Today my lawyer Michael Kirkpatrick had oral argument before Judge Cooper of the DDC. One of the highlights, for me, was the government’s lawyer’s concession that he couldn’t imagine a situation in which “Yankees Suck” would be counterfeit or infringing. It’s good to hear the government say as much, given that this whole thing started with an ICE representative saying that mocking a team was counterfeiting; that at least some of the manuals provided by the leagues to enforcers use parodies as examples of infringing material; and that parodies/critical versions that couldn’t possibly cause confusion are, we’ve found, at least occasionally swept up in seizures. One thing that more information may help us learn is whether these instances of overreaching against non-counterfeits are accidents or whether they reflect a defect in practices or training.
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