Followers of the legal treatments of parodies of trademarks may want to skip immediately to footnote 4 of the decision.
You see the top two pictures above? One side of the bag says ‘My Other Bag …” and the other side is a depiction of an LV bag. Get it? Ok, that’s fair use. LV’s causes dismissed.
You see the picture of the ‘LV’ basketball? The SDNY ruled in 2012 that that was actionable. And now this SDNY court says in footnote that it won’t follow Hyundai.
A new one for the Coulrophobia archives:
ThingGeek: Officially our best-ever cease and desist. Pork Board sells c&d to ‘unicorn meat’ vendor for using the slogan ‘the white meat.’
In ThinkGeek’s press release, it notes that the product was released April1. It has also been reported that unicorns are mythical.
5 Possible Reasons Why Lindsay Lohan Filed That Talking-Baby Lawsuit. I’m going with numbers 1 (she believes she can win); and (4) she gets publicity (note how we’re talking about her). Also add number (6): people will be less likely to use her persona without authorization.
You know who I mean, right? Lindasay Lohan sues eTrade under NY Civil Rights Law Section 51, in Nassau County Supreme Court, NY, for $50 million. Lindsay the milkaholic baby, allegedly refers to her.
Practice pointer: Avoid use of word ‘parody’ when describing defendant’s acts.
The Naked Cowboy case is one of the more recent NY Section 51 cases around these parts (embedded below).
Hat Tip: AGL
Complaint Lindsay Etrade
Decision Naked Cowboy Right of Publicity
. . . or perhaps it was the trademark enforcement.
Wall Street Journal article on trademark owners policing use of character costumers by local party performers: “Why Dora the Explorer Can’t Come To Your Kid’s Birthday Party“:
. . . .Though the walk-about “Dora” had the expected pageboy haircut and backpack, her expression was blank and her legs appeared out of proportion to the rest of her body. “When Dora came out,” Mrs. Sorkin says, “none of the kids would go to Dora, including my daughter, and a few of the kids started crying.”
Elvira Grau, who owns Space Odyssey USA, where Mrs. Sorkin held her daughter’s party, says the costume companies that service her parties try to make their costumes look sufficiently different from the trademarked characters to avoid lawsuits. When Mrs. Sorkin complained to her that Dora was “hideous,” Mrs. Grau gave her a $250 credit. “But I told her, ‘You can’t have the real Dora. If you want the real Dora, call Nickelodeon.’ ”
Every sentence in this article is both funny and extremely sad.
There is a sentiment expressed by Justice Stevens in Moseley v V Secret, that where there is no confusion, a tarnishing use reflects on the tarnisher and not the trademark owner. It might be the case that where there is no confusion that the local children’s clown is ‘licensed’ by anyone, that if the clown stumbles around drunk or otherwise behaves inappropriately, in a character costume, that that reflects on the clown, and not on the costume.