by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 31st 2008 7:41pm
There are some legal decisions that just make no sense. Gunnar writes in to let us know of a story in Michigan, where a judge has ordered a furniture store to stop using a design that shows a couch being unwrapped from a candy bar. Hershey's sued the furniture company, claiming it violated their trademark on unwrapping chocolate bars:
But here's the thing: even the judge admits that trademark law shouldn't apply here because it's a totally different business and there's little chance of customer confusion: "While both parties cater to the general public, there is no indication that their customers are predominantly the same. Even if their customer bases overlap to some extent ... the risk of consumers confusing a furniture outlet with a candy store, or vice versa, appears remote." Those are all things a judge says right before denying the trademark claim, but in this case, it went the other way. If a moron in a hurry isn't likely to be confused, then there's no trademark infringement. The furniture store wasn't even using the image yet -- but just had it in a contest for truck designs. At least the company hadn't spent too much money painting up all the trucks.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Nestle Sues Fit Crunch Over Identical Trade Dress That Isn't Remotely Identical
- NYPD Asks Disney, Marvel To Abuse IP Law To Help Rid Times Square Of Spiderman, Mickey Mouse
- Pokemon Company Shuts Down Pokemon PAX Party Because Fun Is A Tool Of Team Rocket
- DailyDirt: No More Pure Chocolate
- Don't Make An App That Shows You 'Drinking' Liquid From Your Phone, Or One Company Might Sue You