The owner of the Godzilla trademark, Toho Co. Ltd, has sued Honda for trademark infringement. According to the complaint filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, a Honda ad for the Odyssey minivan infringed the mark because it included images of Godzilla in a movie playing on a television screen in the backseat of the van. The ad agency that created the campaign, Rubin Postaer & Associates, obtained the license to use the clip from the film in which Godzilla appeared (the movie the “Bad News Bears Go to Japan“), but did not get permission to use the Godzilla trademark. The suit alleges trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
Rubin Postaer & Associates and Thought Equity Motion, the licensing company that licensed the “Bad News Bears” clip, were also named as defendants.
Here is the commercial. Judas Priest fans, enjoy:
Toho Co. Ltd. v. American Honda Motor Co. et al., 2:11-cv-01013-SVW-CW (C.D. Cal. complaint filed Feb. 2, 2011).
On this day in 2005, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sued the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for trademark infringement. In Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. v. Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inc., the famous Cleveland, Ohio museum sought to stop the defendants’ use of the trademark in connection with their virtual jewish rock and roll museum. The website, www.jewsrock.org, had not yet launched but its stated mission was to “highlight the many and crucial Jewish contributions to the greatest pop culture force in modern times, Rock & Roll.” The plaintiff had previously sent a cease and desist letter, but the defendants had refused to comply. The defendants had also previously filed a federal trademark application for their mark that had been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based on a likelihood of confusion with the plaintiff’s mark. The suit alleged trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
The defendants offered to change their name to “Jewish Rock & Roll Challah Fame,” but the plaintiff refused. Eventually, the parties settled.
The founders of the museum (and named defendants) were Jeffrey Goldberg, David Segal, and Allen Goldberg.