Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Georgia Man Beats Wal-Mart in Trademark Suit

Another intellectual property victory for the lonely artist against a mega-corporate conglomerate. Aided by Lawrence Lessig, Public Citizen and the ACLU, “[a] Conyers, Ga., man has won a two-year legal battle with Wal-Mart, which has demanded he stop making and selling T-shirts, beer steins and other items that sport slogans such as “Wal-ocaust” and “Wal-Qaeda.” He started producing his Wal-ocaust-themed products and offering them for sale at the Web site, which allows sellers to create their own home pages to market their items.”


(bumper sticker logo from Logo image by Charles Smith)

“One design shows a bird resembling a Nazi eagle grasping the yellow smiley face in its talons, similar to depictions of the Nazi eagle clutching a swastika. Another reads, I ? WAL-OCAUST. They have FAMILY VALUES, and their ALCOHOL, TOBACCO and FIREARMS are 20% OFF. A third proclaims, WAL-OCAUST: Come in for the LOW prices, stay for the KNIFE fights.”

“In a meticulously crafted, 87-page order that eviscerated conclusions by Wal-Mart’s expert witness, the judge explained that Smith’s products qualified as protected noncommercial speech because his goal was to criticize Wal-Mart, not to make a profit from his products.”

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