Courtroom Fun With Plywood, Chairs, Apples & Security Cameras Gone Wild!
Are you a cynical person who likes to think the worst of your fellow man? Of course not. You’re a kind, caring, loving person– that’s why you’re reading this blog… : )
Be warned, however: reading this post might make you cynical. That’s because it’s time for another edition of… Loopy Lawsuits!
I do a cartoon illustration every month for Inside Counsel Magazine. It’s for a humor feature about unusual lawsuits. They send me brief summaries of four cases, I do a sketch for each, they pick the one they liked best.
A South Dakota man was injured when a gust of wind blew sheets of plywood off a loading cart at a store. I saw a gavel-happy judge filling in for the wind.
Emeco Industries is suing Restoration Hardware for selling a knockoff version of
its Navy Chair, which Emeco first made for U.S. Navy warships and submarines in 1944. Restoration wasn’t shy about lifting the design: it called its version the Naval Chair. After Emeco filed suit, however, it decided on a new name: the Aluminum Standard Side Chair.
The navy and copyright infringement both suggested piracy. And it seemed only right to include Popeye on the all-sailor jury.
Apple, Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is suing a Polish grocer for using a.pl as part of its domain name, thereby infringing on Apple’s trademark name.
This one had me scratching my head for awhile. The .pl is perfectly legitimate because it’s the internet country code top-level domain for Poland. And Apple doesn’t use the letter ‘a’ as part of its brand– so where was the conflict?
Then it hit me: a.pl looks like some weird abbreviation for “apple”! If someone asked you to “pronounce” a.pl, what would you say? “Apple,” right? Seems like a stretch to say this amounts to copyright violation, but apparently there’s also a look-alike logo involved.
I saw a courtroom full of fruit bins, and a friendly neighborhood grocer using computer monitors to “label” same:
But wait– there’s a bonus!
Last month’s winner involved ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s. The Vermont company sued Caballero Video over the latter’s “Ben & Cherry” porn film series, which included titles like Boston Cream Thighs and Peanut Butter D-Cups, which mimic the names of Ben & Jerry’s flavors. A federal judge has blocked Caballero from marketing the series, at least for now.
I had a vision of an unusual dairy-esque “starlet” in the witness box.
What do you think? Do you have any security cameras watching your birdfeeder?
how about the freezer where you keep your high-fat super-premium ice cream?? I’d
never heard of a Navy Chair– had you? Hope you’ll leave a comment.
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