Title

Mark McKenna was quoted in the BuzzFeed article 9 Cheeky WeedBased Logos That Will Get Copyright Lawyers High on April 20, 2015

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

4-20-2015

Abstract

Mark McKenna was quoted in the BuzzFeed article 9 Cheeky WeedBased Logos That Will Get Copyright Lawyers High on April 20.

Mark McKenna, an associate dean and law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said that companies making T-shirts with characters like Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone smoking weed might be able to defend themselves under trademark law’s parody exception, but that anyone using those logos to advertise their stores or sell actual products could be in trouble.

“[Cannabis businesses] are going to have to play by the same rules that everyone else does in commercial regulations. Trademark owners tend to be pretty aggressive about these things and I suspect in some of these cases people will get sued,” McKenna said. “There’s also what’s called trademark dilution, a branch referred to as ‘tarnishment,’ where you’re using some mark with goods that people worry would give a negative connotation to the mark.”