Oral Argument Thursday: In Trademark Case Related to Tiananmen Square, Public Citizen Backs Documentary Maker

May 1, 2012

Oral Argument Thursday: In Trademark Case Related to Tiananmen Square, Public Citizen Backs Documentary Maker

WHAT:    Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy will argue before a Massachusetts appellate court that including a company’s trademarked name in the meta tags of a web page about that company does not violate trademark law.

The case, Jenzabar v. Long Bow, concerns a film about the historic 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China, which featured Ling Chai, a student leader in the protests. The film was made by award-winning documentary film company Long Bow Group. Chai and her husband Robert Maginn now run the company Jenzabar Inc., which makes software for colleges and universities. Chai and Magninn did not like the way Chai was portrayed in Long Bow’s film, so through their company Jenzabar, they sued Long Bow over the website about the film, making several claims.

After her claims of defamation fell flat, Chai proceeded with claims of trademark infringement and dilution based on Long Bow’s use of the name “Jenzabar” among the meta tags on pages about that firm on the film’s website. In December 2010, a judge in Boston’s Suffolk County Superior Court rejected her claims and ruled that Long Bow’s inclusion of the software company’s name in its meta tags was protected as fair use. Chai appealed, and the appellate court will now hear oral arg ument.

To read more about this case, visit: https://www.citizen.org/litigation/forms/cases/getlinkforcase.cfm?cID=575 !!!

WHEN:    9:30 a.m. EDT, Thursday, May 3

WHERE: John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom 3, Third Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, Mass.

WHO:    Paul Alan Levy, Public Citizen attorney, counsel for Long Bow

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.