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December 3, 2006

Porn Stars, Beer and Santa: Brand Name Dilution Gets Hot

trademarkThe Autumn issue (volume 88) of the newsletter from , the association of European Trademark owners, features an excellent article by Eric Fingerhut entitled "Morality Aside, Brand Owners Scorn Porn," on how the porn industry poses a threat to brand owners.

Often, porn stars choose screen names that are already registered as trademarks, such as Tiffany, Porsche and Chanel. These names can inadvertently tarnish or dilute the original marks.

This story is especially timely on two fronts:

As these stars become more mainstream they will bring their stage names with them, and that means we are likely to see even more clear cut cases of brand name dilution. Fingerhut suggests that trademark owners visit as well as the to search for their trademarks. If you do discover your mark is being used in an unsavory manner, then Fingerhut suggests a simple cease and desist letter usually does the trick — porn people are very litigation shy.

beers.pngPossibly none other than Santa Claus himself should read this article.

The has just put the kibosh on a new brew called "." They also denied efforts to market " Special Reserve" ale as well as "," a French ale that shows (horrors) a bare breasted rendition of Eugene Delacroix's 1830 painting "," which hangs in the Louvre and is, um, the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.

The Brookston Beer Bulletin has a great post on this featuring the "outrageous" labels in question and a reminder that "butts" are actually beer barrels in England. I doubt the importer in question, , is going to be getting letters from lawyers at the North Pole — or from the Delacroix estate.

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Posted by William Lozito at December 3, 2006 11:48 AM
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