Car-Freshner Corporation is a company known for its pine tree air fresheners. Getty Images is a website where you can buy stock photos. A few of these pictures, like the one left, show the air freshener of Car-Freshener.
Trademark infringement according to Car-Freshener! Nonsense, says Getty Images: the brand is displayed but this is no trademark use for products and services.
Getty Images has asked the U.S. District Court to dismiss the case as there were no plausible grounds for trademark infringement. The court rejected this request after an examination of the concerning photo’s. Users might think that there is a relation between the two companies and furthermore, Car-Freshner’s claim that Getty was using its trademark to sell images is, contrary to the opinion of Getty Images, plausible. Therefore, the court action must continue.
This case is closely followed by news agencies and companies in stock photos. In the event the Court Soon rules that it is trademark infringement, these companies risk numerous lawsuits. An interesting case to follow!