WTForever 21

Interesting question: can somebody start a satirical weblog under the name WTForever21, clearly a combination of Forever 21 and WTF (what the fuck)? On this website the products of Forever 21 are examined in a critical, but humorous way.

Of course, Forever 21 says no. They are not amused at all. The company now started a legal procedure based on trademark infringement, unfair competition, and dilution “for making fun at clothing items sold at the store”.

WTForever21 was afraid at first but decided to defend herself:

“My site, WTForever21, does not infringe on any of Forever 21’s rights. It contains only criticism, commentary, and news reporting, all written in an educational and humorous manner, which are protected under applicable law. To the extent any of the material used on the site is in fact subject to intellectual property protection (which, in many instances, is by no means clear), the site’s incorporation of that material is a “fair use” under copyright, trademark law, and similar state law.” (The further comment can be read on WTForever21.com.)

In our view, blogging and expressing your feelings including criticism falls under the freedom of speech. The name WTForever21 is in a way funny but could be considered as somewhat rude and harmful. Therefore, the name of the weblog could be decisive in a court action. Thus, the name is a weak point of the defendant, should this name only be humorous and not vigilant, then the defendant should win this action with ease.

Arnaud Bos

“Merkbescherming geeft vrijheid om te kunnen ondernemen.”

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