If Your Tribute To Pez Gets Too Much Attention, Pez Might Sue

from the ain't-that-fun dept

ChurchHatesTucker alerts us to the news that Pez, makers of the famous candy that comes in dispensers with the breakaway heads, is suing a Pez Memorabilia museum. The original article says it's for copyright violations, but I believe that's wrong. The lawsuit appears to be about trademark. The museum itself is not affiliated with the company that makes the candy (and, in the past, the museum changed its name to highlight the fact that it's Pez Memorabilia, to clarify that it wasn't associated with the actual candy company. However, at issue here is the giant (working) 7-foot mock Pez-like dispenser that is on display at the museum. The candy company seems particularly miffed that the Guinness folks declared it the "world's largest Pez dispenser" recently, with the candy company claiming this is false, since without a license, it's not really a Pez dispenser. Now, the trademark lawyers will rush to say that a company such as Pez needs to defend its trademark, lest it become generic. And that's true. But there are ways that such things can be handled without the company demanding the monument to Pez be destroyed. It's difficult to see what "harm" this 7-foot dispenser is doing to the Pez brand. In fact, just the opposite is likely. So why not just grant the museum a license and embrace the fact that there are fans so into your candy that they'd want to build a 7-foot monument to it? Otherwise you just look like a bunch of bullies.


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    AdamBv1 (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    i'll probably never understand the mentality...

    Somebody wants to make a museum and a monument to Pez about how much they like them and the only thing the corporate types can thing of is to sue them because they like them too much?

    Why do company's think its a good idea to sue customers/fans?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

      Re: i'll probably never understand the mentality...

      Why do company's think its a good idea to sue customers/fans?

      It's the "in" thing to do in a down economy!

       

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      Brian (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 4:02pm

      Re: i'll probably never understand the mentality...

      Just to play devils advocate on that...

      If the museum is not run by Pez then they're free to do what they want. The affiliation is there by brand, but not by actual legal ties. So what if a scenario plays out where the Pez museum decides to start putting unofficial Pez-like stuff in there? Especially if it's offensive in nature (just to go ahead and Godwin my own argument, a Hitler pez dispenser). They'd end up having to take the sort of legal action they're taking now, but the "brand damage" would have already been done.

       

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    That finger's pointing the wrong way

    If Guinness is calling it the "world's largest Pez dispenser" and that's what Pez has a problem with, why is the museum getting sued?

     

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    shmengie, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    ouch

    just got back from the bathroom. i had to take a nasty pez.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    How could it not be a Pez dispenser? It contains Pez candy, and it then dispenses Pez candy. It's a Pez dispenser, license or no license.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    You now need a license to ride that bike.

    Now, the trademark lawyers will rush to say that a company such as Pez needs to defend its trademark, lest it become generic.

    Huh?
    The interwebs are reporting that Pez has been around since 1927. How can it become more recognizable? If they want to go sue someone, they should sue the Orange County Choppers guys for making this monstrosity.

    A Pez Motorbike? Tell me the connection between Pez candy and motorbikes, besides someone saying "Let's go burn some money". What are the marketing people thinking?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 11:12pm

      Re: You now need a license to ride that bike.

      Since PEZ commissioned the bike, I don't think they've got a chance on that one. Sorry.

       

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      Jessica (profile), Jul 7th, 2009 @ 7:44am

      Re: You now need a license to ride that bike.

      Now, the trademark lawyers will rush to say that a company such as Pez needs to defend its trademark, lest it become generic.

      Huh?
      The interwebs are reporting that Pez has been around since 1927. How can it become more recognizable?


      I assume they mean generic in the way people refer to any brand of adhesive bandages as a 'Band-Aid' or say 'Xerox' for any copier. That just seems silly to me. Pez doesn't exactly have so many imitators that the name would become a universal term...

       

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        Jessica (profile), Jul 7th, 2009 @ 8:31am

        Re: Re: You now need a license to ride that bike.

        Er, I mean to say 'Mike probably means', not 'they'. Anyway, I bet he's right and the trademark lawyers would try to go after them for that, no matter how silly.

         

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    Anonymous Blogger, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Wow...

    Wow. Haven't Pez ever heard of free advertising? Sounds like the people protecting their interests have RIAA ties as well, would explain a lot.

