View Full Version : Any lawyers or law students around? Wondering if I have a valid case...

07-25-2002, 03:25 AM
Ok, here's the scenario... Some feedback would be really appreciated.

My company is in the business of promoting events such as car shows, etc. Recently, we were approached by a national car show event to promote their show that was coming to town.

We are also planning an afterparty after the carshow. We were deemed the official afterparty but we could not say that we were due to the request of the person in charge of the car show.

The problem is, there is another crew that promotes events that is also throwing an afterparty on the same night as my company. However, the other crew used the car show's logo knowingly without permission in order to promote their afterparty....

Note that my company is the one that was actually approached by the car show to promote their event, not the other crew. In order to use their logo, they needed the car show's permission which they did NOT obtain.

I'm afraid the damage has already been done and this will affect the turnout of our afterparty. I don't want to let them off with just slap on the wrist because this is potentially a large sum of money that we may lose because of their unfair practices.

Is there any case I could present against them? Sorry for the long post.... But I don't know where else to turn and you guys seem much smarter than I am. :)

07-25-2002, 04:10 AM
I'd love to help you, clonestyle, but I just can't. Unless and until I pass the bar next week, I'm not yet a lawyer, just a law student. Law students can wax philisophic over hypothetical situations, but it would be unethical for us to give real live legal advice to someone in need of it, just like it would be unethical of a med student to practice medicine without a license.

As to the lawyers, I can't speak for them but I'm guessing that most of them won't be able to comment because they're not licensed to practice in your state, or would want to establish an attorney-client relationship on the internet. It sounds like you have a real live legal case, and you need to speak to a real live lawyer in your state.

07-25-2002, 07:14 AM
My problem is that you said there was "potentially a large sum of money" involved. If that's really the case, then you really should see a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction. If you happen to be in New York, USA or New Jersey, USA, feel free to drop me an e-mail and we can discuss things.

Boyo Jim
07-25-2002, 08:17 AM
I'm not a lawyer!

There's something wierd about your scenario. Why does your sponsor want you promoting events, but not associating your name with theirs? You should never have made such a deal.

It is up to the people who own the logo to protect it. You can point it out to them, but you have no case against the people abusing it.

Think about "Oscar" parties. Nobody has exclusive rights for a party related to an event.

Also, where are YOUR potential losses? You've contracted to throw a party, which you will do. If the party is poorly attended, it seems your sponsor may be damaged, not you. This may damage your relationship with them, but this seems to be more related to the nature of your agreement with the sponsor than with any external factor.

But, WTF! This is America, go ahead and sue!

Gary T
07-25-2002, 08:55 AM
My thoughts go along with yojimboguy's. It sounds like you needed a lawyer before signing on to this deal. I'm wondering, is your company so small that you don't have attorneys on staff, and if so, how'd you get the contract? Why didn't this national car show, which presumably has spent money with you to promote them, want yours to be the "official" afterparty? Are we to understand that they have engaged you to promote the show but prohibited you from using their logo? Are they not pursuing legal action against the interlopers for unauthorized use of their logo, and if not, why not? Lots of things here aren't making sense to me.

07-25-2002, 12:05 PM
I'm afraid the damage has already been done and this will affect the turnout of our afterparty. I don't want to let them off with just slap on the wrist because this is potentially a large sum of money that we may lose because of their unfair practices.

Umm...not to minimize the seriousness of potentially poor, post-show party attendance, but -

1: Where is the "large sum of money" you will lose being lost?

2: If the client the show is (for whatever reason) directly requesting that you not make a stink it would seem to be foolish businesswise, to initiate a tort claim for damages as that client will probably never use you again.

07-25-2002, 01:08 PM
Nonono... They're allowing US to use their logo, no prob. The problem is that the other crew never received the car show's permission to use the car show's logo so the other crew is using it to promote their event riding on the coattails of others. You see what I'm saying?

Sorry for any confusion... -_-

07-25-2002, 01:42 PM
I'm not a lawyer, I just play on on TV.

Isn't the issue then between the car show and the other promoters over unlicensed use of the logo? Additionally, if your company was the "official" afterparty, why didn't the car show folk want you to say that? The whole situation sounds pretty sketchy.

07-25-2002, 03:26 PM
You need a lawyer. This implicates trademark law, which is pretty specialized. No one on the boards knows enough about the facts to give you appropriate advice, even if one if us knew a lot about TM law (which I certainly don't). Plus, you haven't even mentioned what state you're in, which might affect the applicable law. You need to get advice from someone licensed in your jurisdiction, with expertise in the appropriate area, and with a full knowledge of the facts.

--Cliffy, Esq.

P.S. Good luck pravnik, and don't worry -- you'll think you did worse than you actually did.

07-25-2002, 03:48 PM
Well, thanks for the advice :) I'll see what I can do in my state.... Currently, I'm thinking that I won't take this to the courts, but instead just make it a local thing at the car show so the other crew can't advertise at show....

Good luck to ya pravnik :)