You know… instead of the G…

May 7, 2012

Virgin Group chairman wins battle for .xxx domain

March 8, 2012

The man known for using sexually suggestive advertising to sell his products and owner of a company dubbed Virgin recently won a legal battle to gain control over richardbranson.xxx. Source.

Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson filed a UDRP complaint against Sean Truman, who, according to the decision, is not in the adult entertainment industry, but instead says he registered the domain name as a “souvenir” of his “admiration” for Branson. Truman also said he had no intention to host a website at the domain. Indeed, the webpage was blank when the complaint was filed, with the exception of ads placed by GoDaddy.com.

The National Arbitration Forum concluded that the domain was registered in bad faith and transferred the domain name to Branson. Once transferred, the site apparently will no longer display a web page. Looks like the Virgin name will remain, like most other self-proclaimed virgins, outwardly pristine.


Leaping Lohan! Lindsay’s a Bunny.

December 9, 2011

By Tatiana von Tauber

Lindsay Lohan has posed for Playboy for a whopping $1 million. Ah. Bravo. Not only is this a smart financial move for someone of her failure, it’s also a good career move because these days, being naked and/or sexual is the ticket to increased sales and stardom, temporarily at worst. A rather typical female critique of Lohan’s Playboy spread due out on newsstands Dec. 15th sits on Yahoo’s OMG titled “Lindsay Lohan Playboy cover leaked online”. The author expresses a sarcastic and sickened tone for Lohan’s actions. Sadly, it’s what I’d expect from a female who clearly doesn’t seem to understand and/or respect the distinct difference between Playboy and Penthouse past their covers.

The author referenced that if things don’t work out for Lohan from Playboy she can always go to Penthouse. They are not the same representation of pussy and the assumption that any woman would naturally go from Playboy to Penthouse is pure ignorance and insult. Perhaps the point was to throw Lohan under the bus but by doing so, the author also threw eroticism under there too and that’s just a mean girl thing to do.

I could understand and agree with a derogatory tone for Lohan considering her history but it was for Lohan via posing nude so in essence, the author so elegantly tore up the beauty of eroticism itself and used Lohan as her example only to compare her to other actresses who used their bodies to get ahead: Drew Barrymore, Joan Collins,Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone and Marylin Monroe.

The small list of women here are women who have, however, truly come out on top* so how has their nudity actually diminished their feminine and human value as suggested by many anti-sexually free women to justify an attitude that Playboy and of course eroticism and porn (because mistake number one is placing them in the same category) is basically what desperate actresses and wannabes do to get ahead?

The above video introduces Dominika, a Czech Playboy and Maxim model. I photographed her naked a couple weeks ago. She’s a petite, demure young girl, self-conscious in between shootings but extremely professional and very good at knowing her body to help produce some very sexy photos. I’m pleased. She’s pleased. Client pleased. Everyone comes out satisfied.

This was a job, something she chose to do for whatever reason and it involved her perfect nude body but the moment the lights turned off or the camera was put down, she put on her robe and protected her personal naked self. You see, when you’re on camera, you’re an actress. You have to be to do this kind of work. I’ve photographed many Playboy models and many real women and the common theme for the nudity, the desire for it whether it be for personal reasons, for a man or for money, these women like and/or want to feel sexy and show it. They want to express it.

I’ve watched some of these unfairly judged nude models begin their own companies in once eastern block countries with money they’ve made while traveling the world, an opportunity only their body was able to offer. These young women have made a better life for themselves by using the one thing people want and that’s nudity, sex or some form of either. Really, what people want is eroticism because that is the pulse of life. I don’t understand what is so wrong, bad or dirty about Playboy posing. I think it’s celebratory. It’s a give and take, as life should be and I find too many women just don’t get the point about sex and eroticism and objectivity. There’s too much fear, religious underpinning and/or insecurity looming in feminism, still.

