Dilution by Tarnishment

Confederate flags were not the only symbol used by white nationalists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia.

To the dismay of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team – so was their logo. Well almost.

On the left is the Detroit Red Wings logo; on the right is the white nationalist group’s logo:

detroit red wings logo vs right wings logo, both depict a tire with wings but the right wings replaces the spokes with nazi swastika imagery

image courtesy of CNN

The spokes in the wheel on the Detroit Right Wings’ logo were altered to resemble the Nazi SS lightning bolt.

The Detroit Red Wings quickly disavowed any affiliation:

“[t]he Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville, Va. The Red Wings believe that hockey is for everyone, and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation. We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.” Continue reading

Is Pandora PayPal?

Does Pandora’s single P mark infringe PayPal’s double P mark? PayPal says yes and filed a lawsuit claiming Pandora’s use of the single P mark causes confusion among consumers.

Every Federal circuit has adopted some form of the “likelihood of confusion” factors the Fourth Circuit articulated in George & Co. LLC v. Imagination Ent. Ltd., 575 F. 3d 383 (4th Cir. 2009). Applying those factors here to the facts as currently known in the PayPal, Inc. v. Pandora Media, Inc., 2017 WL 2289184 (S.D.N.Y.) case would go something like this:

Is the Plaintiff’s mark distinctive? Answer: Yes. Most consumers recognize the blue double P as PayPal’s logo.

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