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Articles

When The Joke Is On A Trademark

January 17, 2012

Articles

When The Joke Is On A Trademark

January 17, 2012

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Almost anything can be the butt of attempted humor: People, places, things, current events, beliefs and popular culture are high on the list. Not so high, but of considerable concern to their custodians, are trademarks. Without wading through scores of trademark and copyright cases to determine “infringement or parody,” consider the following three somewhat simple, highly subjective, analytical tools to determine if you’ve crossed the line from parody to infringement.

They are not definitive; indeed, precedent usually can be found to support almost any result in these cases, but they are directional, in that if all three favor one result, that result is highly likely to prevail; a two-to-one result should more often than not be predictive.

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