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Why Trademark Tarnishment Laws Are Dubious

We recently wrote about Disney’s attempt to trademark “Seal Team Six”–the name of the Navy SEAL unit that killed Osama bin Laden. Disney’s bid to make a buck off the SEALs didn’t go down very well – the public response was overwhelmingly negative. It also caught the attention of the Navy, which made clear that it had a better claim over the name. Last Thursday, Disney gave up.
But just as one bizarre trademark dispute recedes, another one springs up.
Last Wednesday, the New York Stock Exchange threatened to sue the widely-read liberal blog Talking Points Memo over TPM’s use of a file photograph of the NYSE trading floor. (Copy of letter here).