|Man Without Qualities|
Friday, August 22, 2003
Dennis Miller just made one of what seems to be a series of regular appearances on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes with comments on the California recall, addressing himself especially to the supposed hypocrisies of Arianna Huffington. He wasn't very insightful or amusing - at least compared to Mickey Kaus, for example. But what was striking was that his spot was introduced as an installment of "Miller Time."
Now "Miller Time" is a registered trademark owned by the Miller Brewing Company, which defends this famous trademark vigorously. Fox News mentions no license or permit from the Miller Brewing Company.
By captioning Dennis Miller's spot as "Miller Time," isn't Fox News infringing on the "Miller Time" trademark rights of the Miller Brewing Company in a manner vastly more real and dilutive than anything Al Franken may be doing to infringe on Fox News' rights in "Fair and Balanced?"
Unlike Fox News' preposterous claim against Franken, the Miller Brewing Company really would have a case against Fox News for "Miller Time" absent a license from the Miller Brewing Company. In fact, it's pretty clear that Fox News is deliberately alluding to the Miller Brewing Company mark in a manner which might well create consumer confusion and dilution of the mark - and which, unlike Franken, is anything but parody or satire.
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