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Supreme Court’s Jack Daniel’s Decision Clarifies that Traditional Trademark Use “Does Not Receive Special First Amendment Protection,” Even When it Has Expressive Message


Humor matters, but it’s not the most important thing when considering a trademark infringement or dilution claim.  In a decision with references to The Hangover Part II, Aqua’s song “Barbie Girl” (good luck not getting that stuck in your head if you grew up in the 90’s…), Tommy Hilfiger, and Harley-Davidson, the Supreme Court clarified the interaction of First Amendment protections, on the one hand, and trademark infringement and dilution claims involving “expressive works,” on the other hand.

Evan Everist

Breanne Wernars

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