Does a couch violate Humphrey Bogart's rights?

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Does a couch violate Humphrey Bogart's rights?

Mon Jun 14, 2010 @ 01:11PM PST
By Eriq Gardner

Take a close look at this piece of furniture. Does the retro style remind you of a certain actor from the 1930s and 1940s?

Picture 21

Here's a hint: It's called the "Bogart Single Reclin' Love w/ Half Wedge."
HumphreyBogart The company that now owns the name, image and likeness of Humphrey Bogart isn't a big fan of the sofa, which it says violates the publicity rights and trademark of the iconic actor. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Georgia against Ashley Furniture Industries, Bogart, LLC says that selling furniture with the "Bogart" mark is likely to confuse, mislead or deceive the consuming public by giving the false impression that it is somehow endorsed or affiliated with Humphrey Bogart. 

The plaintiff says it has been paid millions of dollars in licensing fees for the use of the "Bogart" name in connection with the Thomasville "Bogart" furniture line. Having another "Bogart" on the market is threatening. The plaintiff wants an injunction and $1 million in damages for the alleged, um, bogarting of the actor's name and likeness.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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