Pine Tree Car Freshener Company Smells Trademark Infringement at Urban Outfitters

Car-Freshner, the company that makes those little pine-scented cardboard trees that dangle from many an automobile, has sued Urban Outfitters and Cordog Cards for trademark infringement in U.S. District Court.

The suit claims that the defendants have been unjustly enriched by the use of the trademark pine-tree on holiday cards that feature the tree with the words “Season’s Greetings,” as the message.

Dale Detwiler, spokesman for Corndog Cards, acknowledges that the company did use the image on the cards, but claims his use is parody. “The parody’s humor resides in the fact that instead of using just any pine-tree fo its Christmas tree, the card uses Plaintiff’s tree — a tree with no connection whatsoever to Christmas.”

Um, Dale? For the record, parody is not a defense to trademark infringement. . . at least not an absolute defense. Your attorney will still have to show no confusion. Oh, and it wasn’t even all that funny. We know one company that’s not laughing, anyway.

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