The female body is beautiful and while Lohan is a lost soul and I hope she gets on the right track, and I deeply hate Hollywood ruins beautiful faces, she just made a million bucks. I don’t know about you but I’d gladly take my clothes off for a million dollars. In fact, I’ll take indecent proposals too! Sexual morality and judgment are a waste of time and potential pleasure in a life that is so damn short it takes death for us to remember it.

I love the “leaked” cover of Lohan on Playboy. It’s very, very sexy and shows her as elegant and I will be purchasing the issue. Lohan needed the makeover and I hope her inner self makes a similar jump. The thing about Playboy is that it’s still got style and elegance and class and eroticism in its pages. Some spreads are cheesy ( I still don’t know why you guys like that cheesy shit) but when celebrities come in, the work is usually different and stunning. Cindy Crawford, the iconic supermodel photographed by the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts and Aussie supermodel Elle MacPherson’s spreads were quite beautiful in recollection of past issue’s I’ve seen from the top of my head.

These weren’t desperate women. These were intelligent women using their sexuality and bodies to better their lives and those of their children. If women can’t deal with their own bodily and sexual beauty, then I suggest becoming a nun.

Playboy has helped create stardom for many kinds of women but more importantly, Playboy through Hefner, has managed to give the world the erotic elegance so missing from the dirty sex the Internet brings. I like that. It would be good if American philosophy on beauty, sexuality and eroticism had a little makeover in the elegance department as well.

* OMG author noted Marylin Monroe died of a drug overdose and implies MM wasn’t really “on top” but her eroticism is stronger each decade so the author fails in her point. Isn’t the jury still out on murder vs. overdose?


With .xxx imminent, people finally notice it

September 8, 2011

By J. DeVoy

At Likelihood of Confusion, guest blogger Matthew David Brozik provides an overview of the .xxx roll-out, which is happening in phases beginning now.  For those unfamiliar with the domain name, there are two types of initial availability: Sunrise A, where existing adult companies can get .xxx domains to correspond with their .com domains, and Sunrise B, where non-adult companies can permanently de-reigster their hypothetical .xxx domain names (e.g., ToysRUs.xxx), and ensure they will never exist.  After that, there will be a “landrush” period for adult companies to get new .xxx domains to develop new brands and services, and then a perpetual period of general availability so that adult companies can get new domain names on a first-come, first-serve basis; trademarks outside of adult can also be de-registered during this time.  To understand the importance of this open registration period, bear in mind that 10 years ago the acronym CFNM was meaningless, whereas now it’s a popular porn genre, and “twitter” was similarly a nearly meaningless (and antiquated) intransitive verb. Or noun. Anyway…

Some groups, such as the Free Speech Coalition, are against the .xxx sTLD.  Others are agnostic, or open-minded regarding the extension.  Informal research reveals that many companies are indeed buying the domains, optimistic that they will generate more traffic and search engine recognition, and at a minimum protect the brands they have created.  Still, others eschew it.

Some non-adult entities are embracing .xxx to make a splash for themselves.  PETA, for example, is getting a .xxx domain name.  But, this likely is more of a publicity stunt than a lasting foray into adult.  After all, this is the same PETA that had some sycophant legally change his name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com.

Brozik’s post is informative, but I do have one bone to pick with it.  Brozik contends:

So we’re almost certainly not going to see lawsuits over the likes of pepsi.xxx, kleenex.xxx, or xerox.xxx.

Don’t be so sure.  Perhaps there won’t be disputes over those domains and peer brands, but there is an interesting question brewing as to whether paying for de-registration of a .xxx domain name is essential to keeping it from being registered.  Within the adult space, Manwin Licensing International – owner of many prominent brands and valuable domain names, including Brazzers.com and YouPorn.com – has demanded that the .xxx registry’s operators prevent “exploitation” of those domains (or those that are confusingly similar) even without paid de-registration, or turn them over to Manwin, free of charge.  Making matters more interesting, the .xxx registry has preemptively de-registered domain names that constitute famous names, for both celebrities and politicians.  This step was apparently taken free of charge.  There may not be lawsuits brought by Pepsi and Xerox against cyber-squatters, but there may be more attempts by owners of established brands to get something for nothing.

