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3 Comments on "Trademark Parodies – Flawed or Fair use?"

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Min
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The article emphasizes the limited legal remedies and protections owners of famous trademarks face against non-commercial use parodists who use their image fairly freely under the TDRA. The broad and vague application of the fair use exception for parodied trademarks offers parodists various ways to benefit from and/or damage the senior mark’s reputation without any penalty. On the other hand, owners of the senior mark must meet a high bar to protect themselves and their mark under the TDRA. At a minimum, they must show that their mark is famous and not merely distinctive, the parody is source denoting and… Read more »
Jieshi
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This article brings up some interesting points about parodies and the potential harm that they may cause to the trademarks that they are parodying. I understand the concerns of the senior mark holders because some of them spend a lot of effort and money on building up the reputation of their trademarks and the companies that they are associated with. However, I believe being lenient with parodies when determining fair use is important in protecting parody artists and their freedom of expression. This article brought up an interesting example in Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions, where a parody artist… Read more »
Sarah
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This article offers an interesting argument as to the insufficient protections that the TDRA provides for trademark owners. Particularly, the main flaw that the author notes is that the trademark use test for determining the fairness of a parody, under the parody provision of the Act, focuses too much on classification of the parody rather than the impact that the parody has on the trademark. I understand both sides — that is, the need to protect trademark owners who invest significant time and effort into the trademark, versus the First Amendment and the free expression that parodies represent.  Some parodies, such as… Read more »
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