Visit Kitchener Stops Anti-Donald Trump Group From Using Ad
The tourism organization owns the mark and says its use was not authorized.
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We’ve all seen these popular “With Love, Kitchener” ads published by Visit Kitchener, the nonprofit company tasked with bringing more tourists to Kitchener. They appear online, in newspapers and magazines, on television and on billboards, promoting everything from bike sharing to the Phillies to the city’s stellar dining scene. But we’ve never seen anyone involved in the political battle so we were a little confused when we saw one on Monday who seemed to be talking Donald Trump to stay away from Kitchener, which he is visiting later this week.
Of course, Visit Kitchener had nothing to do with the ad, as we soon learned when we contacted them Kitchener We rise, the group behind it. Kitchener We Rise, an initiative of the Media Mobilizing Project and the 215 People’s Alliance, has all kinds of anti-Trump events in the books, such as the “Queer Rage (r): Guerilla Dance Party” on Wednesday and “Surround the Loews Hotel” on Thursday, targeting the location of the Republicans’ retreat and Trump’s visit this week.
“[The ad] is not sanctioned by Visit Kitchener, ”a representative from Kitchener We Rise told us.
Cara Schneider of Visit Kitchener quickly agreed.
“It’s not authorized use,” she explained, later adding that Visit Kitchener owns the relevant trademark, as a quick search of the US Patent and Trademark Office confirmed – meaning you don’t just go along with “With Love, Kitchener” can with a few Xs and Os on your own stuff.
But wait. Isn’t that covered by fair use, this legal doctrine that allows parody? Isn’t that “Dear Donald, you are not welcome here” a parody of those Visit Kitchener campaigns?
That’s what Kitchener We Rise thought and told us “it falls under the realm of fair use”.
But no, Center City says intellectual property Jordan LaVine, of the Flaster / Greenberg company.
“For it to be a parody, you would need to comment on the original brand or services provided under that brand,” says LaVine, whose clients include the New York Times, Martha Stewart, Ancestry.com and GrubHub. “I don’t think they’re doing this. And even with a parody, it still comes down to whether the average person would be confused. In this case, I think the average person would think that the original organization is supporting or sponsoring. “
Kitchener We Rise seems to have got the hint and is changing the picture within hours of Kitchener’s visit.
Art makes the same point, albeit without the same verve.
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