If the .xxx registry’s operators commit trademark infringement for failure to provide de-registration where no registration has yet occurred, it would be a novel theory of liability.  Can one be liable for potential infringements that have not yet occurred?  If nobody registers the domain names, there seems to be a problem of standing, (and a lack of imminent harm, if the registry’s procedures prevent the domain names from being registered).  Other countries, however, may have different standing requirements.  Also, some infringement of the trademarks has to occur (or be sufficiently imminent for standing to exist) for there to be a cause of action for infringement.  Ron Coleman’s interest in secondary trademark infringement notwithstanding, infringement has to occur for primary or secondary liability to attach – just as with copyright infringement.

Given the novelty of the .xxx space and the brands at stake, it is unlikely that this issue is dead, or that it will be for some time to come.


.XXX becomes a reality

June 25, 2010

By J. DeVoy

After six years of teasing, ICANN finally delivers on a .xxx top-level domain for sites displaying adult content.

The domains, which will be available by 2011, already have 110,000 pre-registrations through ICM Registry.


Immoral or Scandalous Matter?

October 14, 2009

by Jason Fischer

One of the "peculiarities" of U.S. trademark law is that the government has a stick up its collective ass about recognizing trademarks that may be suggestive of dick-and-fart humor.  Section 2 of the Lanham Act (the federal statute that creates trademark rights) provides:

No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it –

  • (a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter . . . .

15 U.S.C. § 1052 (2008).

epic-name-fail

Presumably, you can decide for yourself whether the above image is offensive or (as I did) worthy of a snicker or three.  It looks like, from the license plate and unfamiliar make/model of the van, this company is doing business overseas, but rest assured this mark would never appear on the principal register of trademarks in this country.  Now, don’t misunderstand me; if this business opened up an office on this side of pond, they could likely prevent others from using the same mark, based on any common law rights that could be established, but our federal government would never give them the benefits of a federal registration for the mark.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Wait; isn’t that the whole point of trademark law — preventing others from using your mark?"  That is true, but the game gets much, MUCH easier when you have a federal registration.  Establishing common law rights is generally an extremely lengthy and expensive evidentiary process, which involves paying your attorney to prepare and file a phone-book-sized amount of paperwork in any infringement suit.  Compare that with the single sheet that must be presented by the owner of a federally registered trademark, and you begin to see some of the benefits of registration.

Lots of hardcore civil libertarians that I know pound the table and froth at the mouth while denouncing the puritanical nature of our trademark regime.  Even though I don’t get as worked up, personally, I do happen to agree.  What difference does it make that someone wants to call their business "Butt Drilling"?  Do we really need the federal government to discourage that guy from doing what he wants with his entrepreneurial humor?  Should we be shielded from this "attack of immorality" at the expense of his freedom?  Trust me, plenty has already been written on whether there is even a rational basis for Section 2(a), by people way smarter than I — enough that I won’t bore you with any more.  Suffice it to say, it is something that must be given careful consideration when choosing your brand.


This story has also been published on The Tactical IP Blog.


Tiffany Shepherd, From Bikini-Claid Bait Girl to Porn to Cybersquatting Victim

September 2, 2009
First the victim of Flori-duh's social conservatives, now the victim of a cybersquatter.

First the victim of Flori-duh's social conservatives, now the victim of a cybersquatter.

Tiffany Shepherd, the Port Saint Lucie schoolteacher who was fired from her job because she worked on a fishing charter boat in a bikini has decided to make the jump into adult entertainment.

