Earlier this week, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled that the billboard using the PICK YOUR PASSION trademark to criticize Louisiana’s governor for refusing to expand Medicaid can stay up. The judge denied a preliminary injunction requesting that the billboard be taken down asap. The judge’s preliminary ruling that the billboard can stay up is an indication that she does not feel folks were confused by the billboard. Evidently, the judge stated in her decision that, “[i]n this Court’s view, the Lieutenant Governor underestimates the intelligence and reasonableness of people viewing the billboard.” On an interesting aside, MoveOn stated in a campaign drive this week that initially they had only intended to keep the billboard up for a month. Now MoveOn is raising money to “ensure our winning billboard will stay up.” (I grew up in Louisiana and made a contribution to MoveOn’s billboard fund).
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
See also: The case, Dardenne v. MoveOn.org, case number 3:14-cv-00150 available at http://media.nola.com/politics/other/Dardenne%20Complaint.pdf; McCarthy On Trademarks, vol 4 and vol 6; MoveOn.org which features the lawsuit on their website’s homepage at http://front.moveon.org/; The Louisiana Office of Tourism’s website at http://www.crt.state.la.us/; photo by Pam Kaster at www.pamkaster.com; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.