses named TIFFANY in Kuala Lumpur so I found that passage of interest.  Apparently, it was a good thing we didn’t argue the case under U.S. dilution law.

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