Unfortunately, after being the victim of puritanical flori-duh social conservatives, she is now the victim of scumbag cybersquatters. It looks like one person registered TiffanyShepherd.com, and is using the site to refer traffic to a UK dating site. A domain name corresponding to Tiffany’s stage name, Leah Lust, has also been registered by what seems to be another opportunist. Although the site is not currently displaying any content, it is registered to a privacy service. I bet you a dozen donuts that Ms. Shepherd isn’t the one behind that privacy wall.

Shepherd told the Miami Examiner that she is entering the adult movie market because that is the only way she can make a living now that she lost her teaching job. Unfortunately, she won’t get too far when she isn’t managing her publicity rights effectively, and some sleaze is profiting from them instead.


It Doesn’t Get Much Lower Than This – “Susan Boyle Does a Porno?”

April 20, 2009

Representing adult entertainment industry clients makes my cocktail party discussions somewhat interesting (to say the least). Often, I get asked “okay, but where do you personally draw the line?” I have always said that I’ll know it when I see it.

I have now seen it.

An adult entertainment company has registered susanboylexxx.com and has placed an offer on that site to pay Susan Boyle $1 million if she will lose her virginity on camera. Aside from the fact that this has to be one of the most douchebaggy things I’ve ever seen, the company that registered that website is certainly violating 15 U.S.C. § 1129 and probably violating 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d).

If Susan Boyle wants to simply collect $100,000 plus attorneys fees, she ought to sue them instead of taking them up on her offer.

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Violet Blue no names Jane

February 3, 2009

By LaTeigra Cahill
Guest Author

There’s no way to overstate the strong aversion toward mainstream everything in San Francisco. It’s also not a stretch to say that in the age of file sharing disputes, enforcing intellectual property rights can create the impression that an artist has crossed over from being independent to being a “sellout.”

When I heard that Violet Blue, the undeniably hip, fetish model/sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, filed a highly publicized law suit against mainstream porn actress Violet Blue (now known as No Name Jane) alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution, violation of a CA right of publicity statue, and unfair competition, I was intrigued not only by the legal ramifications of a personal name trademark, but also with how Violet Blue’s “indie” reputation would be affected.

Some Facts from the Opinion:

  1. Violet Blue (the writer) first used the pen name in an online article in 1999; No Name Jane first used the name as a stage name in 2000.
  2. No Name Jane has appeared in hundreds of adult films over the years under the name “Violet Blue”.
  3. Violet Blue legally changed her name to Violet Blue, registered her name as a trademark in early 2008, and promptly filed suit.
  4. The Northern District court granted Violet Blue’s motion for a preliminary injunction, ruling that she had a valid, defendable trademark. (However, the court was not convinced Blue would succeed on the merits of her trademark dilution claim because the Federal Trademark Dilution Act requires that her trademark be famous prior to the time No Name Jane began using it.) (Opinion)

So why would a progressive, sex positive writer be so enraged that an adult star used the same name? Was it simply the next part of a ridiculous counter culture vs. mainstream war? If so, wouldn’t a trademark dispute put Violet’s “cool” at risk? On Violet Blue’s blog, she asserted her disgust in seeing her name on porn box covers like “Planet of the Gapes” and “White Trash Whore #22” and reading No Name Jane’s interviews (which, Violet characterized as “small minded” and “ignorant”).

What’s most interesting though is that Violet Blue, whom I have a hard time believing has a ton of celebrity status outside of The Bay Area, truly seemed to believe that No Name Jane was using her name on purpose to capitalize off of her fame as a blogger/writer:

“I mean, look at all the trouble and confusion poor Tyra BanXXX goes through, having her name diluted by some model with a TV show. And Marey Carey — she’s just trying to run for governor and get some new teeth and better tits, and some singer has to come along and ride her coattails to fame.” (Blog Post)

The drama got worse when Boing Boing, a popular tech site with publicly radical views on IP reform, risked a serious censorship issue with their fans when they unpublished all of Blue’s material from their site for undisclosed reasons, stating only that, “Violet behaved in a way that made us reconsider whether we wanted to lend her any credibility or associate with her.” Many commentators on the post felt the unpublishing had to do with the No Name Jane law suit.

