Four posts zman meant to write but never did
Three French Hens
Two in-state rivalries
And a dork with a split personal-ity
I saw a number of interesting (at least to me) bits in the news and thought about writing posts but didn't because I'm lazy. So for Gheorghemas I'm giving you the top four.
1. Strip clubs get sued a lot and they like to use Jessa Hinton's image
A number of noodie bars have been sued over the past few weeks for advertising their establishments using images of relatively famous women without their permission. And these aren't hole-in-the-wall places either. Sin City, New York Dolls, Flashdancers, and several other clubs that advertise on cabs in NYC and that may or may not have served me a beer or three over the past 40-odd years.
In a nutshell, the plaintiffs in all of these cases assert that the strip clubs grabbed nearly naked and/or suggestive photos of them off of the internet and used them on the clubs' websites and other advertisements to make it appear that the plaintiffs worked at these clubs. But they don't, haven't, and won't. Or so they assert. All of the complaints express outrage for presenting sexually suggestive photos of the plaintiffs, which is funny because the complaints always describe the plaintiffs' high-falutin' modeling careers which all involve sexually suggestive (and often outright explicit) magazines. But of course, just because a woman chooses to pose in Playboy doesn't mean she also dances naked. And just because she dances go-go don't make her a ho no.
There's some overlap among the women involved: Joanna Krupa, Sara Underwood, Jessica Burciaga and several others pop up across multiple complaints. I guess this is to be expected. However, one woman appears on all of the complaints: Jessa Hinton. I never heard of her before this but I think I get why she's so popular.
For the record, this is the least suggestive, most clothed photo of Ms. Hinton that I could find using Google image search. It appears that she doesn't own any real clothing, opting instead to wear world-class underboob shirts, bikinis made of pizza and body paint ... and that's when she wants to wear something.
Perhaps the most interesting complaint was brought against the Miami Velvet Club, which, according to its NSFW website, is America's #1 swingers club. The complaint is 681 pages, needlessly long but remarkably thorough. If you want to learn a lot about glamour models and swingers clubs I'll send it to you.
2. Pepperidge Farm sued Trader Joe's for infringing their Milano cookie trademark
Pepperidge Farm takes their cookies seriously. So seriously that they sued Trader Joe's, asserting that the shape and packaging of TJ's Crispy Cookies constitute "infringement and dilution of the famous and unique MILANO® cookie configuration trademark (as defined below), which Pepperidge Farm or its predecessors in interest have used for decades in connection with cookie and snack products."
It gets more heated. P-Farms asserts that "[d]espite being well aware of the famous MILANO® cookie configuration trademark, and the enormous goodwill symbolized thereby and associated therewith, Defendant recently began selling, in the packaged retail space, a cookie product designed to trade on the MILANO® cookie’s goodwill and reputation."
Further, "Pepperidge Farm’s trademark rights associated with MILANO® brand cookies have gained particular fame because unlike generic snack foods or cookies, the MILANO® cookies are in and of themselves identifiable due to the MILANO® CONFIGURATION, and serve as an indicator of source .... For example, the MILANO® cookies are instantly recognizable and due to their popularity, have appeared in pop culture and TV shows like Frasier, Will and Grace, Seinfeld, and Two and-a Half Men."
I'm not sure what's funnier, the complaint's sturm and drang or the trademark registration itself:
Yep, that's a cookie certificate. Anyway, I think it's pretty clear that T-Joe's cookies aren't the same as P-Farm's cookies--everybody knows that T-Joe's sells fugazi stuff designed to look like other stuff, like Joe's Os, and no one is going to be confused to the point that they think they're buying Milanos. Here's a comparison so you can be the judge.
Just to be safe I'm making a run to Joe's to stock up on bootleg Milanos.
3. Jack Urbont and Sony continue to duke it out
Jack Urbont's case against Sony Music and Ghostface Killah slogs on. Briefing continues, rehashing all of the stuff I've rehashed here before. It isn't very interesting.
I expect Sony to prevail. Hopefully GFK doesn't go after Mr. Urbont like he goes after Action Bronson in this GFK vs. Bronsolino video game (which you can play here).
4. Daniel Snyder really is tone deaf
Daniel Snyder's case against a group of Native Americans regarding the R**skins trademark cancellation continues to slog on. I won't bore you with all of the legal minutiae asserted in his appeal brief, but there are a few illogical leaps worth mentioning.
Mr. Snyder presents a ton of registered trademarks "that the Team believes are racist, or misogynistic, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. By way of example only, the following marks are registered today: TAKE YO PANTIES OFF clothing; DANGEROUS NEGRO shirts; SLUTSSEEKER dating services; DAGO SWAGG clothing; DUMB BLONDE beer; TWATTY GIRL cartoons; BAKED BY A NEGRO bakery goods; BIG TITTY BLEND coffee; RETARDIPEDIA website; MIDGET-MAN condoms and inflatable sex dolls; and JIZZ underwear. These are not isolated instances. The government routinely registers pornographers’ marks: TEENSDOPORN.COM, MILFSDOPORN.COM, THUG PORN, GHETTO BOOTY, and BOUND GANGBANGS are but a few."
He also lists out these marks:
SHANK THE B!T@H board game; CRACKA AZZ SKATEBOARDS; ANAL FANTASY COLLECTION, KLITORIS, and OMAZING SEX TOYS sex toys; HOT OCTOPUSS anti-premature ejaculation creams; OL GEEZER wines; EDIBLE CROTCHLESS GUMMY PANTIES lingerie; WTF WORK? online forum; MILF WEED bags; GRINGO STYLE SALSA; MAKE YOUR OWN DILDO; GRINGO BBQ; CONTEMPORARY NEGRO, F’D UP, WHITE TRASH REBEL, I LOVE VAGINA, WHITE GIRL WITH A BOOTY, PARTY WITH SLUTS, CRIPPLED OLD BIKER BASTARDS, DICK BALLS, and REDNECK ARMY apparel; OH! MY NAPPY HAIR shampoos; REFORMED WHORES and WHORES FROM HELL musical bands; LAUGHING MY VAGINA OFF entertainment; NAPPY ROOTS records; BOOTY CALL sex aids; BOYS ARE STUPID, THROW ROCKS AT THEM wallets; and DUMB BLONDE hair products.
Based on these and other exemplary marks he deems offensive, Mr. Snyder concludes that he should be allowed to register the R**skins mark even if it is offensive.
This doesn't make sense for a few reasons. First, the test is whether the mark is offensive to the relevant group who would be offended, no to Mr. Snyder or "the Team." Just because "DUMB BLONDE" offends his delicate sensibilities (so much that he listed it twice in his brief) doesn't mean it offends people (or blondes) in general. Further, how is it possible that Mr. Snyder is offended by "DUMB BLONDES" but not "R**SKINS"?
Second, it's not clear that some of these marks are offensive at all. For example, "Gringo BBQ" probably doesn't offend many white people. Similarly, the word "Negro" isn't offensive in the context of "United Negro College Fund."
Third, and perhaps most importantly, just because the USPTO registered all of these marks doesn't mean anything. The PTO screws up all the time. US patents are invalidated every day by Federal courts and the PTO itself. It would not surprise me if there are thousands or tens of thousands of invalid unexpired patents out there. No one ever says "hey judge, my patent is valid because there are many other patents out there and they're valid too." Sure, patents are presumed valid, but that is never anyone's entire validity argument.
Finally, comparing yourself to "racist[s], or misogynist[s] ... [and] pornographers" doesn't exactly present your cause in a positive light. In fact, it makes your cause look racist. Which, in this case, it is.