The Daily Mail (UK) has this article about a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the family of the late Hollywood legend John Wayne. The Wayne family wants to trademark the “Duke” name and image to sell specialty bourbon, since John Wayne was known for years as “the Duke.” But Duke University objects to the Wayne family’s proposed trademark. It will be interesting to read Duke University’s response (if any), but based on the Wayne family’s complaint, the Wayne family appears to have a strong case that their proposed trademark should be granted, since it’s in a different context (international class, in trademark lingo) than Duke University, and consumer confusion would be unlikely.
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(c) 2014, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.