Good story on Engadget showing how trademark law also leads to absurd results:
Gibson sues WowWee, retailers over Paper Jamz toy guitars; would rather some other company get all that free advertising (video)By Joseph L. Flatley posted Nov 23rd 2010 6:21PMIt looks like WowWee is learning the implications of that old saw, “imitation is the surest way to get your company sued.” That’s right, the company’s radical looking, fun for about twenty minutes, paper-thin plastic toy guitars have recently drawn legal fire from Gibson, who recognizes a distinct resemblance between some classic axes (like the Flying V and the Les Paul) and the aforementioned Paper Jamz line. Which we could certainly see — even if WowWee hadn’t name dropped Gibson in its product literature (which seems to us to be rather on par with taunting the company outright). And if that weren’t bad enough, the company is going after retailers, such as Toys ‘R Us and eBay, who it claimed kept selling the things after receiving a cease and desist letter. Of course, this raises a few questions: At which point is a design so ubiquitous that it becomes fair game for companies like WowWee? And wouldn’t Gibson want the kiddies (who will be ready to move up to real guitars soon enough) hooked on their brand? And most importantly — when are we getting a Paper Jamz Rickenbacker? Because there has to be an easier way to be like Paul Weller.