Trademark infringement rains on child...

Trademark infringement rains on children's birthday parties

There are 22 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Jul 28, 2008, titled Trademark infringement rains on children's birthday parties. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

In planning birthday parties for their children, parents are facing stumbling blocks that include trademark infringement.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Baltimore Sun.

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Joe

Gwynn Oak, MD

#1 Jul 28, 2008
A child is having a birthday party! Quick, call Lawyerman!
Oh no! A child is being entertained by a beloved TV character! The SuperSummonsServer to the rescue!
Dee

Baltimore, MD

#2 Jul 28, 2008
Parents should do those companies a favor- boycott them and their characters.
douglas

Herndon, VA

#3 Jul 28, 2008
Its really simple word. NO.
Mom can I have Dora come to the Birthday Party?... NO.
Dad can Spiderman come to the Birthday party?... NO.

Oh the humanity.

DM.
Mark

Gaithersburg, MD

#4 Jul 28, 2008
Please forgive me, but what is "hadrette"?
KoolAid Mom

Algonquin, IL

#5 Jul 28, 2008
You would think that these companies would have better things to worry about than going after mom & pop children's party companies. Besides isn't it free advertsing for their product so kids will watch more of their programs and buy more products? As a mom if I hear Disney or Sesame Street is suing a mom & pop company I will do the only thing I can as a consumer and not purchase their products!

“Too Much to Learn.”

Since: Aug 07

Centreville, Maryland

#6 Jul 28, 2008
The parents should be sued as vicarious infringers and treble damages should be claimed in the form of three times each goody bag distributed.
hypocrit

Havre De Grace, MD

#7 Jul 28, 2008
Next up super villain lawyerman!, with the dastardly powers to destroy kids innocent wishes at a reasonable price their parents could possibly legally afford to have their heroes appear at their 6 year birthday parties. Talk about your super villains!, you guys are more scary then anything on TV or Movies!!!!
Way to go guys!, Christ I'm glad I'm not you when you when it comes judgment day and your trying to talk St. Peter in to letting you in.
Dave

Annapolis, MD

#9 Jul 28, 2008
Mark, I'm with you...What is "hadrette"? Doesn't anyone proofread these articles anymore???
BigMouth

Richmond, VA

#10 Jul 28, 2008
greedy corporations strike again
Old Fogey

Washington, DC

#11 Jul 28, 2008
Back in my day, there were no people in costumes at birthday parties. A cake, some ice cream, a few presents, and bunch of screaming kids were all we needed to have fun.

Kids get too much junk from commercial culture year round as it is nowadays; they don't need "Batman" or "Elmo" at their parties to have a good time. Fight the power!
Death to Smoochie

Washington, DC

#12 Jul 28, 2008
Miriam Sorkin, an office manager in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., threw a fourth-birthday party for her daughter in May and arranged for a costumed impersonator of Dora the Explorer. Though the walk-about "Dora" had the expected pageboy haircut and backpack, her expression was blank and her legs appeared out of proportion to the rest of her body. "When Dora came out," Sorkin says, "none of the kids would go to Dora, including my daughter, and a few of the kids started crying."

For Pete's sakes, your 4 year-old will not be traumatized if Dora the Explorer doesn't "appear" at her party. Maybe she will appreciate the company of her friends instead.
Leon

United States

#13 Jul 28, 2008
These poor maligned companies are trying to make money off of someone else's property. Should Marvel let anybody who wants to make action figures or publish comic books about their characters? The companies should pay for the right to use the real thing or get over it.
The Other White Bubba

Windsor Mill, MD

#14 Jul 28, 2008
Leon wrote:
These poor maligned companies are trying to make money off of someone else's property. Should Marvel let anybody who wants to make action figures or publish comic books about their characters? The companies should pay for the right to use the real thing or get over it.
I came here to say this. How is having some knock off of Doora de Exploora (or however they would get around blatant name ripoffs) at Timmy's birthday party any different than buying a pirated movie off some guy on a street corner. The owners of that intellectual property, the creators, the people who work to make that character the thing that kids want to see / hear / watch / etc. deserve to make a profit off of the use of that property. Don't blame the companies for protecting their rights. Blame the companies that try to skirt the laws for making the attempt and the parents for trying to get their kids something on the cheap. Otherwise make it a theme party by having the plates and cups of their precious little one's favorite tv show. Thats what my parents did and I still had good birthday parties. And if you really think that your precious 3 year old is going to remember that Diego was at his / her birthday party you are delusional. Save the money, put it in a mutual fund for the kid and let it pay for some college.
ann

