Bath & Bodyworks Goes To Court To Explain To Summit Entertainment That The Word Twilight Existed Before The Movie

from the time-of-day-vs.-vampire-saga dept

We've covered many examples of movie studio Summit Entertainment being ridiculously overprotective when it came to the trademark on Twilight. Among other things, it's sued Zazzle for merchandise made by others (hello, secondary liability), it's shut down a Twilight fanzine, it's claimed that only it can make a documentary about the town where Twilight is supposed to take place and even shut down a silly 8-bit YouTube game that plays off of Twilight.

Apparently Summit is now going after totally unrelated products that have "Twilight" in their name. It sent a threat letter to retailer Bath & Bodyworks, because that company sells "Twilight Woods" body lotion. Rather than fold, or wait for a lawsuit, the retailer has gone to court to get a declaratory judgment that it doesn't infringe. It notes there's quite a difference here:
"The term 'Twilight' is used so as to evoke the idea of a particular time of day when the sun is just below the horizon, illuminating the landscape," the lawsuit says. "Whereas defendant uses the term 'Twilight' to refer to defendant's teen vampire saga."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    DrD., Mar 10th, 2011 @ 10:17pm

    Oh Summit. YOU SO CRAZY!

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Zauber Paracelsus (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    What's the point of protecting the trademark on one of the most hated franchises ever?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    annamorphos, Mar 10th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Re: hated?

    Because the "most hated" franchise has amassed billions (and billions) of dollars. I guess people just like throwing their money away on things they hate. -_-

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Hugh S. Myers (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 10:42pm

    is there a possibility of money

    in the declarative judgment? Would be nice to see these people not only stopped in court but forced to reach into their bank account and cough up a bit 'just because'...

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re: hated?

    [citation needed]

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 11:06pm

    If I go to a public park and start loading the benches and playground equipment into my truck, I will be arrested because taking something out of the public domain and trying to make it private property is basically theft.

    The same should apply to people / companies who try to steal words.

    PS I like the letter "M", from now on I think that everyone should pay me a license fee to use it...

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Mar 10th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re:

    Sorry. The Phoenicians have prior art.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Chris Wolfwood, Mar 10th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Wow... Summit Entertainment finally has one movie that makes the studio money and they wanna spend all pf the profits on baseless lawsuits.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Paul Hobbs (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 11:34pm

    Re:

    That's just plain dub. Ha! I don't owe you a sent!

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:14am

    They are MAD mad i tell you MAD

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:17am

    Dear Summit Entertainment:

    You do not own the word "twilight" in every instance it is ever used. We understand that you are protective of your exploitative, sexist, often disturbing series of books/films (which happen to feature one of the most unromantic "romances" in the history of creative expression). However, that paranoid protectionism does not give you the right to claim complete ownership of a word that has existed well before anyone who ever worked for your company was ever born. Please cease your idiocy, or we may be forced to regard you as being one of the least intelligent media companies of the 21st Century.

    Sincerely,
    Every intelligent, free-thinking person on the planet (in other words, everyone who isn't a Twilight fan)

    P.S. - I'm with Blade.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:27am

    Oh well

    I guess there goes some nice(?) chocolates that have been around for years......

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:49am

    So why are you acting so surprised?

    Summit's lawyers are clearly the blood suckers in this tale of horror.

    Someone needs to tear down the curtains at noon.

    .

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 1:42am

    Re:

    Internal Memorandum

    To: CEO Summit Entertainment
    cc: Board of Directors
    From: The legal dept.
    Re: Trademark Protection


    We, your legal team from the firm Dewey Cheetum & Howe, urge you to disregard the negative publicity surrounding our efforts to protect your trademark. While we understand that Twilight has been in use for the marketing of many products and services over the years, none of those were nearly as successful as the brand created by Summit Entertainment. Therefore all other uses of the trademarked Twilight should, at the very least pay an annual license fee to Summit Entertainment for use of the word.

    We expect quite a bit of resistance from those abusing your mark as well as from the court systems in the US and EU and so we are asking for another $10mil USD in order to properly represent your interest. We are certain that our efforts are saving Summit Entertainment far more than the $10mil we are asking to fund our ongoing litigation.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:56am

    Re:

    Oh pop culture. YOU SO CRAZY!

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:58am

    Re: Re:

    So, basically you're saying that we can't capitalize "Twilight"? Not even at the beginning of a sentence?

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 3:04am

    Re: So why are you acting so surprised?

    Got wood? Aspen's best, but Fir and pine'll do in a pinch.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 3:29am

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 3:55am

    Re:

    >They are MAD mad i tell you MAD

    No MAD is a registered trademark currently owned by Time Warner Communications and run as part of DC Comics.

    http://www.dccomics.com/mad/

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Greg G (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 3:56am

    Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Citation? I got your citation right here.

    I hate The Twilight Saga. In fact, no one I know likes it.

    I even saw one of the movies, not sure which one, but it was the worst movie ever. And yes, I mean ever. Even worse than Transylvania 6-5000 (because that at least had a hot vampire babe in it.)

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    DerFuzzy, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Citation:

    *I* hate and wish it would go away and hope they get a good legal smackdown with court costs of and attorney fees x 100000000000000000.

     

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

  22.  
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    Shon Gale (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:20am

    I thought the word 'Twilight' was a description of their mental abilities.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re:

    Can we still go to the Twilight Double header at the ballpark. It got shortened to Twi-Nighter yeaars ago so it may be safe.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    previous art

    In World of warcraft, theres several guilds with the name twilight that have existed for far longer than summit entertainment......wonder if they could sue?

