Interesting fact pattern. Plaintiff developed a stuffed bear with ‘hugging’ technology, and received a trademark registration for LOTS OF HUGS (there’s some muddiness in the chain of title, so let’s slip some ‘allegedly’s in there). Disney names the evil bear antagonist on Toy Study 3 LOTSOHUGGIN’ or LOTSO. Plaintiff is forced to change the name of the bear to HUGALOTS, because the licensee is afraid of the wrath of Disney.
Publisher which had licensed Toys R Us to use THE TOY BOOK and BIG TOY BOOK (after dispute) sues for TRU continuing post-license use of BIG BOOK.
Complaint Big Toy Book
Via E Online: Real band WYRD SISTERS prevent fictional band WYRD SISTERS from performing on ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’soundtrack.
The (real) band’s leader articulated the typical ‘reverse confusion’ concern:
“They are so much more huge than us in their reach that we’ll go out on tour a month after the movie comes out–and we’ll go all over to Australia, to New Zealand–and people will wonder who are these strange people stealing the Harry Potter name.”
Judge Posner suggests that this might be product disparagement, not reverse confusion.
Hat tip: Nerdlaw.org.