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Car-Freshner Corp. Sues Getty Images for Trademark Infringement

Plaintiffs claim defendant licenses this and other photos containing
tree designs that are confusingly similar to their own.

On Nov. 9, Car-Freshner Corp. and Julius Samann Ltd. (JSL) filed suit in the Northern District of New York against Seattle’s Getty Images, Inc., for trademark infringement. Car-Freshner claims it licenses various trademarks from JSL, including a number of registered tree designs in connection with “absorbent body impregnated with a perfumed air deodorant,” “cleaning products,” and “air fresheners.”

Plaintiffs claim they learned that “Defendant was promoting and licensing digital media for commercial use through the Getty Images Web Site that included one or more tree designs which are identical to, virtually indistinguishable from and/or confusingly similar to Plaintiffs’ distinctive Tree design Marks.” This, plaintiffs claim, constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, and dilution.

Getty Images has not yet answered plaintiffs’ complaint.

The case cite is Car-Freshner Corp. v. Getty Images, Inc., No. 09-1252 (N.D.N.Y.).

Posted on November 15, 2009 by Registered CommenterMichael Atkins in | Comments5 Comments

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Reader Comments (5)

Gutsy move depicting the trademarked tree on a blog post, which is surely intended to garner you business . . .

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark A Lemley
Do you have a copy of the complaint you can post?
November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark McKenna
Boy. I'd really love to read the correspondence that (presumably) went back and forth between the parties prior to the filing - especially Getty Images' response to the cease & desist letter. CFC has had a pretty good run on enforcing those trademarks, but they may have stretched a bit too far here, IMO.
November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Davidson
Mark M., the complaint is in the post -- see the hyperlinked words "filed suit" in the first paragraph.

Mark L,, thanks for visiting. BTW, I use your textbook in my IP survey class.
November 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterMichael Atkins
I received a letter from Getty Images today demandiog I pay them $1200.00 because some pictures placed on our website many years ago, apparently aree owned by them.
They have a nice little question and answer area on this extortion, it has Q. What if I didn't know and I paid a 3rd party to build my website and they used it without my knowledge.
A. Doesn't matter if you know or it was done by a 3rd party it is your responsibility to knopw all of the 75 million images copywrited by Getty,
I then found a copy of an answer to a lawsuit filed by a model that claimed Getty used a picture of him with out his express permission, their response
"Getty Images, not being fully advised of all the circumstances surrounding the allegations
set forth in the Complaint, reserves the affirmative defense that the claims set forth in the
Complaint are barred, in whole or in part, because Plaintiff and third parties, not Getty Images,
directly and proximately caused Plaintiff’s alleged damages by their negligent, reckless, and/or
intentional acts.
Getty Images, not being fully advised of all the circumstances surrounding the allegations
set forth in the Complaint, reserves the affirmative defense that the claims set forth in the
Complaint are barred because the injury or damage, if any, alleged in the Complaint was
proximately caused and contributed to by the superseding acts or omissions of individuals or
entities for whose conduct Getty Images is not responsible"
Amazing they feel the Law is theirs to use to try and extort money from small business but then they claim they are not subject to the same law.
I have responded to them if they really want to spend the $$ to file suit here in this small county.in FL let them as if they try to file in WA I will challenge Venue as the server where the images reside and all work and use of those images are here so they will have to file here in Florida for their $1200.00
July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Eskin

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