Friday, May 4, 2007

Oscar Trademark Cases

The Holloywood Reporter, Esq. reports on two lawsuits brought by Oscar owner the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The first involves AMPAS's suit against the website for trademark infringement [complaint]. THR, ESQ. quote's AMPAS's attorney, which sounds like a good PR quote to me:

"The Academy isn't really pursuing monetary damages," said David Quinto of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges. "The Academy's interest here is putting a stop to the offensive conduct and not in trying to make a buck."

The second suit is against broadcaster RAI International, who produces two Italian-language programs with the name "Wine Oscars" and "Fashion Oscars." The shows are distributed in the US by EchoStar.

While I haven't yet read the court's decision dening AMPAS's motion for summary judgment, this quote certainly peaked my interest:

Whether the practice violates U.S. law remains to be seen. A judge in March refused an Academy motion for summary judgment against RAI, suggesting cultural semantic distinctions might mean that Italians view the word Oscar more generically than Americans.

THR, ESQ's original story on "Oscar" being possibly generic in Italian here.

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