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Jenzabar tries to suppress critical website through bogus trademark claim – fails

Public Citizen reports:

In a ruling this week, a Massachusetts trial judge upheld the free speech rights of a documentary filmmaking company against an effort by a Massachusetts software company to use trademark litigation to punish the filmmakers for the portrayal of one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen square protests. (source)

Sadly, this kind of thing happens all the time – companies (and individuals) frequently try to use trademark infringement to try and suppress what they perceive as negative attention.

Massachusetts Superior Court Judge John Cratsley granted summary judgment to the defendants because there was no support for the claim that a reasonable person might be confused as to whether Jenzabar sponsored the documentary filmmaker’s website. Decision here (courtesy of Public Citizen).

What is truly ironic about this case is that one of the chief perpetrators of the suit was Ling Chai, one of the student leaders at the Tiannanmen Square protests. After seeing this attempt to suppress free speech crushed, Chai shot over to Norway to attend the Nobel Peace prize ceremony, where fellow Tiannanmen Square leader Liu Xiaobo is being honored in absentia. Shame on Chai and Jenzabar.

H/T: The Great Ron

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