ARTICLE: Tiger Woods Loses at Augusta: Courts Say: "Rick Rush Gets the Green Jacket": ETW Corp v. Jireh Publishing, Inc. Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2003 DePaul University
 DePaul Journal of Sports Law & Contemporary Problems

ARTICLE: Tiger Woods Loses at Augusta: Courts Say: "Rick Rush Gets the Green Jacket": ETW Corp v. Jireh Publishing, Inc.

Spring, 2003

DePaul Journal of Sports Law & Contemporary Problems

1 DePaul J. Sports L. Contemp. Probs. 102

Author

Matt Link

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

This note discusses the court's decision in ETW Corp., v. Jireh Publishing, Inc. 1 . In ETW, Tiger Woods attempted to stop an artist from selling prints portraying him golfing in the Masters Tournament. Woods' claims were based on trademark law and his right of publicity. The court dismissed his trademark infringement claims ruling that Woods had not exhibited a trademark in the particular image used in defendant's prints. However, this note will primarily focus on the courts rationale regarding Woods' right of publicity claim. The court concluded that defendant's prints merited First Amendment protection because they were neither sports merchandise nor commercial speech 2 . Based on this conclusion, the court ruled that Woods' publicity right claim failed.

This note argues that although the court was correct to rule in favor of defendant, it applied faulty analysis. This note also suggests that the ETW decision sets an undesirable precedent for future publicity right claims. Part I describes ETW and its rationale. Part II first discusses why ETW's analysis was wrong. It then presents the proper test for analyzing publicity right claims in these circumstances. Finally, Part II applies the balancing test to ETW and concludes that Woods' claim still should fail.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, ETW Corp., sued Jireh Publishing, Inc. in a trademark infringement case. ETW is the exclusive licensing agent of Tiger Woods. Jireh is a publishing company and the exclusive publisher of sports artist Rick Rush 3 . In 1998, ETW received registration for ...
 
 
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