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Great lawsuits of our time

Lacoste, they of the crocodile logoed polo shirts, are suing the Spanish Young Socialists over a web video that it considers damages its image. My Spanish does not go much further than bar Spanish, so I am grateful to another site for explaining it in English:

"The Socialist ad takes the format of a TV game show in which two young contestants have to come up with a certain word, and are given the first letter and a few clues. One of the contestants is a young, preppy-style man apparently meant to symbolize the Popular Party. He wears a pink polo shirt with an exaggeratedly large Lacoste alligator on the front and the collar sticking straight up. The other is a young woman. A voice asks the male for a word beginning with 'i' that describes the role of women in Spanish society. The contestant answers «inferiority» with a disparaging look on his face. The female contestant gets it right, saying «igualdad,' which means equality. Asked for a word beginning with 'm' that describes a union between two people of the same sex, the young man uses [maricon] a perjorative Spanish term for homosexuals. His opponent again scores with the right answer, "marriage". Etc etc
Anyway, here's the 'offending' video:



I will not pretend that my knowledge of Spanish law is any greater than my knowledge of the Spanish language, but were Lacoste to win a lawsuit, there would seem to be scope for an awful lot more litigation of the same type, and this would not be a good thing.

With thanks to El Francés for sending me the link in El Mundo.

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Anonymous verity said... 1:17 pm

Croydonian - so far as I know, Spanish law is the Code Napoleon, so you should be familiar with it. (Mexican law is the Code Napoleon and I am just extrapolating; I don't really know.)  



Blogger Arthurian Legend said... 1:57 pm

Spanish law is in principle the same as British law; EU Directive 89/104 harmonised the rights that trade mark proprietors can take to prevent infringing use of their trade marks (e.g. that damages their reputation). The ECJ has ultimate power to interpret this law. But this might fall into non-commercial use, thereby making effective action more difficult...  



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