The creators of the ubiquitous clothing line–the Gen-X version of the WalMart smiley face –are targeting Life Sucks, the “parody company” created by 17 year-old Weston, MA high-school student James Constantini. Steve Bailey reports on Page C7 in today’s Boston Globe that Life is Good sent a cease-and-desist letter to Constantini for his company’s alleged infringement of the Life is Good trademark. Constantini is standing his ground, claiming his mark is protected as a parody.
Constantini has the law on his side. The likelihood that consumers will be confused about the source of a product is the essence of a trademark infringement claim, and it’s hard to argue with a straight face that anyone will confuse a sardonic Life Sucks image with the dopey Life is Good smiley face. Life Sucks fits the legal definition of a parody because at the same time it make you think of the Life is Good mark, it pokes fun at it.