by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 10th 2009 5:30am
Once again, we're hearing about news stories where people assume that a trademark means complete ownership over that mark, rather than simply the ability to prevent its use in confusing or dilutionary ways. The latest, as sent in by JJ, involves the University of Utah, who is threatening HBO over the show "Big Love." Apparently, in one of the episodes, the University's logo is portrayed on letterhead. This is a perfectly reasonable use, and certainly not in any way confusing (even to the proverbial moron in a hurry). Yet the University claims that some might believe this means the University endorses the show. That is, plainly speaking, ridiculous. Plenty of TV shows use logos from real organizations all the time, and it doesn't mean endorsement by that brand at all. If you needed to get approval of every brand ever used in your TV show, no TV shows would ever get produced.
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