Paris is Burning

The 29-year-old enfant terrible, Paris Hilton, just settled a 2007 lawsuit with Hallmark Cards over a greeting card that used her catchphrase “that’s hot,” which she registered.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that attorneys for Hilton and Hallmark reached a settlement. Financial details have not been disclosed, but it is presumed that the heiress was awarded an undisclosed amount of money.

“Hallmark spokeswoman Julie O’Dell originally defended the company against the accusation, saying, ‘These cards take a satirical look at news and gossip surrounding these public figures, including Paris Hilton, and we do not believe Hallmark has violated any of Ms. Hilton’s rights.'”

And so say all of us. However, a federal appeals court ruled against the greeting card giant, denying their parody claim. With its “Paris’s First Day as a Waitress” caption, the greeting card is apparently based on her defunct reality show “The Simple Life.” Hilton’s face is pasted on a drawing of a waitress figure as she serves a meal to a customer that says, “Don’t touch that, it’s hot.” “What’s hot?” “That’s hot.”

Hilton’s name, adds The Hollywood Reporter, “will be stamped in law review articles discussing the tricky balance between publicity rights and the First Amendment.”

A word to the wise: No matter how hot or cold, its good to trademark your catchphrases, whatever they may be. Now that’s a 3rd degree burn.

5 thoughts on “Paris is Burning

  1. Hoolie

    She sues, but can’t even spell the catch phrase she supposedly owns, correctly on her shirt?! Thats just dripping with irony! Or am I just thats stupid? I, along with Richard wonder if I may have broken a few copyrights with my comments. I am sure there is some lawyer out there scouring these comments looking for a lawsuit thats not there. I think thats all I have to say.

  2. Barbara Scott

    I’d like to see the typo fixers correct THAT t-shirt. There’s no such word as THATS. Unless you’re talking about the differences between THATS and WHICHES. You see people get IT’S and ITS wrong all the time, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone get THATS wrong!

  3. richard

    I hope Hallmark appeals. Creative license is taking a beating. Copyright has become a detriment when you get infringement suits like this, Disney demanding that daycares remove Mickey from their walls, and Prince whining about a kid on youtube with his music being used in the background. I once had corporate lawyers telling me that I could not use a maple leaf in an ad because Canada owns the rights to images of maple leafs. C’mon Man…. Give me a break. I think I may have just violated two more copyright violations there. Applogies to the dude on ESPN and John Stossel.

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