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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smirnoff’s lawyers are better than your lawyers.

While male undergrads everywhere await the fate of, a nonprofit legal group called New Media Rights weighs in. (They offer free legal advice to content creators getting beat up by what they call copyright bullies.) Basically, they feel that while Smirnoff has a right to protect how its actual trademark is used, they went too far in this case. As for the use of the logo:

Q: Did Smirnoff have any trademarks that were infringed?

The Smirnoff name: Generally, trademark law protects words, phrases, and symbols when they’re attached to products or services and used for commercial purposes. The names “Smirnoff” as well as the names of their brands like “Smirnoff Ice” and their logos are all protected by trademark law.

You can read the rest of the breakdown here, which just shows much is open to interpretation in cases like this beyond the misuse of a logo. In other words, if you plan on doing a site like this, one of your bros from college better have landed a real sweet gig with a firm that handles trademark infringement .

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