Bookmark and Share

 

LITIGATION

» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights


Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment

SUPREME COURT
ASSISTANCE PROJECT

Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.

 


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

Jenzabar v. Long Bow Group

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Use of Brand Names in Domain Names and Metatags
Docket: 07-2075-H

Documents:

Description:

Jenzabar, a company that was founded by a student leader at Tiananmen Square and that makes software for institutions of higher education, brought defamation and trademark action against documentary filmmakers whose portrayal of the leader was unfavorable. After the defamation claims were dismissed, the company pursued trademark claims based on the theory that the use of the company’s name in the meta tags of pages of a film-related web site that discussed the company infringed and diluted the company’s mark. Public Citizen argues that the meta tags are noncommercial speech that truthfully describes a subject of the web page and hence is protected by the First Amendment, and in any event that there is no confusion about the source of the web pages, that the trademarks are not diluted, and that the use of the trademarks is fair use.

The trial court granted summary judgment for the filmmakers, determining that there was no likelihood of confusion or dilution, effectively rejecting the application of initial interest confusion which it seemed "mere diversion," and finding that Long Bow was protected by the doctrine of nominative fair use. Long Bow’s motion for an award of attorney fees was denied pending a ruling on Jenzabar’s appeal. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed summary judgment, and the Supreme Judicial Court declined to conduct discretionary review. The Superior Court of Massachusetts granted Long Bow's motion for attorney's fees and costs.

Copyright © 2010 Public Citizen. All rights reserved. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation.  Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.