Posted on | August 17, 2012 | 26 Comments
This is either (a) a serious trademark infringement or (b) a generous gesture of free publicity: We told you last month about Gordon Gebert’s proposed “Occupy vs. Tea Party” reality-TV show. A few days ago, I learned that Gordon got the funding to make it happen, and will begin with a debate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Well, it seems that Christine O’Donnell — whose Tea Party-backed GOP Senate campaign made national news in 2010 — has planned an event for Tampa that got headlined by ABC News, “Christine O’Donnell to Stage Tea Party vs. Occupy Debate in Tampa,” which provoked an outraged reaction from Gebert and his lawyers:
Former Delaware Tea Party candidate and “witch” Christine O’Donnell has issued a press release which has been picked up by ABC News, Yahoo News, DailyKos, et al… announcing Christine O’Donnell to Stage Tea Party vs. Occupy Debate in Tampa at Channelside Cinemas 10 IMAX Theater in Tampa, Florida just one block from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the Republican National Convention. Problem is Christine O’Donnell was told in a conference call Thursday evening she could not use the Tea Party vs Occupy or the Occupy vs Tea Party name because both are trademarked and copy righted by Gordon G.G. Gebert, creator of the reality TV Show of the same name.
During the Thursday conference call O’Donnell was attempting to reach a broadcasting deal with The Young Turks while representing that she was the creator and owner of the trademark. Despite repeatedly being told by the Trademark & Copyright owner she could not use his brand in her Tampa event, O’Donnell decided she wanted to take her chances in litigation and told Gebert, “sue me.” According to spokesperson for Mr. Gebert after becoming aware of O’Donnell’s press release by email which was picked up by ABC News, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and others; Attorney’s for Mr. Gebert will file the necessary documents to obtain a restraining order prohibiting O’Donnell from proceeding with the unauthorized use of his trademark brand to promote her event.
Read the whole thing. Is this a serious legal throw-down? Has O’Donnell attempted to rip off Gordon’s idea? Whatever it is, it has now added the vital element of controversy to the story and, in the news business, nothing is more valuable than controversy:
Get your money’s worth out of it, man.