Bath & Bodyworks Goes To Court To Explain To Summit Entertainment That The Word Twilight Existed Before The Movie

from the time-of-day-vs.-vampire-saga dept

We’ve covered many examples of movie studio Summit Entertainment being ridiculously overprotective when it came to the trademark on Twilight. Among other things, it’s sued Zazzle for merchandise made by others (hello, secondary liability), it’s shut down a Twilight fanzine, it’s claimed that only it can make a documentary about the town where Twilight is supposed to take place and even shut down a silly 8-bit YouTube game that plays off of Twilight.

Apparently Summit is now going after totally unrelated products that have “Twilight” in their name. It sent a threat letter to retailer Bath & Bodyworks, because that company sells “Twilight Woods” body lotion. Rather than fold, or wait for a lawsuit, the retailer has gone to court to get a declaratory judgment that it doesn’t infringe. It notes there’s quite a difference here:

“The term ‘Twilight’ is used so as to evoke the idea of a particular time of day when the sun is just below the horizon, illuminating the landscape,” the lawsuit says. “Whereas defendant uses the term ‘Twilight’ to refer to defendant’s teen vampire saga.”

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Companies: bath & bodyworks, summit entertainment

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Comments on “Bath & Bodyworks Goes To Court To Explain To Summit Entertainment That The Word Twilight Existed Before The Movie”

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59 Comments
Sean T Henry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 hated?

Yes but what she does not know is that her corpse love is really a “fabulous queen who wears to much glitter”.

It’s good that B&B did not have glitter in “Twilight Woods” body lotion or they might have also been sued on the grounds that only there Vampires can sparkle. Watch out gay night clubs who are Vampire friendly YOUR NEXT.

(Note: I have nothing against same sex relationships or there life style.)

Michael Lockyear (profile) says:

If I go to a public park and start loading the benches and playground equipment into my truck, I will be arrested because taking something out of the public domain and trying to make it private property is basically theft.

The same should apply to people / companies who try to steal words.

PS I like the letter “M”, from now on I think that everyone should pay me a license fee to use it…

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Absurdities

> I like the letter “M”, from now on I think that
> everyone should pay me a license fee to use it…

The problem with modern IP law, is it’s gotten so ridiculous that every time you think you’ve come up with an example that’s ridiculously absurd to illustrate a point, you find out that someone somewhere has actually tried do it for real.

The University of Texas actually tried to do this. They went all legal over a group of college kids selling t-shirts with a big capital “T” on the front, saying they held a trademark on the letter and no one could use it without their permission.

Thankfully the court told UT where to stick it and told them they couldn’t monopolize a letter of the English language and charge all others for its use.

another mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Benches and playground equipment are property of your city parks department and not public domain. It is public property since it is owned by a government for the use of its citizens. Taking that property is theft; no “basically” about it but also nothing to do with public domain.
Public domain is an entirely different concept of property. Attempting to misappropriate the works of Shakespeare, ironic as that would be, would not be theft since those works are in the public domain.
So, no, the same does not apply because the analogy is flawed.

Anonymous Poster says:

Dear Summit Entertainment:

You do not own the word “twilight” in every instance it is ever used. We understand that you are protective of your exploitative, sexist, often disturbing series of books/films (which happen to feature one of the most unromantic “romances” in the history of creative expression). However, that paranoid protectionism does not give you the right to claim complete ownership of a word that has existed well before anyone who ever worked for your company was ever born. Please cease your idiocy, or we may be forced to regard you as being one of the least intelligent media companies of the 21st Century.

Sincerely,
Every intelligent, free-thinking person on the planet (in other words, everyone who isn’t a Twilight fan)

P.S. – I’m with Blade.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Internal Memorandum

To: CEO Summit Entertainment
cc: Board of Directors
From: The legal dept.
Re: Trademark Protection

We, your legal team from the firm Dewey Cheetum & Howe, urge you to disregard the negative publicity surrounding our efforts to protect your trademark. While we understand that Twilight has been in use for the marketing of many products and services over the years, none of those were nearly as successful as the brand created by Summit Entertainment. Therefore all other uses of the trademarked Twilight should, at the very least pay an annual license fee to Summit Entertainment for use of the word.

We expect quite a bit of resistance from those abusing your mark as well as from the court systems in the US and EU and so we are asking for another $10mil USD in order to properly represent your interest. We are certain that our efforts are saving Summit Entertainment far more than the $10mil we are asking to fund our ongoing litigation.

wvhillbilly (profile) says:

Silly lawsuits over word "Twilight"

Shades of Monster Cable, suing everybody under the sun for using the word “monster” in any kind of commercial context. They even sued a mom-and-pop clothing store for using the name “Monster Clothing”, and Disney for “Monsters Inc.”

Such shenanigans as this give me the impression people filing such lawsuits are just greedy for money any way they can get it, and don’t care who they ruin in the process.

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