If thy IP right offend thee, pluck it out

Apropos the Campbell’s soup / Campbell’s campaign dustup of a week or so ago, Copywrite has a very good post — with pictures! (we love pictures) — about one religiously-oriented clothing company that’s made an entire business out of using other peoples’ trademarks to get its evangelical message across.

Again:  Likelihood of confusion?  I have to admit, probably none.   Trademark dilution?  I’d say so.  Free speech?  Always an issue — but here, trademark law would seem to have something to say.


  • Ron Colean posted:
    “Again: Likelihood of confusion? I have to admit, probably none. Trademark dilution? I’d say so. Free speech? Always an issue — but here, trademark law would seem to have something to say…”

    The shirt in question is in the colors of Reeses, sort of a evangelical “trade dress.” But TM dilution? How so? First off the design itsef is not selling anything. If the shirts are being ourchsed more then say, a Mickey Mouse theme (i don’t know of there is one) that’s a diffeemt argument. If teh Reeses sirt sells beter, than the Reese’s TM is the likely cause. But if the shirts are just making a statement– “Jesus King of Kings” — and thay all say the same thing… not even close.

    but some might argue the shirts enhance Reese’s mark. The so caed “Religious Right” and maybe even some less strident folks might think Jesus is a plus to a compay’s image. Might sell MORE candy.

    If i were Reeses… i would not sue, or even send a Cease and Desist. it might backfire.

  • Alexandra Roberts

    It does look like dilution, doesn’t it? But keep in mind the court in Hershey v. Mars said the trade dress of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups wasn’t famous. If it wasn’t famous under the FTDA, it definitely won’t be by the TDRA’s heightened standard, right?

    Hershey Foods Corp. v. Mars, Inc., 998 F. Supp. 500 (M.D. Pa. 1998)