FC: Playboy can't keep "Playmate of the Year" term off terriwelles.com

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 10:03:13 PST

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    The decision:
       Playmate Checkmates Hef's Mag
       By Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
       2:00 a.m. Feb. 7, 2002 PST
       WASHINGTON -- Terri Welles isn't just a nude model, the proud owner of
       a sex site and the 1981 Playboy Playmate of the Year.
       Thanks to a lawsuit brought by Playboy, Welles has become famous for
       much more than merely shedding her clothes for photographers.
       In a unanimous decision, a panel of federal judges from the Ninth
       Circuit Court of Appeals said last Friday that terriwelles.com could
       feature the term "Playmate of the Year" because it did not infringe
       upon the trademarks of Playboy Enterprises (PEI).
       Playboy had accused the aging centerfold queen, who has appeared in 13
       issues of the magazine and 18 newsstand specials, of allegedly
       infringing upon the bunny company's famous trademarks by including
       them in the text and meta tags of her website. The complaint threw the
       intellectual property book at Welles, charging trademark infringement,
       dilution, false designation of origin and unfair competition.
       But the three-judge panel, in an opinion written by Thomas Nelson,
       said that Welles had the right to use what amounted to her previous
       job title -- even if her porn site competed with Playboy's rather more
       famous homepage by hawking a $19.95 a month membership.
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