Charleston, West Virginia, was the home of Alex Schoenbaum, founder of the SHONEY’s chain, which had been a BIG BOY franchisee. Charleston put up a statue honering ‘Shoney’ with Big Boy on the top. Big Boy International reportedly protested on trademark grounds. This article quotes me to the extent that if the statue was put up by the town to honor one of its citizens, then it’s likely not use of a trademark in commerce.
Law school fact pattern: What if the community put up the statue on public land across the street from a Shoney’s? And Shoney’s contributed the money to pay for the statue? And contributed the land?
Also: consider if the statue of a (possibly copyrighted) work was commissioned by the town? Or if purchased on the secondary market for Big Boy staues (which apparently exists).