Motion Picture Academy Threatens Costume Shop For Offering An Oscar Costume

from the trademark-fun dept

The Motion Picture Academy is notorious not just for its incredibly aggressive stance when it comes to copyright, but also to trademarks -- especially when it comes to the Academy Awards, better known as The Oscars. I've heard stories of them threatening/suing people for holding Oscars parties with mock Oscar statues. So it comes as little surprise to see the following story, sent in by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, that the Academy is threatening a small costume shop in New Zealand for daring to offer costumes that look like the Oscar statue. As if they don't have anything better to be focusing on? The Academy and misguided trademark lawyers will of course chime in and insist that they must do this or risk the statue becoming "generic" such that the trademark goes away, but it still seems like a bullying approach. Why not just work with the shop to offer a "licensed" version? It's not like having such costumes around the world causes any actual harm to The Oscars. In fact, it helps to promote them...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    I'm surprised that they also didn't go after the vampire costumes as that infringes upon the trademark of the standard Hollywood lawyer.

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

  2. icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Re: (Lawyer Costume)

    I thought dressing up a a lawyer involved sharp teeth and a fin?

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

  3. identicon
    Chad, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:59pm

    Need to give those high priced lawyers SOMETHING to do with their time. Money well spent!

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re: (Lawyer Costume)

    You're thinking about the standard Hollywood agent.

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

  5. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:06am

    Trademark vs Copyright

    The 3 News item talks about copyright, not trademark. Of course, journalists typically have trouble telling the concepts apart. But if it is a copyright issue, then I’m told it would date to the design by Cedric Gibbons, who died in 1960. So under NZ law the copyright would expire at the end of this year.

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

  6. identicon
    TFP, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:08am


    Perhaps if they made it anatomically correct and called 'him' Oscar they would be safe.

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

  7. identicon
    hmm, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:13am

    But aren't these kinds of awards just a waste of everyone's time anyway?

    Prejudice, homophobia all play a part in who wins/loses, and you can pretty much BUY yourself any of the major awards just by accidentally "donating" the most that year to which ever corporation owns the award body rendering the film and music awards utterly pointless except as a self-congratulatory pat on the back.

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

  8. icon
    Steve (profile), Apr 1st, 2010 @ 4:34am

    Motion Picture Academy?

    I assume y'all meant the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science)? The ones who own the trademark to "Oscar" and the Academy Awards?

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 5:01am

    Is there an awards show for award shows?

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

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