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.