New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Interesting Cases in the News


March 20th, 2007

Farting In The Courthouse

(This has nothing whatsoever to do with New York personal injury law)

There are two types of families in this world: Those for whom passing gas is a matter of some discretion, and those for whom it is an Olympic sport.

Those in the latter group are no doubt the target audience for Pull My Finger Fred and Fartman, both of whom are plush dolls that make a variety of sounds and comments (that’s Fred, I think, to the right).

They have something else in common too, both were memorialized today in an opinion from the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Seems they had issues of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition.

From Circuit Judge Diane Wood:

Somewhat to our surprise, it turns out that there is a niche market for farting dolls, and it is quite lucrative.

The decision is here: JCW Investments v. Novelty, Inc. (a/k/a Pull My Finger Fred v. Fartman)

More details from this 2004 blog post on the dispute at the Berkely Intellectual Property Weblog.

Briefs are here.

(hat tip to How Appealing)

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