Monday, January 18, 2010

Is the Massachusetts Democratic Party infringing UPS' trademark with anti-Brown pamphlet?

From a Massachusetts Democratic Party pamphlet attacking GOP Senate hopeful Scott Brown:

The Boston Herald reports that UPS sent the party an email "ask[ing] that no further copies be distributed" but has not received a response.


  1. Isn't this similar to the Ralph Nader "Priceless" campaign?
    The court ruled it was fair use.

  2. I have a distant memory of George Lucas unsuccessfully suing over the use of the words "Star Wars" to describe the Strategic Defense Initiative of the Reagan era.

    Also from the Reagan era was Walter Mondale's line: "Where's the beef?" For you youngsters, that was an ad line for Wendy's Hamburgers.

    IANAL. However, I think that (1) this is not a trademark infringement, because the Democratic Party is not engaging in trade -- they are not offering to deliver packages. (2) We grant the highest degree of protection to political speech.

    - wallow-T

  3. Hello - I apologize for posting here when my question is unrelated to this blog, but I haven't been able to figure out how to contact you directly. I have a question that I'm hoping will be clear-cut and I would really appreciate your advice... We have made a film (documentary, for profit) in which we would like to include 15 seconds from a TV commercial produced by the Chinese government which was shown on public Chinese TV prior to the Olympics in Beijing (the commercial promotes the Games). We simply filmed the TV as we were watching it. Would you consider this fair use? It seems to us that it's in the public domain. Thank you in advance for your help!

  4. @kristenlsimon:

    I'm sorry, but I cannot provide legal advice on this blog.


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