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U.S. Supreme Court’s Dog Toy Ruling Puts Parody Products on Notice

Douglas Masters, managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office, is quoted in two articles published by Reuters discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that "Bad Spaniels" dog toys resembling Jack Daniel's whiskey bottles are not shielded by the U.S. Constitution from the liquor maker's trademark lawsuit.

In the June 8 article, Doug described the ruling as "good news for brand owners." He went on to add, "No longer can those who want to exploit the goodwill associated with well-known brands claim that humor or parody avoid the usual analysis of whether such branding creates a likelihood of confusion or association."

In a later statement made to the publication, Doug commented that the decision suggested parody products accused of infringement may not be able to rely on the Rogers test if they are "intended to be a commercial product, even if there's some expression beyond just the commerce part of it."

To read the full publications, please see Reuters' June 8 article and June 12 article.