Advertising Law - August 10, 2011


In This Issue:

Brits Ban Makeup Ads with Digital Technology; Groupon Faces Scrutiny Over Privacy, Gift Certificates; Court: No Private Class Actions Under TCPA; CARU Recommends That Web Site Better Protect Children’s OnlinePrivacy; Muhammad Ali, Seafood Chain File Trademark Suits.

Excerpt from Muhammed Ali, Seafood Chain File Trademark Suits:

Two new trademark infringement suits were recently filed, with Muhammad Ali squaring off against the manufacturer of an e-reader and Wendy’s facing a suit from a seafood chain.

Muhammad Ali filed a federal suit against Kobo Inc., the Canada-based manufacturer of an electronic reading device.

Kobo used the boxer’s famous quote, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in a full-page advertisement in a major newspaper, which, according to the suit, falsely implied Ali’s endorsement, infringed upon his trademarks, and violated his right to publicity. The ad featured the wording, credited to Ali, as well as reviews of the e-reader from tech publications, like “A real contender – Computerworld” and “The look of a winner – Gizmodo.”

“Each statement is a reinforcement of the persona of Muhammad Ali,” according to the complaint.

Muhammad Ali Enterprises, the holder of Ali’s intellectual property rights, has two federal trademarks for the phrase, the complaint notes, that cover a variety of products like journals, t-shirts, hats, toys, and games. The marks have been licensed to “blue chip” companies, like Gatorade and Epson, to include in their advertising.

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