I find it unfortunate that many artists have to make tough decisions between protecting their hard work versus maintaining their ”scene cred” in the face of the public’s negative perception of IP laws – largely caused by overreaching mega corporations. In the end, Violet Blue won her trademark dispute but she gained more critics than fans, and she took far more of a hit to her cred than she bargained for.

LaTeigra (real name, not yet a trademark) is a law student at University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. LaTeigra’s main legal interests are free speech rights, anti-censorship issues, IP, art and politics. LaTeigra is the Co-Chair/Co-Founder of Hastings Advocates for the Arts, a student organization that promotes freedom of self expression through integrating art into law school culture.


Suit Filed in Utah Over Male Chastity Belts

January 23, 2009

by Jason Fischer

A.L. Enterprises, Inc. (“ALE”), a Nevada corporation, sued a Canadian manufacturer of male chastity belts in Utah this week. ALE alleges that Latitudes International (“Latitudes”) has shipped products into the United States that bear ALE’s federally registered trademarks.

While this story would seem to be of a kind that would appear first on this blog, we were scooped by Mr. Gile over at Las Vegas Trademark Attorney. Respect.

Woody-001.jpg

“[I]t’s simulated wood design gives it a ‘warm, earthy feel.’”

As the owner of federal registrations for the trademarks “CB-3000″ and “CB-6000″, to be used in association with devices conducive to male chastity, ALE has the right to prevent others from selling similar products in the U.S. under the same marks. Latitudes is accused of doing just that.

According to the complaint, Latitudes is selling counterfeit versions of ALE’s products at two websites, http://www.chastitydeviceformen.com/ and http://www.latitudes-international.com/. Indeed, the website does appear to be offering the same three types of “devices” that ALE sells and using the same trademarks to identify its goods.

Perhaps the most interesting detail in this story, at least to this observer, is that the USPTO has two separate classes of goods for:

  • “Devices conducive to male chastity, namely, chastity belts for men” and
  • “Adult sexual aids conducive to male chastity, namely, chastity restraints for men”

Hypocrites for Community Values Lose Round One

August 31, 2007

Citizens for Community Values is a hyper-right wing group of busybodies who are essentially the seeds of an American style Taliban who operate out of Cincinnati. The First Amendment be damned, they tirelessly work to try to decide what kind of entertainment that you and I can enjoy, or not enjoy. CCV’s lack of respect for the First Amendment reached new heights recently as it tried to shut down a competing political action committee by mis-using trademark law. The Northern District of Ohio gave them a setback in a recent decision. Read the rest of this entry »


Barbie v. China Barbie Update

August 24, 2007

Regarding this earlier post on the Mattel v. China Barbie case.

Fox just had China Barbie on to discuss the dispute with Mattel. They treated her as if she were being prosecuted for providing harmful material to minors.

Interesting note. She said that prior to this lawsuit, she was getting about 100 hits a day. Now she gets about 100,000 hits a day. The Fox analyst interpreted that as meaning that she was profiting from the name “Barbie.” It seems more like she is profiting from the publicity that Mattel shined upon her.


Barbie® v. China Barbie

August 22, 2007

Note, to kink to this post, use this link: http://tinyurl.com/22vd8u. It seems that the use of the “®” in the title messes up the permalink for some browsers.

Perhaps inspired by Nautica’s® attempt to stop Nautica Thorn from registering her name as a trademark, Mattel, manufacturer of the Barbie® doll, just fired a shot across the bow of adult entertainer, China Barbie. (source).

The lawsuit said Global China Networks used a domain name containing the word “barbie” in a “bad faith attempt to profit from Mattel’s Barbie® trademarks” and had damaged Mattel’s good name.

The lawsuit asked the court to order the transfer of the domain name registration to Mattel, to award damages of up to $100,000 and to order that any profits Global China Networks achieved be given to Mattel.

