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Intellectual Property Issues Essay

1791 words - 8 pages

Case 1: Eastwood v. Superior Court (National Enquirer, Inc., Real Party in Interest), 149 Cal. App. 3d 409 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1983)

Issue Actor/Director Clint Eastwood claimed that the National Enquirer magazine created a false article stating that he was involved romantically with singer Tanya Tucker while in a relationship with actress Sondra Locke. The magazine used a photo of him on their magazine cover, which was prominently featured in advertisements. Eastwood alleged that this was a deliberate effort to take advantage of his celebrity status and notoriety in order to promote and increase sales. The Enquirer asserted that they were protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. ...view middle of the document...

(a) Any person who uses another’s name, photograph or likeness… for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent.. shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof... (d) For purposes of this section, a use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in connection with any news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account, or any political campaign, shall not constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision (a). And U.S. Const. Amendment 1 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Case 2: Girl Scouts of United States v. Personality Posters Mfg. Co., 304 F. Supp. 1228, 1231 (S.D.N.Y. 1969)

Issue The Girl Scouts sued Personality Posters for trademark infringement for using its slogan “Be Prepared,” along with its trefoil symbol and green uniform color, on a poster featuring a smiling and visibly pregnant girl wearing what appeared to be a Girl Scout uniform. They argued that the implied connection between the poster and their organization would cause consumers to think that the Girl Scouts created and approved of the poster and any message it may convey. Basically, they don’t want a pregnant girl and/or a message that “encourages the practice of contraception” appearing to represent their virtuous organization.

IP Right at Issue Trademark Infringement. The Girl Scouts claim that the use of their trademarked slogan “Be Prepared,” along with the trefoil symbol and green uniform color on the poster would cause consumers to associate the poster with their organization. The plaintiff argued that the poster was made to appear as if it was a Girl Scout product, and they were concerned that consumers would incorrectly believe the origin and message of the poster, as well as the featured character, had come from the Girl Scouts. They felt this misconception would imply that they condone both contraception and the immoral acts that could lead to pregnancy, thus tarnishing their reputation as an organization that supported moral behavior.

Rule of Law The court ruled in favor of the poster company, based on the fact that the Girl Scouts could provide no evidence of consumer confusion or deception by the defendant under 15 USCS § 1114 and 15 USCS § 1125. The court stated that even if someone might think the character on the poster was “actually a pregnant Girl Scout, it is highly doubtful that any such impression would be more than momentary or that any viewer would conclude that the Girl Scouts had printed or distributed the poster.” Though not expressly stated by the court, the poster company’s use of the Girl Scout’s trademark may have been allowed...

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