IP Update - December 2020 Edition
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
- Groucho Marx
How long does a trademark last? It lasts as long as it serves the purpose of identifying the source of goods or services. And this is no less true for a popular cartoon character that debuted in 1962.
The Jetsons is an animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera that originally aired in primetime on American television from 1962–1963. It featured a space age family of the same name living in a futuristic utopia of 2062 with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. And, as the first program ever broadcast in color by ABC-TV and later a popular rerun on Saturday mornings, it became known to millions. Likewise, the family’s pet dog, Astro, became synonymous with the show, especially his ability to speak rudimentary English.
Fast forward to 2020, and “Astro Dog” is being used by a company to promote dog treats, but without the permission of Hanna-Barbera and no license or other permission to do so.
What happens next? You read this month's IP Update to find out.
While you're reading about cartoon canine trademark infringement, don't miss our feature article on the vaccine everyone has been talking about and anxiously awaiting. The global pandemic is on the verge of becoming a global debate about intellectual property rights versus human rights.
And once you've gotten your own vaccination, please, don't chew on your arm. Otherwise, the doctor will have to give you one of those nifty plastic neck cones to wear home instead of your mask.