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Dear Abby/ Carrie Bradshaw Trademark

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by WiseMerry1, Jul 8, 2013.

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  1. WiseMerry1

    WiseMerry1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've created an online character that is a modern, hip advice columnist-type. Would I be in violation of trademark laws or asking for a lawsuit if I used "A Modern Day Abby with Carrie's Style" or something to that effect?
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Why not just establish your own identity? Unless we know what you want to use it's also impossible to speculate. But if you're using someone else's identity, you're probably asking the question because you know that there may be issues. Save yourself the trouble.
     
  3. WiseMerry1

    WiseMerry1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It is my own identity - or my own brand identity anyway. Just that everyone knows explaining something to someone online is best done in a concise, attention grabbing manner. "A Modern Day Abby with Carrie Style," would fill that bill without having to explain it is all.

    And, I don't believe it's trademark infringement if you're not actually using the trademark, is it?
     
  4. WiseMerry1

    WiseMerry1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    More information on my intent.

    Thank you Law Professor. I've done a little research which I've included and will give you a little more background in hope of a more informed answer. First, the research:

    "Likelihood of confusion" is the central focus of any trademark infringement claim. A likelihood of confusion exists when consumers viewing the allegedly infringing mark would probably assume that the product or service it represents is associated with the source of a different product or service identified with a similar mark. Courts conducting a likelihood of confusion analysis apply a different standard to directly competing, as opposed to non-competing, goods. See A&H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria's Secret Stores, Inc., 237 F.3d 198 (3rd Cir. 2000). When the alleged infringer and the trademark owner deal in competing goods or services, the court rarely needs to look beyond the mark itself; infringement will usually be found if the two marks at issue are sufficiently similar that consumer confusion can be expected. If the goods in question are completely unrelated, confusion is unlikely and infringement will generally not be found." Apparently, I've not posted enough to include links, but here is the url: cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm

    I think the likelihood of confusion about the character being associated with either brand is minimal. I just wanted a legal opinion. The character is a lifestyle specialist with focus on cooking and life skills. She is her own brand as a means to sell a variety of products under one umbrella, whereas I am a fashion stylist. The website will house both of us, however the product will stand alone under the brand. The brand will have its own tagline; the only place the tagline will be that mentions Abby and Carrie is on the actual website.

    Also, I've researched and while "Dear Abby" is trademark protected, Carrie Bradshaw is not.

    However, there is the issue of trademark dilution which is a bit more hazy. I can handle a little haze, just want to make sure I'm not crossing any obvious lines I may not be aware of.

    With the addition of this information, could you give me a better idea on possible liability? As I said, the intention is not to create confusion as to either character, but to make it quick and easy for readers to ascertain what the website is about.

    Thank you for your time - I really appreciate it! Merry
     

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