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Posts Tagged ‘trademark

From the Plague-On-Both-Their-Houses Department: It’s come to this…

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The Andy Warhol banana that graced the cover of the Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album has become the subject of litigation between the band and the artist’s estate.

In a nutshell, the estate believes that it holds the copyright, and is licensing the image (for everything from iPad covers to Absolut ads).  The band argues that there is no copyright (as the original ran without a notice), but that the image is protected as a trademark of the band– so the estate is infringing.  (There’s a more detailed recounting of situation and its background at Final Boss Form.)

One is tempted to launch into a discussion of the case as a symptom of the diseased state of intellectual property law and practice in the U.S.; but your correspondent has already burned pixels doing that, e.g., here, here, and here.  Suffice it here to quote the ever-insightful Pop Loser: “This whole story is an excellent metaphor for the world we currently live in and should probably make us all a little bit sad.”

 

As we re-up our affiliation with Creative Commons and write our Representatives to oppose SOPA, we might recall that it was on this date in 1919 that “The Noble Experiment”– the national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol that was better known as “Prohibition”– was ratified (the 18th Amendment).

By the time it was repealed in 1933, organized crime had become a major feature of American city life, and the American public had adopted the invented-for-the-occasion word “scofflaw.”

Ku Klux Klan: “Defender of the 18th Amendment” (source)

The color of money…

 

The increasingly rapacious and reactionary corporate attitude to intellectual property rights has been the subject of several posts over at Scenarios and Strategy (c.f., e.g., “Patently Absurd…,”Caution! Pile up ahead…,” or “I was aiming for my foot, but I seem to have shot myself in the thigh…“)

Now an update for readers who might feel the urge to deliver a present in just any light  blue box, or who might fancy a certain shade of orange…  Tiffany Blue and Home Depot Orange are trademark-protected– “colormarked”– hues.

Qualitex Press Pad

It all started in 1989.  Qualitex used the unique color blend illustrated above for their dry cleaning presses.  But then competitor Jacobson began using the same shade, allegedly to more easily confuse companies into buying their product instead. Qualitex sued, won– and colormarking was born.

Readers will find a list of 10 privately-owned colors at Mental Floss‘ “10 Trademarked Colors.”

 

As we discard a number of our crayons, just to be on the safe side, we might recall that it was on this date in 1981 that the extraordinary Canadian athlete Arnie Boldt jumped 6′ 8.25″ at the Tribune Games outside of Winnipeg, breaking his own record for long jump in disabled competition.  Boldt, who’d lost his right leg in a grain auger accident at the age of three, burst onto the parasports scene at the 1976 Paralympics, where he took gold and set records in both the long and the high jumps.  He raised his high jump record at the next Paralympics in 1980, then raised both records in 1981.

Arnie Boldt in the long jump (source: Canadian Sports Hall of Fame)

 

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