Author Topic: Fictional trademark infingement  (Read 552 times)

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Offline yorost

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Fictional trademark infingement
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:38:14 PM »
https://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/20/the-dark-knight-rises-sued-over-clean-slate-program

Quote
In last summer's The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle spends a good deal of the movie trying to get her paws on a software program that will delete her criminal history from every known computer database in the world.

In the film, the program is referred to as "Clean Slate" several times, and believe it or not, Warner Bros. was actually sued over the use of this term by a company called Fortres Grand, which sells a computer security program called -- duh -- Clean Slate. As the name implies, the product is used to erase the trail of history from one's computer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Indiana federal judge Philip Simon posed the key question during his ruling, "Is it trademark infringement if a fictional company or product in a movie or television drama bears the same name or brand as a real company or product?" Thankfully, Judge Simon answered with a resounding "No!"

If anything, this had to be good for Clean Slate as a company, but what if some case like this heads towards damaging false advertising? What if Clean Slate was eventually shown to enable viruses or secretly pass your information out? Does this ruling mean they would just be out of luck if the association legitimately harmed their business?

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Fictional trademark infingement
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 05:59:50 PM »
I think you have to take it on case by case, I don't think you can come up with a general rule that applies well. It would depend on the company, and their reknown. I mean, who has heard of "Clean Slate"? If it was well known, enough, the writers of the movie would know about it, and avoid using the name. If it's not well known enough, it's not really going to matter, and people are going to pass it off as mere coincidence.

Offline Chino

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Re: Fictional trademark infingement
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 07:31:10 PM »
For one of my semester long group projects during the spring, I tried to make our company name "Macrohard". My professor said I could be sued for that if I ever made it a real company. I don't believe him.

Offline yorost

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Re: Fictional trademark infingement
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 07:39:11 PM »

Offline Chino

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Re: Fictional trademark infingement
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 07:55:07 PM »
 :rollin :rollin

Well there you go