     

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

  25.  
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    Rex (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    Not "Twilight", you're thinking of "Dim", and I agree.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:55am

    Whoever owns the Twilight Zone IP should sue Summit. Their claim would be tenuous but about a million times more credible than Summit's claim against Bath and Body Works

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Steve, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:55am

    Re: previous art

    There is also a current plot story in WoW about the 'Twilight Cult', I'd like to see Summit go after Blizzard/Activision...

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: hated?

    I think he is referring to articles like this one, saying that Sumit is hoping to get $1.2 billion dollars, mirroring the first two that apparently made $1.1 billion dollars in ticket sales.

    But really, that film is boriiiiiiiiiing! and no were near "billions and billions" in revenues LoL

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    I need to watch that series again. Been quite awhile.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Joe (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Isn't twilight that series about a young girl and her choice between necrophilia and bestiality?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    fritz43, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Twilight nonsense.

    With regard to frivolous lawsuits, the English Rule should be universal: you sue, you lose, you pay *all* costs & fees related to the lawsuit, yours *and* the defendants.

    Why is this not in place? (Never mind, I know why.)

     

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

  32.  
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    Shawn (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Franchise Films

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    Shawn (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Franchise does not equal Film ticket sales there is more oney in the franchise than just the box office take.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Matthew (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Is it too much...

    Is it too much to hope that the judgement includes the phrase "The plaintiffs are hereby declared to be a bunch of money-grubbing morons."

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Sean T Henry (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Yes but what she does not know is that her corpse love is really a "fabulous queen who wears to much glitter".

    It's good that B&B did not have glitter in "Twilight Woods" body lotion or they might have also been sued on the grounds that only there Vampires can sparkle. Watch out gay night clubs who are Vampire friendly YOUR NEXT.



    (Note: I have nothing against same sex relationships or there life style.)

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    I'd prefer if someone would drive a stake through the heart of the Twilight franchise

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: previous art

    Ahh but Twilight Cutters didn't exist until AFTER the Twilight movies....Oops! Didn't mean to give them ideas!

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: previous art

    However, the Twilight Cult doesn't have vampires....nor does Twilight Highlands....or the Twilight Council...

    But there are some pretty Twilight Drakes...

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    JMG, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    You have never seen Troll 2 or The Room then.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re:

    Nah, the Phoenicians were infringing on Ug the Caveman's rights. He was the first to make the 'Mmm' sound, and the Phoenicians illegally took the sound and transformed it into a written letter without Ug's consent.

     

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

  41.  
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    duffmeister (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    best description ever........

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    I knew this was coming.... as soon as I saw Twilight Woods and thought to myself "What DOES Twilight the movie smell like.... Sure enough, I think they've got it..."

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Danny, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    If they think they own the word Twilight....

    I want to see them break really bad. There was this game from a few years ago called "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess".

    I challenge Summit to go after the folks who "infringed" by using the word they supposedly own.

    Summit vs. Nintendo????

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    jsf (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: hated?

    According to BoxOfficeMojo.com the three Twilight movies so far have grossed about $1.8 billion at the theater. That doesn't include any DVD sales, the original books or any other merchandise. So yeah it is billions and billions of dollars.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    You have never seen Troll 2 or The Room then.

    The IMDb has 18 films listed titled The Room. Which one are you referring to?

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    I wonder what Rod Serling's estate thinks of all this...

     

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

  47.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    Summit is definitely crazy.

    You might even say that they've entered the 'Twilight Zone' in their activities regarding trademark.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    RD, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    "The IMDb has 18 films listed titled The Room. Which one are you referring to?"

    The only one that matters. The only one that is THE ROOM - the legendarily, laughably, incredibly bad one by Tommy Wiseau.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    JMG, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    What RD said. Words can't describe the awfulness of Tommy Wiseau's The Room. It has to be seen to appreciate how incredibly bad it is.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Absurdities

    > I like the letter "M", from now on I think that
    > everyone should pay me a license fee to use it...

    The problem with modern IP law, is it's gotten so ridiculous that every time you think you've come up with an example that's ridiculously absurd to illustrate a point, you find out that someone somewhere has actually tried do it for real.

    The University of Texas actually tried to do this. They went all legal over a group of college kids selling t-shirts with a big capital "T" on the front, saying they held a trademark on the letter and no one could use it without their permission.

    Thankfully the court told UT where to stick it and told them they couldn't monopolize a letter of the English language and charge all others for its use.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 12th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    "I hate The Twilight Saga. In fact, no one I know likes it."

    Yeah, because that's such an unlikely correlation.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 12th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re:

    "That's just plain dub. Ha! I don't owe you a sent!"

    Who owns the 'C's?

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    wvhillbilly, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Silly lawsuits over word "Twilight"

    Shades of Monster Cable, suing everybody under the sun for using the word "monster" in any kind of commercial context. They even sued a mom-and-pop clothing store for using the name "Monster Clothing", and Disney for "Monsters Inc."

    Such shenanigans as this give me the impression people filing such lawsuits are just greedy for money any way they can get it, and don't care who they ruin in the process.

     

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

  54.  
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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Mar 13th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    ...or blood sucking vampires...

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    JonathanWOP, Mar 13th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Will they go after Hasbro next? Because the main character in the new My Little Pony cartoon is named Twilight Sparkle.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    another mike (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    Benches and playground equipment are property of your city parks department and not public domain. It is public property since it is owned by a government for the use of its citizens. Taking that property is theft; no "basically" about it but also nothing to do with public domain.
    Public domain is an entirely different concept of property. Attempting to misappropriate the works of Shakespeare, ironic as that would be, would not be theft since those works are in the public domain.
    So, no, the same does not apply because the analogy is flawed.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    Ok. I thought maybe it was the 2006 Belgium horror movie.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Llama, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hated?

    It actually does have glitter in it, hilariously.

     

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


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