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Nobody puts American lawyers in a corner

Posted by Bob on August 23, 2007

In Reply to: Nobody puts American lawyers in a corner posted by Lewis on August 23, 2007

: : August 22, 2007

: : "Nobody puts Lionsgate in a corner. That's the message of a trademark infringement lawsuit the studio behind "Dirty Dancing" has filed against several companies selling merchandise featuring the phrase "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" from the hit film.

: : The quote, said by Patrick Swayze at the climax of the 1987 film starring Swayze and Jennifer Grey, has achieved a cult-like status, marketed and often repeated in films and TV shows for 20 years. (Baby was the female lead's nickname.)

: : "The American Film Institute voted 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner' as one of the top 100 most popular quotes from a motion picture," the lawsuit states...

: : The defendants, many of which market baby clothing and merchandise, are not authorized to use the mark and have created a likelihood of confusion with merchandise authorized for sale by Lionsgate, the lawsuit alleges."

: :

: Bah! No wonder that American bluesman Robert Cray sang "...tell me a boat load of lawyers just sank..."

: a phrase is not a trade-mark, but the question remains as to when a phrase is copyright and whether it is actionable for breach of copyright.

: I wonder if they will dig around to see if anybody used the expression "Nobody puts X in the corner" prior to its use in the film.

: be that as it may -

: Imagine if they could stop you saying "Come up and see me"... [I don't think Steve Harley got sued for using the phrase, which was famously used in a film by some vamp of the B&W era]

: ...or from the Blues Brothers the Brothers saying "We're on a mission from God" - surely lots of people have used that since, some in homage to the film, some because they sincerely believed it.

: Some of those IP lawyers are so far up their own...that they look out of their mouths.

: PK so there is a difference between commercial exploitation and general usage, but with a phrase that does not relate a named product, they should "butt out".

: L

These IP lawyers will continue to pursue these extremes, because every once in a while, the american legal system will burp, and actually reward them. Nobody puts Reason in a corner.