Flint, MI

#15 Jul 28, 2008
Old Fogey wrote:
Back in my day, there were no people in costumes at birthday parties. A cake, some ice cream, a few presents, and bunch of screaming kids were all we needed to have fun.
Kids get too much junk from commercial culture year round as it is nowadays; they don't need "Batman" or "Elmo" at their parties to have a good time. Fight the power!
Agreed. Furthermore, these moronic companies don't see the 'infringement' as advertising. Let's face it; kids are only into this type of crap for a limited time. What's the problem? Forget licensed copyrighted junk. But, as for myself, I want the Burger 'King' to appear at my 60th party next February. I want to kick him in the shins.
A Mother-Not a Judge

Owings Mills, MD

#16 Jul 28, 2008
agree with douglass wrote:
boo-hoo
teach your spoiled kids to have some imagination and stop worshipping television
it's sad that of all the disappointment given on this story you would have the gall to attack a parent. Obviously you did not have a child filled with memories of wonderful birthdays, holidays or celebrations!! It's not about worshipping television but more about wanted to fulfill your childs' wish on their special day. Should someone had given you a wish you wouldn't have coal stuck up your butt.
Have a NICE DAY anyway
ken baltimore

Baltimore, MD

#17 Jul 28, 2008
Two Solutions:

1) No Dora, Elmo or Spongebob knock-off lookalike in your friggin' house.

2) Plan a month or two ahead and MAKE the damn costume and have Uncle Fred or Cousin Mary Lou dress up and play the part.

Geez, people. Use some self-initiative and creativity and imagine and plan a unique party for your kid. Otherwise, just plop them in front of the TV and play Dumb-face the Bimbo videos.
Joe

Baltimore, MD

#18 Jul 28, 2008
ann wrote:
<quoted text>Agreed. Furthermore, these moronic companies don't see the 'infringement' as advertising. Let's face it; kids are only into this type of crap for a limited time. What's the problem? Forget licensed copyrighted junk. But, as for myself, I want the Burger 'King' to appear at my 60th party next February. I want to kick him in the shins.
I'd kick the Burger King a little higher up. That mascot scares me. He's almost as bad as those things Quizno's used for advertising years ago.
Death to Smoochie

Washington, DC

#19 Jul 28, 2008
Like it or not, the likenesses of those characters are the intellectual property or their creators and/or licensors. There may be a legitimate reason why a company does not want the likeness of its character represented without its permission:

Unilicensed use of a character could result in a negative association with a costume wearer and the character.

For instance, what if it was learned that a guy wearing an "Elmo" costume who was regularly hired to appear at children's parties was in fact a convicted sex offender?

Imagine the damage that publicity would have on the character and the children and parents who adored him. All because a costume company wanted to cash in on his image illegitimately to further their financial interests. It's not just about the "greed" of the licensor.
oldno7

Pomona, CA

#20 Jul 28, 2008
So what is Marvel to do when some pervert dresses up in a Spiderman suit and touches some kid's hoo-hoo?
Art is WORK

Baltimore, MD

#21 Jul 28, 2008
Death To Smoochie,Old Fogey, Bubba, Douglas, and agree w/ Doug are the only ones who get it.
These characters ARE intellectual property. Property is the operative word.
No one ever thinks it's right to steal or counterfeit anything except music, art, ideas, etc. Yet without these artists having the ability that EVERY OTHER American has to make a living off their work and talent, these "beloved" icons could disappear. And for every artist whose work "hits" there are millions who miss. So it is a difficult career path.
Also, yes, use your OWN imagination, your kids' imaginations. Create your OWN memories with family & friends. Without getting permission (not a guaranteed "right") & paying a fee to those who own these icons, ideas, songs, whatever, it's theft. Pure and simple. Not a good lesson for the precious kiddies:
"It's OK to steal as long as you can get away with it."

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