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  1. #1
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Interesting Trademark Infringement Case in India

    I think Coca-Cola is being silly here. They should welcome the free publicity. What do you think?

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/BOM68760.htm

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    I think Coca-Cola is being silly here. They should welcome the free publicity. What do you think?

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/BOM68760.htm
    They could never get away with that in the USA. It's a clear documentary and commentary photograph, a scene from real life. Tragic.

    Coke International should be ashamed.

  3. #3

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    I understand Coca Cola as their name, brand and logo is being connected to water shortage (as Coca Cola is guilty of that...). The photo may be ironic, but it is also a critique of Coca Cola which is without reason here.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Here's the billboard in question, which didn't seem to come up in the linked article--

    http://www.truthout.org/imgs.art_01/3.071805-CCB.jpg
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I don't think Coca Cola has a chance here, or more properly, SHOULD NOT have a chance in a court of law.

    Signs, Billboards - are by their very nature devoid of any and all privacy - they are MEANT to be there for public view .., so "Invasion of Privacy" could not be an issue.

    "Trademark" infringement ... I don't think there was any misuse of the Coca-Cola trademark, either .. that would necessarily mean something like mis-labeling a fraudulent product - misrepresenting its parentage for illegal gain.

    I wonder if India has anything like our First Amendment - Guaranteeing Freedom of the Press .. which would certainly be applicable here.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #6
    Wally H's Avatar
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    In the US, it could be argued that the bill board is an ad for the photographer and as such the photographer would need authorization to use the trade mark for his own commercial purposes...
    Regards,

    Wally

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    I think that Coca Cola has a basis to their position...at least on the basis of US law. The photographer is depicting (albeit subliminally and cleverly) Coca Cola as contributing to a water shortage. He did use both an image and a slogan, that are protected under law, in the depiction. The effects are damaging and if the photographer does not cease and desist then he should be subject to legal recourse.

    He did not take a photograph of an existing billboard...he used an image that he had created as a basis for a billboard that he displayed.

    He could have escaped the corporate response had he not shown the bottle and had he ammended his words to something like "Why not have a cola while you wait"...The message he wanted to convey would have been just as effective and Coca Cola would not have the defensible position that they now enjoy

    Under the same conditions, were I the photographer here in the USA, I would not want to be defending this photographer's position in a court of law against the onslaught of their corporate might.

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I'd bet the Coca-Cola logo has appeared in a lot of editorial photography and illustration, and the company has viewed it as free advertising. You can't pick and choose, based on the message.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    He did not take a photograph of an existing billboard...he used an image that he had created as a basis for a billboard that he displayed.
    I think this is most important issue here. I mean, I don't like Coca Cola and I don't use theire products (for personal reasons, they cheated one member of my familly once), but if photographer acted like that, then it is not honest and correct photographers acting.

  10. #10
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I think this is corporate bullying, pure and simple. Have they ever issued lawsuits against the makers of T-shirts with the 'Cocaine' logo in the Coca Cola style script? But a photographer in an emerging economy is an easy target. Coca Cola will get vastly more negative publicity from this than if they had just ignored it.

    They should look at the lawsuit McDonalds lost against activists in Britain recently. That action put many people off buying their product and gave McDonalds a very bad image.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

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