And several amici have already added their voices to the din. Most appear to have their hackles raised over the Ninth circuit’s reversal of the district court’s holding that the Bad Spaniels toy conveyed a humorous message, and as such, was an expressive work. Uniform agreement can be transient in a dog pack, but for now, the amici appear to agree that the district court’s conclusion that infringement or dilution of Jack Daniels whiskey bottle by the squeak toy was appropriately resolved by application of trademark law principles without resort to a balance of free speech interests against trademark interests.
Just like kids and naughty dogs, the amici argue, alleged trademark infringers are likely to head to the Ninth Circuit in hopes they will be judged by someone who sees the humor in their antics, rather than one who may give them a scolding.
VIP’s response is due next week.