The court in New York has opened the door for parody in trademark law. My other Bag sells canvas bags with the test “My Other Bag” on the front and a drawing of a Louis Vuitton bag on the back side. The bag refers to the “my other car…” bumper stickers that were popular in the 70’s. Cars used to drive around with this sticker suggesting that the owner had another more luxurious car like a Mercedes. A joke that many Americans still remember today. Louis Vuitton does not appreciate the joke and files a lawsuit. »16
Some artists use trademarks to highlight societal problems. For the owner of the trademark in question this is often unpleasant. The trademarks is linked to nasty experiences. In case of a conflict the artist usually invokes his freedom of speech and in many cases this is enough to persuade the judge. Because of media attention many companies even choose not to act anymore at all and simply wait until the storm is over. »16
German artist Thomas Horn is the creative mind behind the new clothing line PUDEL. The logo shows a black silhouette of a jumping poodle. The word PUDEL is written in the same font as PUMA’s. The trademark was used to sell T-shirts to which PUMA reacted. Horn claimed that his expression of PUDEL was protected by his right to freedom of speech. The trademark was a parody on PUMA and should therefore be allowed. »16
On February 7th the new theatre comedy of Toupe of Joep premiered. A week before opening night Blue Circle, the producer of Farmer searches Wife, clearly voiced its unhappiness. In order to prevent coat tail riding the company has registered the name of the program as a trademark. »16
The Tobacco Act prohibits advertising and sponsorship of tobacco. The secretary of public regularly has to file procedures against covert advertisement of tobacco. Even the parody poster of cinema 'The Ketelhuis' could not be approved. The playful poster, based on the Lucky Strike logo with a warning: “Dutch films are close to your heart" was seen as a form of circumvention of the Tobacco Act. »16
MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE.
Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark.
Infringement or not?