Friday, December 12, 2008

Who owns Christmas? IP lawyers?

From Forbes:
"Tis the season for intellectual property lawyers.

In late November, Louisville, Ky., abruptly abandoned plans for a Christmas display based on the story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

It wasn't because of public uproar, or the big green meanie terrifying small children. No, it was the cease-and-desist letter from lawyers representing the estate of legendary children's author Dr. Seuss, threatening to sue for copyright infringement if the city went ahead with the Grinch-themed display...

Father Christmas, a British company and owner of, owns a trademark for "Santa Claus."...

Even asking for presents is in legal limbo. Much to the chagrin of computer-savvy children everywhere, a company in Florida called Channel Intelligence says it owns the rights to digital wish lists. Last week, it filed a lawsuit against half a dozen Internet start-ups alleging patent infringement, saying they had violated the patent by creating ways for users to create wish lists for products that people may want others to buy for them."

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