According to the lawsuit, the offending Web site is registered to Global China Networks LLC and is operated by Terri Gibson, a Hollywood, Fla., resident. (source)

I have not seen the complaint yet, but it sounds like Mattel filed an ACPA claim under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), and a dilution claim under 15 § U.S.C. 1125(c)(1), as well as a good old fashioned infringement claim under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (note, the complaint says 15 U.S.C. § 1114(a), but there is no such thing. That is the counterfeiting section of the Lanham Act. I presume that this was a mere typo in the complaint — we all do it sometimes) and a common law unfair competition count for good measure. (Complaint) (complaint linked from WSJ blog)

I’d prefer to read the complaint before commenting more, but My initial odds-making is that the ACPA claim is unlikely to succeed. The bad faith factors just don’t seem to stack up. Yes, the ACPA provides for remedies even for domain names that dilute famous marks, nevertheless, the nine factor (nonexclusive) test provide for by 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(B) seems to fall in China Barbie’s favor.

The dilution claim, on the other hand, might be a little stronger. Dilution law is all over the place these days, and dilution claims are unpredictable. However, as a good friend of mine once said “in dilution, the [adult entertainer] always loses.” I wouldn’t agree that the adult entertainer “always loses,” but the deck is definitely stacked against her. China Barbie is going to have a fight on her hands with the 1125(c) count.

If anyone has a copy of the complaint, you can get some good karma by sending me a link to it.

With respect to the 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (pled as § 1114(a)) count, Mattel is going to need to prove some likelihood of confusion. I think that there is very little likelihood that anyone would seriously contend that they were confused as to the origin of the services provided by China Barbie. As far as the unfair competition count goes, perhaps I am being too dismissive, but since when does Mattel compete in the porn market?

China Barbie definitely has a fight ahead of her. Nevertheless, Mattel has not been all that successful in its attempts to place Barbie on intellectual lockdown. For example, in 2002, Mattel tried to rid the world of the Aqua song “Barbie Girl.” Mattel lost that case. Mattel also lost a case against artist Tom Forsythe who parodied barbie in a series of artistic works like Cutting Board Barbie and Barbie Enchilada (source). Mattel eventually had to reimburse Forsythe $1.8 million in attorneys’ fees. (source). The Case is here. Mattel also lost in a case with an artist who made “Bondage Barbie.” See Mattel, Inc. v. Pitt, 229 F. Supp. 2d 315, 324 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (“The sale or display of “adult” dolls does not appear to be a use Mattel would likely develop or license others to develop.”).

Finally, in a recent case involving an Alberta, Canada sex shop called “Barbie’s Shop,” Mattel lost on jurisdictional grounds. (source). Mattel said that it considers the case to be ongoing, since they didn’t lose on the merits. Nevertheless, in that case, the owner of the shop’s name? Wait for it…. Barbie Anderson-Walley. Mattel’s reaction to that little “bad fact?”

We own the Barbie name, clothing and dolls. Even if your name happens to be Tommy, Ralph or Barbie, in some areas that’s already a trademark. (source)

My take on that one is that Mattel is lucky that it only lost on jurisdictional grounds. They should have been sanctioned for filing that case.

Mattel’s losing streak doesn’t exactly make them the Chicago Cubs of intellectual property enforcement though — for two reasons: 1) Everyone loves the Cubs, and 2) Mattel has a chance at winning this one. (Sorry Chicago, I love you, but this is not the year).

Here are some things that China Barbie will likely raise to increase her odds (in addition to simply arguing that there is no chance that the relevant consuming public will be confused).

Laches defense. China Barbie has been running her website and performing under this name since 2004. Until I see the complaint, I can’t fully comment on that issue. There is no statute of limitations in trademark cases, and the courts look to the s.o.l. on relevant state laws. I don’t know what that limitation is in New York, and I don’t have time to research it right now. Nevertheless, statute of limitations or not, there does appear to be some prejudice to China Barbie due to Mattel waiting so long to file. China Barbie has built up a name for herself for at least three years. I don’t know if that will be persuasive to the Southern District of New York, but it would be a worthwhile defense to raise.

