Headnote of the Day: “Godzilla” is not descriptive

West has a fun, free feature where they pick a headnote and send it out to subscribers.  It’s not always amusing, but today’s was of high quality:

Even if trademark “Godzilla” was hybrid of Japanese words for gorilla and whale, trademark was not merely descriptive; large amount of imagination was required to associate trademark with giant, prehistoric monster, and, thus, mark was strong for purposes of determining whether likelihood of confusion resulted from alleged infringement.

Toho Co., Ltd. v. William Morrow and Co., Inc., 33 F.Supp.2d 1206 (1998)

Gorilla and whale?  I guess that explains why he’s always so angry about having to get out of the ocean.


The definitive answer in the Obama poster debate

Stephen Colbert recently hosted a debate between David Ross, former Director of the Whitney Museum, and Stephen’s brother Ed, a partner at Kenyon & Kenyon who specializes in copyright.  This debate produced what I think is probably the definitive answer on how the Shepard Fairey copyright debate should come out.

The money quote:

STEPHEN: Who do you really think is right?

ED:  Who’s paying me?

i can haz acceptance?

I saw this on Boing Boing, and felt I had to share.  Long story short: some woman built a contraption to let her cat click her mouse, and purportedly create unenforceable EULAs:

As he is not a legal entity, I don’t really know how kitty’s agreements would stand up in court, but I like to think he would be responsible for any breaches of contract, assuming the agreement is even enforceable. After all, he is not even of legal age, at least in human years.

How adorable.  Simba is clearly way more intelligent than most other cats, too, what with being able to spell properly and write in cursive and all that.

I realize that this was a joke (and another reason to post cat pictures on the internet, one of the founding reasons for the invention of the internet, along with viewing pornography and arguing about professional wrestling), but I can’t imagine that this EULA wouldn’t be enforceable.  Sure, the cat pressed the button, but the user rigged up a contraption and enticed the cat to stand on it.  Seems to me that’s enough action to show consent, as the user could have just as easily not rigged up the contraption or enticed the cat.

On the other hand, though, maybe they’re on to a novel theory: so long as you don’t physically come in contact with the keyboard or mouse, maybe you can’t be held accountable for anything that happens through your computer!  Time to go buy a pair of gloves and fire up BitTorrent!