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Hustler, Mugs and Parodies

Hustler, "the name you trust, the sexual erotica you desire," demonstrated today just how desirable the publication is -- to work with. LFP, Inc., the adult entertainment company that owns Hustler trademarks, and CafePress, a user-generated commerce Web site, announced an amicable resolution to the Hustler trademark dispute. LFP had filed the suit in the Los Angeles Federal Court alleging that the use of the word "hustler" in user-generated CafePress products, like t-shirts and mugs, infringed on LFP's trademarks.

LFP dropped the suit on the condition that CafePress remove certain content from the site. According to a press release, the companies plan to build "a positive relationship" and work together to create "a positive educational process for creators of user generated content." Trustworthy, amicable, and educational -- that's hot.

This isn't the first time CafePress has come under fire for trademark infringement. Charles Smith, a 50 year-old loather of Wal-Mart, started selling "Wal-o-caust" products -- anti-Wal-Mart paraphernalia insinuating that Wal-Mart's attempts to take over the world were similar to those of Hitler -- on CafePress in 2005. Wal-Mart filed a suit against him, and the two-year legal battle was anything but amicable. But when Smith moved his products to www.walocaust.com, CafePress was no longer in the line of fire.

U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. ultimately ruled that Smith had not violated the company's trademark, making Smith's case the latest in a string of parody lawsuits favoring the parodists. A few months before Smith's decision was handed down in March, Haute Diggity Dog won a case filed against them by Louis Vuitton Malletier (LVM) alleging that the company's "Chewy Vuiton" chew toys shaped like Louis Vuitton purses violated LVM's trademark. Similarly, in 2002, a case filed by Mattel against Aqua, the band that produced the one-hit-wonder "Barbie Girl," was decided on behalf of the parodist.

Posted by Nicole White on June 24, 2008 at 07:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

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