Memo in support of summary judgement by American Apparel, defendant, against Woody Allen, plaintiff. Background here.
From the Table of Contents, Statement of Facts:
The Meteoric Rise of Dov Charney and His Company, Americn Apparel
The Media Vilifies Mr. Charney and Truns Against American Apparel
The Woody Allen/Annie Hall Epiphany
The Display of the Images
The Images as Mr. Charney’s Artisitc Expression, Social Commentary and Art Parody
Mr. Charney Consistently Champions the First Amendment’s Freedom of Expression
Memo Woody Allen Sj American
That would appear to be the moral of this story in which a Brooklyn brewery sold OBAMA Ale and the BATF rejected its label.
So says Ty, Inc. to allegations that it based its new Sasha and Malia dolls on Sasha and Malia Obama. Perhaps they are not exact replications because Sasha and Malia Obama are not 12 inch plush dolls.
There won’t be a suit because sitting presidents tend not to sue private manufacturers when they come out with products that (allegedly) reproduce some name, likeness or other protectable attribute of the First Family (although the former administration did protest a parody that may have implicated Mrs Cheney’s rightss – leading to this blogs first use of the term Coulrophobia).
But if there were a suit I would hope that it would find it’s way to Judge Posner (who is well acquainted with Ty).
p.s. The utilization of the IP and personality rights of public officials (and families) raises interesting First Amendment issues. Several years ago Arnold Schwarzenegger protested the use of bobble-heads that bore his image. I blogged about a different aspect of that matter but alluded briefly to the possibilitiy that his rights to his image as Governor should be treated differently to his rights to his image as a private citizen, even a celebrated one.
Tony Iommo, co-founder and lead guitarist of BLACK SABBATH, sues Live Nation of use of BLACK SABBATH name.
If you search the term “BAND NAMES TRADEMARKS” you will find many articles of unknown quality as to how to protect band names. I’ll tell you this: unincorporated partnerships can be ugly things to unwind.
Complaint Black Sabbath
MTV: 50 Cent Gets Sued:
Fiddy filed a lawsuit for Trademark Infringement earlier this year after the company put out adverts saying he should change his name to 79 Cent or 99 Cent!
Now the chain have hit back in a countersuit calling the rapper a “self-described former drug dealer and hustler” and adding that he has a “well-publicized track record for making threats, starting feuds and filing lawsuits.”
CKX Inc., which licenses the rights to images of Elvis Presley and other celebrities, said that a $1.33 billion plan to go private has fallen through because of “extraordinary” economic conditions.
. . .
In an interview last year, Mr. Sillerman said he wanted to take CKX private because certain celebrities were uncomfortable about disclosing personal financial details, which would be required if they entered a broad agreement with a public company. These people, whom Mr. Sillerman declined to name, would be more comfortable dealing with a closely held company, he said.