Legal Fight Over Billboards About Trademarks On The Hotness Of Your Wife

from the and-air-conditioning dept

This one's a bit old, but somewhat amusing. Chris Mikaitis alerted us to the story of an air conditioning company suing another air conditioning company for trademark infringement over competing billboards. Apparently, the first air conditioning company came up with a billboard advertising campaign that read, in large letters:
"YOUR WIFE IS HOT -- BETTER GET YOUR A/C FIXED."
The competing company put up its own billboards, that read:
"YOUR WIFE IS NOT HOT! Because you called All Year Cooling to replace your A/C rather than the other guys."
This seems like a pretty amusing response. While the first company claims trademark infringement, suggesting confusion, it seems like perfectly reasonable competition. I'm reminded of a billboard that Informix put out a decade or so ago right in front of Oracle on the side of highway 101 in Silicon Valley reading "You just passed Oracle. So did we." It was amusing (if not particularly accurate), but as an advertising dig at a competitor, it seemed perfectly reasonable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Joe, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:22am

    more recent billboard fight between Audi and BMW. Bimmer got a good zing in.

    http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1675-santa-monica-bmws-checkmate

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Made my day!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    icepick314, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    I'm sorry to act like a moron in a hurry but WHAT trademark infringement?

    it seems like couple of grade school kids calling names....on a billboard....with advertisement....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Skout (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    That was a good find, made me laugh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 27th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    Yeah, is "Your wife is hot" a trademarked?

    And even if it was, "Your wife is NOT hot" doesn't appear to cause confusion in the market, even amongst those scurrying imbeciles that we apparently have to cater to.

    Bonus question, how much could they extract from a movie where the character said that line? ("That's implying that our HVAC company endorsed this movie!")

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:23pm

    :) reminds me of a coke-pepsi fight 15 years back in india during the cricket world cup. coke went to town about how it had managed to become the official drink for the cup; pepsi took that and turned it on its head with an immensely popular campaign: Pepsi - Nothing Official About It.

    this is just smart advertising oneupmanship at work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Steven, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    Lam the F*ck Oh. That made my day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Steven, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    Lam the F*ck Oh. That made my day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    jessy, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:58am

    this was great do more stuff like this

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    duprey, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:58am

    cool

    what was this person thinking

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Mustofa, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:58am

    wow

    this is radiculous... so funny but really stupid. need to get a hoby.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    dman23, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:59am

    what

    what was this person thinking

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Mustofa, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Duprey

    youre stupid. obviously you are drunk

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    duprey, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    78

    ur hi! mustofa

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Mustofa, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    Duprey

    you're drunk... ass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2010 @ 4:04am

    Re:

    And where is the legal action??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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