Godzilla Attacks Subway!Thu Apr 17, 2008 @ 11:07AM PST
Posted by Eriq Gardner
Toho Co., the Japanese company that owns the trademark and copyright rights to Godzilla, is now suing Subway after the sandwich chain prominently featured an advertising campaign during the 2008 NCAA basketball tournament (sports fans probably saw the ads featuing an angry Godzilla attacking a Japanese city then endorsing Subway).
"Defendants never sought or obtained Toho's permission to use Godzilla in the television commercial," says the complaint, filed by Charles Shephard and Aaron Moss at Greenberg Glusker in LA. "Immediately after learning of the commercial, Toho demanded that Doctor's Associates (Subway's parent company) cease and desist from further broadcasting the commercial. It refused."
Toho emerges from the sea to feed on infringers every now and then. Five years ago, the company attacked a small blog whose suffix unfortunately ended in "zilla." Ten years ago, in an eery foreshadow of the recent Harry Potter lawsuit, Toho fought and prevailed against the publisher of a Godzilla encyclopedia.