Lawgarithms (aka Denise Howell): UMG sues MySpace in a no-lose proposition, draws Grokster judge.”
Clear and to the point. Apple doesn’t claim rights in the term PODCAST used in relation to podcasts.
Domain Name Wire: “Marchex May Have $24M In Trademark Domains” (Marchex being the owner of one of the larger domain name portfolios):
“David Kesmodel’s expose on domain company Marchex (NASD: MCHX) continues to dig up dirt. After discovering that the company was monetizing a number of trademark typos through its parking program, Kesmodel has now uncovered a number of potentially trademark-infringing domains that the company actually owns. These include ibmlaptops.com, ibestbuy.com, chasemortgagega.com, cheapdisneytickets.com and carnivalsinglescruises.com.”
With regard to CHEAPDISNEYTICKETS.COM, I note in passing that there was a UDRP proceeding, Six Continents Hotels, Inc. v. Larry Goodwyn, in which CHEAP-HOLIDAY-INN-HOTELS-ACCOMODATIONS.COM was found to fairly describe a third party’s use of the HOLIDAY INN mark, but see Disney Enterprise v. McSherry dba Florida Vacation Homes (DISNEYVACATIONVILLAS.COM registered in bad faith as defendant competed with Disney).
Audi AG v. D’Amato dba Quattro Enthusiasts (05-2359) (6th Cir Nov 27, 2006) (AUDISPORT.COM infringes and dilutes AUDI).
Librarian of Congress: Statement on Section 1201 Rulemaking (allowing six exemptions for the DMCA prohibition on circumventing anti-copying technology.
I confess that I have used the expression “Whachoo talkin’ about Willis?” without ever having seen a single episode of “Diff’rent Strokes” (nor have I ever spelled ‘different’ as ‘diff’rent’) but I am aware where the phrase comes from.
Noted authority TV Land, is coming out with a special “The 100 Top TV Catchphrases.” Purists will be annoyed that they have combined lines from comercials (“I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing”), political expressions (“Read My Lips”), one time memorable lines (“I Don’t Like Spunk”) and what I would regard as true catchphrases, repeated phrases (“Aaay” or “D’oh!”).
Ironists will note that Hank Kingsley’s “Hey Now!” is on the list, as it is a parody of a catchphrase.
Moralists will note that two catchphrases on the list end in ‘Bitch!’, including Dave Chapelles’ ‘I’m Rick James, Bitch!”, which, coincidentally, is how our firm signs its demand letters.
At least one phrase is the subject of an IP case, ‘Here’s Johnny!’ Carson v. Here’s Johnny Portable Toilets, Inc., 698 F.2d 831 (6th Cir. 1983), which went off on rights of publicity. I’m sure there are more cases – please email me.
The question arises – if a catchphrase enters the lexicon, does that diminish or enhance its protectability? Does ‘Where’s The Beef?” signify Wendy’s, or Walter Mondale, or does it have it’s own significance at this point?
Note the trilogy above: does Homer’s parody refer to Johnny Carson, or to Jack Nicholson, or to both?
Here’s Johnny by Stephen Cox available here.
Here’s Johnny by Ed McMahon available here.