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September 8, 2007

Hallmark Gets Paris Hot... Around the Collar

Paris HiltonParis Hilton is taking Hallmark to court for creating a card that uses her likeness and her trademarked phrase "that's hot." It's a good card but one must wonder if Paris's suit is to be successful. Or if this is yet another Paris Hilton publicity stunt?

is using an image and a phrase that is very much in the public domain and is in the business of selling cards, not promoting its own blonde it-girl. Just because Paris has trademarked the phrase does not mean it cannot be used in other contexts, even when we are having fun at her expense. She has made a tremendous effort to get her face in the public domain and to have us associate the phrase with her, this is a logical outgrowth of those efforts.

Hallmark logoTherefore, I have to disagree with Lisa Timmons: "that's hot" is certainly a phrase that is in common usage and if the lawyers want to push it, Hallmark can claim that they are using the phrase to talk about the hot food Paris is serving in the picture. Paris might have made the expression "that's hot" famous but we have been using it for years and she can't simply claim it as her own in every medium.

Anyway, that's my instant reaction, although you can read more yourself at TMZ.com. Also note that many of the responders on the WSJ Law blog support Paris.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 8, 2007 12:58 PM
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1 Comment

Exactly my thoughts. I can't believe paris thinks she has the authority to say who can use the phrase That's Hot.

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