28 January 2016

United State District Court of South New York – Rules on parody

Observing that sometimes it is better to ‘accept the implied compliment in parody’ and to smile or laugh rather than sue, the United State District Court of South New York held in favour of the alleged ‘diluter’ of the c. The plaintiff contended that by using its distinctive marks, design and particular reference to its brand/trademark/name in advertisements the defendant was interfering with its rights in the marks. The defendants’s bags carried the words ‘my other bag’ with a representation of the plaintiff’s bag.

The Court agreed that the cheaper canvas/tote bags sold by the defendant would certainly not be confused with expensive goods of the plaintiff. The court reasoned that the purchasing public must be credited with at least a modicum of intelligence and concluded that the joke was so obvious that there could be no mistake as to source or affiliation.


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