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Tuesday, August 13, 2002


Some of the Ninth's Circuit's reasoning in Toho Company, Ltd. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 654 F.2d 788, 790-94 (9th Cir. 1981) (opinion by Judge Farris, with Judges Fletcher and Kennedy) included the following:
Thus, Toho's Section 43(a) [Lanham Act] claim must fail if Sears' use of the Bagzilla name, figure or slogan poses no likelihood of confusing consumers by suggesting that the Sears trash bags were made, sponsored or endorsed by Toho...[T]his much is not disputed: Sears sells garbage bags. Sears uses "BAGZILLA" instead of "GODZILLA" and puts the Sears name prominently on the package. The representation of the creature is a humorous caricature rather than an exact copy. The marketing channels are different. [Para.] The goods are unrelated as a matter of law...Moreover, the contention that Sears intends to confuse consumers is implausible: Sears only means to make a pun...Sears' use of "Bagzilla" has not impaired the name and effectiveness of the name and image of Godzilla. (citations and footnotes omitted)
Dave ("Davezilla") Linabury says he's sticking to his guns. Dave also appreciates that professionalism has much to recommend it ("One thing that we might want to avoid, however, is sending any more emails to Toho, under my name, calling them penises. That really isn’t helping matters for me. Thanks... "). See earlier discussion here, here and here. --Later: meet Pongozilla.

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