Wal-Mart loses trademark on smiley face

Greg sez, "In its claims for trademark infringement against an online parodist, Wal-Mart claimed that it had trademark rights in the ubiquitous yellow smiley face. Not only did Wal-Mart lose its case, the judge held it had no rights in the smiley face mark. The smiley face has been liberated!"

"This ruling shows that even the biggest company in America is subject to parody, and that trademark rights must yield to the right of free speech. This is a resounding victory for First Amendment rights and sends a clear message to big corporations that would try to use their deep pockets to intimidate and silence their critics."


(Image: K_Day-09.09.2005_163136, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Lordcolus's Flickr stream)