21
Jul/03

Issues Re Tissues


Interesting article form The MicroEnterprise Journal.  Tabberone buys fabric as a raw material and creates items such as aprons and tissue box covers (see picture).  Some items were made from fabric displaying authorized licensed copyrighted and trademarked properties, such as sports teams logos.  Tabberone sells these items on eBay.  In one auction the headline refers to an “Atlanta Braves Fabric Tissue Box Cover.”  The page indicates that it is made out of licensed MLB fabric, and that this is a “Tabberone original,” not affiliated with MLB.  MLB requested that Ebay terminate the auction, which Ebay did, in connection with its Verified Owners’ Rights Program.  Tabberone sued MLB on tortious interference and other state business torts. MLB counterclaimed with trademark infringement and related state unfair competition torts.  MLB’s original communication to Tabberone listed copyright as one of MLB’s claims, however it is not identified in the counterclaims. This page on the Tabberone site contains the relevant chronology and links to motion papers.

Reportedly, other trademark owners have protested Tabberone’s auctions and backed down.

Those of you researching at home might want to start with McCarthy’s, Section 25.40 et.seq.

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