Also, Mattel seems to be particularly vulnerable to parody defenses.

The word Barbie has come to be used as a derogatory slang term for a girl or woman who is considered shallow, most notably in the 1997 pop song Barbie Girl (see Parodies and lawsuits below). In July 1992 Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including “Will we ever have enough clothes?”, “I love shopping!”, and “Wanna have a pizza party?” Each doll was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so that no two dolls were likely to be the same. One of these 270 phrases was “Math class is tough!” Although only about 1.5% of all the dolls sold said the phrase, it led to criticism from the American Association of University Women. In October 1992 Mattel announced that Teen Talk Barbie would no longer say the phrase, and offered a swap to anyone who owned the doll. (source)

Now China Barbie’s expression might not fit as neatly into the parody defense as all those who have previously triumphed over Mattel. You do never know though. Is China Barbie trying to say something about Barbie®? Does China Barbie’s sexual expression criticize or mock Barbie®? Was that her intention? I haven’t interviewed her, so I don’t know. Nevertheless, Mattel isn’t racking up the victories when the parody defense is well-argued. I could see that one going her way, if she raises it.

Note: Andrew Contiguglia linked to this site from his Entertainment Law blog, where he wrote:

[M]aybe Mattel is just being vindictive of anything Chinese because of all the lead paint incidents (source)

Attorney Contiguglia might have a point. I hate to be too cynical, but before this suit hit the media, I’m sure that the top 50 search engine hits for “china” and “barbie” brought up stories and articles about the lead paint problem.

Not anymore.

If Mattel filed this suit to game the search engines, I’d have to hand them a dart and a laurel. A laurel for a magnificent machiavellian public relations coup, and a dart for misuse of the legal system.


Nautica® v. Nautica Thorn

August 19, 2007

The adoption of a nom de plume is a time-honored tradition. Francois Marie Arouet became Voltaire, Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain, Theodore Geisel is known to us all as Dr. Seuss.

Movie actors ran with this tradition from the earliest time that celluloid fell to a cutting room floor. Moses Horwitz, Louis Feinberg, Jerome Horwitz, and/or Samuel Horwitz, couldn’t get a reservation at Denny’s. Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard and/or Shemp Howard, on the other hand, would soitanly be seated, reservations or not — and certainly somewhere better than the big D. Ramón Gerard Antonio Estévez, Carlos Irwin Estevez, went with Martin and Charlie Sheen. (Charlie’s younger brother Emilio seems to have a little more Latino pride).

Actors and actresses choose screen names for any number of reasons, but Wikipedia says, “The Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) advises performers to select a name that is easy for others to pronounce, spell and remember. (source)”

Ms. Tokumi, for whatever reason, upon her entrée into adult entertainment chose to reinvent herself as “Nautica Thorn.” This is more original than most exotic dancers’ stage names, and she has never, to the best of my knowledge, claimed that she is “just doing this until she finishes nursing school.” (FN1) (By the way, her favorite foods are sushi, steak, pasta, spam musubi, and ketchup. (source).

Read the rest of this entry »


The Fuck Brief

June 13, 2007

Here it is, the Infamous Fuck Brief. The filings are all public record and are freely available on the USPTO website. Nevertheless, anyone’s convenience, here they are.

  1. The USPTO’s initial rejection of the application.
  2. The initial appeal to the Examiner – this is the one that sparked the articles.
  3. The USPTO’s second refusal.
  4. The appeal to the TTAB – Not as fun to read as the appeal to the Examiner, but this is our brief of legal arguments for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Some nice ink on this case

  1. Orlando Weekly article
  2. XBiz Article.

For an interesting read on the use of Fuck, check out this Sexual Intelligence Blog entry.


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