Kudos, COM students
I wrote recently about the lawsuit brought by owners of the Life is Good brand, which I referred to as the Gen X version of the WalMart smiley face, against “parody company” Life Sucks for trademark infringement. I learned today that Life is Good dropped its suit, which is the right result. Since I last visited the site in early September Life Sucks has added items to its product line so, if you’d care to support your local parody company, check it out.
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.