Laura Quilter writes,
derivative work – Nintendo Threatens Cancer Researchers: Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has apparently received a trademark cease & desist from the Pokémon company (Nintendo) after cancer-related research on the Pokemon gene which Pandolfis lab named four years ago, in 2001 received headlines like Pokemon Causes Cancer. Sloan-Kettering has knuckled under, now calling the gene Zbtb7.
Lots more on this if you follow the link…
I understand why Nintendo were mad, but like Ms. Quilter, I can’t understand why the doctors caved in. If their use was non-commercial it is not banned by the the Lanham Act. Even if it was commercial the claim for confusion is nil. The claim for tarnishment under a dilution theory would I think fail under federal law; unlike Ms. Quilter I do think it’s possible that some state law claim might have had a little more juice…if the court could keep a straight face…although I agree Nintendo would have to be complete idiots to bring the case and face the bad publicity.
What’s next, the estate of James Joyce suing everyone who writes about quarks?