Jenzabar Loses Its Attempt To Suppress Criticism Of Its Founder, A Former Tiananmen Square Activist
from the free-speech,-ftw dept
This is the sort of thing that she apparently didn't want people to know about anymore... but since she knew she couldn't sue directly for defamation (after all, she said what she said), she tried to pressure the filmmakers by having her company -- Jenzabar -- sue the filmmakers, claiming that it was defamed, because the filmmakers presented "unfavorable newspaper articles" about the company. That lawsuit got dismissed quickly, and then Chai and Jenzabar made a huge leap, and sued again for trademark infringement, claiming that just mentioning Jenzabar on the filmmaker's webpage -- and specifically using the term "Jenzabar" in the meta tags, was trademark infringement. It seemed rather ironic that someone who played up their role as an activist for democracy and free speech was now misusing trademark law to try to stifle speech.
Last week, thankfully, the court granted summary judgment to the filmmakers, noting that there was no evidence at all that there was any "likelihood of confusion" when someone found the filmmaker's website, that they would somehow think it was endorsed by Jenzabar. As Paul Levy notes in his writeup (linked above):
The timing of the court's rejection of Chai's attack on her critics' free speech could not be more ironic. Chai is in Norway to attend the award of the Nobel Peace prize to fellow Tiananmen Square protest leader Liu Xiaobo.