Skip to comments.Wal-Mart In Court Fight Over 'Wal-ocaust' T-Shirts
Posted on 03/08/2006 11:10:15 AM PST by Cagey
ATLANTA -- A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal district court in Atlanta in a fight over his T-shirts that compare the retailer's business practices to the Holocaust.
Charles Smith has been marketing shirts that read, "I (heart) Wal-ocaust" T-shirts. Wal-Mart filed a cease-and-desist order in an attempt to make him stop printing the shirts.
The company said Smith is engaging in trademark infringement. It has threatened to sue Smith if he continues to display the logos on his Web site and to print them on his products.
The 48-year-old Smith is a computer repairman and said he has no deep connection to the company. But he claims using the logos is a free speech issue.
Smith said he came up with his anti-Wal-Mart logo after conversations with a customer and an employee who both had bad experiences with the retailer.
He designed his first logo in July. One shirt -- with "Wal-ocaust" printed above an eagle and a smiley face sold on Nov. 16 and netted Smith $5.10.
He said if the court sides with him, he will use any profits to pay his legal fees and for continued production of the products.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark said Smith is infringing on the company's trademark and also "making an offensive association between Wal-Mart and one of the greatest tragedies of the past century."
You mean Walmart doesn't have potential employees strip naked and run around to prove they are healthy enough to work and earn their keep?
"Of course, who is Wal-Mart to complain, after their book-burning ads?"
Uhh, I'm pretty sure that Arizona/So.Cal marketing guy was canned by Wal-Mart, like almost immediately after that LOCAL incident for which Wal-Mart immediately apologized. You can blame Wal-Mart for that all you want but the only action they had in the matter was firing the guy who did it and apologizing for his actions.
Don't let me mess up your Wal-Mart bash, though.
Thanks for the links.
Someone sure was asleep at the wheel, when that ad was approved.
I don't think Wal-Mart has a leg to stand on. Whatever one thinks of the shirts' message, they look to be well within the bounds of legally-protected parody and satire.
Don't give them ideas.
That, my Dear, is a myth.
Although I like the ball and chain myth better.;)
At least it wasn't a photo of Sam Walton with a bomb on his head. The way some people behave about the place you'd think it was some kind of religious experience shopping there.
Walmart is the largest private employer in our state (nothing to brag about, just a fact). I don't understand why people love to hate them so much.
Yes, but central to trademark law is you have to show that you are actively defending your mark or you will lose control over it. See "Aspirin", "Kleenex", and "Xerox" for examples of how and how not to do this.
I don't think it is a myth, I clearly remember seeing footage of that during an Auschwitz commeration in the past year or so. I will have to check my Dachau book to see if there is anything in there about it. I don't know what the ball and chain thing is?
Sam was a good man.
Yup ,he sure was.
OTOH: This ad would be perfectly acceptable if sponsored by Move-On and talking about teaching evolution.
I actually agree with the book-burning ad too. I think it makes a very valid point. Still, the decision to use Nazi imagery was not the most sensible choice, and definitely should have been changed to something less emotionally charged.
OK! Sorry! :)
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