Friday, March 28, 2008

the law of unintended results

In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta rejected Wal-Mart's claim of trademark infringement again an online critic of the company. The court found that Charles Smith’s parody Web sites ( and and related merchandise sold through CafePress were protected speech and that a reasonable person would not confuse their use with Wal-Mart’s legitimate trademarks. The court also rejected Wal-Mart’s claim that it has trademark rights in the “smiley-face” that Smith used in one of his parodies. I wonder what the fall-out will be from that portion of the decision?

Read the history of the case.

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