CASE COMMENT: Speech-zilla Meets Trademark Kong?: How the Hollywood Circuit Got It Wrong in the Barbie Battle, Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.* Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your lexis.com® ID to access the full text of this article.
-OR-
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a lexis.com® ID.
 
Price: 
US $22.00 (+ tax)
 
 

Copyright (c) 2003 University of Minnesota Law School 
Minnesota Intellectual Property Review

CASE COMMENT: Speech-zilla Meets Trademark Kong?: How the Hollywood Circuit Got It Wrong in the Barbie Battle, Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.*

* This comment is published online at http://mipr.umn.edu.

2003

4 Minn. Intell. Prop. Rev. 285

Author

Steven Y. Reeves**

Excerpt



INTRODUCTION***

*** "With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the author begins." Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp., Inc., 147 F. Supp. 2d 668, 670 (S.D.Tex. 2001) (Kent, District Judge, demonstrating the importance of humor in legal analysis).
 
This comment will examine the implications of the Ninth Circuit's holding in Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc. 1 that where commercial speech is "inextricably entwined" with noncommercial expression, such speech enjoys "full First Amendment protection." 2 The Barbie battle involves Mattel, Inc., a toy manufacturer and owner of the Barbie doll trademark and MCA Records, Inc., a music company and distributor of a song titled Barbie Girl. 3 In 1997, Mattel commenced action, seeking protection under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 4 (FTDA). 5 MCA defended on First Amendment grounds and ultimately prevailed. 6

The Mattel court recognized that considerable tension exists between the First Amendment and the protection offered by the FTDA. The court went as far as remarking that a dilution injunction against purely commercial speech may "run afoul of the First Amendment." 7 In essence, the court found that the First Amendment rights of junior trademark users could overcome FTDA rights held by senior markholders regardless of the junior user's dilutitive commercial motive. Where did this come from? Under a recent Supreme Court opinion, commercial speech may deserve almost or as much protection as noncommercial speech. ...
 
 
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.
Search Documents
 
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy
 
 
 
 

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

 
LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to lexis.com
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities