Life’s Good for the Lawyers

The creators of the ubiquitous Life is Good 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.

I’m partial to the Half Empty and Fire Hydrant shirts. Size L.

6 thoughts on “Life’s Good for the Lawyers”

  1. Someone please tell me how anyone can trademark a saying that has been used for, what is quite likely, decades????

    I understand a trademark that includes that stupid-looking character and the saying but there is something really wrong with this country if people can take ownership of our language this way.

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