Some time ago Cecil answered a question regarding "trade names that become generic," to which my question is an addition of sorts. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/meponym.html
One of the givens of the modern entertainment industry is 'product placement,' whereby a company will pay a producer to have its goods shown prominently in a movie or a TV show. What i would like to know is to what extent a company can prevent its trademarked product from being placed in a movie (or other cultural production such as a book, play, etc.) if it does not like the way in which the product is displayed or the context in which it is shown. It just seems to me that if corporations spend millions and annoy the crap out of everyone in order to have their brand names become part of the public sphere, they should be willing to suffer the potential downside of such exposure. Also, someone recently told me that universities like Harvard are brand names, just like Coke; to what extent is this true, and do the same rules apply?
Michael, Baltimore Md.
[Edited by bibliophage on 08-22-2001 at 10:56 AM]