    Ah, well. This move will only make Pez not as trendy and nerdy any more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    That isn't a HUGE pez dispenser, surely a large company can make a bigger one and have the record updated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    What brand damage? The brand damage that reinforces the term "Pez" in peoples minds? The brand damage that reminds people of the cool little candy dispensers that they loved as a child (and love even now)? Hell, even a Hitler pez dispenser as a non-pc bachelor party gift would convey the Pez message more than the National Socialism message. No such thing as bad publicity indeed.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      "What brand damage?"

      That's a good point. A lot of these "brand dillution" cases aren't really about that at all, its about controlling anything that your brand has touched. This is clearly doing Pez no harm, and probably a great deal of good.

       

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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    I support Mike on this one...

    I agree with Mike on this one. A license would be easy to do, and Pez could even gain a little control of the museum (in terms of what the museum could and could not offer in terms of products, and perhaps even approval by Pez). Pez should be rushing in to take advantage of a great opportunity.

     

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    Sean, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Yes, Pez dispenser, those candy dispensers that came topped with the heads of copyrighted characters...damn people bringing attention to something in a different method!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 7:17pm

    Animals run from you even if there is no harm intended. This is called "better safe than sorry", and it ensures survival of species.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    both sides need to get a fucking life

    wtf, pez, grow the fuck up

     

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    known coward, Jul 7th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    if i make a tony the tiger pez dispenser

    Who sue's me first, kellog's or Pez?

     

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    John, Jul 7th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    I agree with pez. It is a matter of semantics and the memory museum apparently has a spelling problem as well. Just because you can buy knockoff items from china and elsewhere, such as rolex's, jeans, shoes, etc. doesn't mean the knockoff item is the real thing worthy of advertising. If PEZ didn't actually make it then it is nothing but an oversized imitation. PERIOD.
    The one at the museum should be stated as being nothing but a display item, and should definitely not be considered a true PEZ product, or even worse the largest ever recognized by the idiots at the wgaf foundation.
    I'm sure I could rustle up a pez myself, ship it to china & have them make one that's 50ft tall with Michael Jackson's head on it. It will of course dispense small children. Will I then have the world's largest Pez? no

     

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    John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Jul 7th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    There was a movie that showed a video of a band dressed as pez dispensers presumably made by one of the characters. I wonder if they got sued.

     

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    sj glew, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    the darker side of pez collecting

    Want to read an interesting story about the darker side of pez collecting? The Last Pez Handbook by sj glew The Pez Color Wars. How I Lost 8.5 Million Dollars Selling Pez. Check out Item number: 300341029563 on ebay.

     

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    sj glew, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Pez Outlaw

    They (Pez Corporation) don't always sue you. For the flip side try this story @ pezoutlaw.com


    * Bullet Points For Pez Outlaw & Price Guide by sj g...
    * The Million Dollar Idea
    * Chapter 1. Crazy Is Easy
    * Chapter 2. Did Pez International Commit Fraud?
    * Chapter 3. Revelation
    * Chapter 4. The Game Is Afoot - Slovenia
    * Chapter 5. Dude, Don't You Know Who I Am? - Hungar...
    * Chapter 6. Smuggling, Bribes, Payoffs And Hiding O...
    * Chapter 7. Life On The Run - Border Crossings
    * Chapter 8. Traveling the World in Search of Pez?
    * Chapter 9. The Rogues Gallery
    * Chapter 10. You Haven't Been Screwed Until You've ...
    * Chapter 11. The Emperor Has No Clothes
    * Chapter 12. Chasing Rainbows - The Pez Space Gun P...
    * Chapter 13 - Pez Fun Factoids & Pez Money.
    * Chapter 14. Opinions Are Like @$$h013$. Everybody ...
    * Chapter 15. Confession is Good For The Soul
    * Chapter 16 - Pez Pictorial Price Guide / Value Lis...
    * Chapter 17 - Pez Price Guide, Value List - The One...
    * Chapter 18. Tipping Windmills
    * Chapter 19. Weird Things at the Raba - SciFi Movi...
    * Chapter 20. P.S. I Love You. Pez Corp This is Addr...

     

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