January 20, 2010
By Julia Rosen
Hot off the presses….
Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, a US District Judge just ruled against ProtectMarriage.org’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to take down our logo on the Trial Tracker. (background here and here)
Here is the key conclusion:
“[P]laintiff is unlikely to overcome the conclusion that defendant’s use of the mark is protected under the First Amendment, in that the use is relevant to an expressive parody and the use is not explicitly misleading.”
Our designer might quibble with this one, but the stuff about the First Amendment is pretty sweet:
In this case, the logo itself is artistic. Moreover, the broader website, while perhaps not artistic, is undeniably expressive of a political idea, and both political and artistic expression are protected by the First Amendment.
Obviously, we are thrilled that Judge Karlton thought they didn’t have a case. It’s what we have contended all along and why we have been mocking ProtectMarriage.com’s case mercilessly.
Now, this does not mean that the lawsuit has been dismissed. It is still pending, so this is not over. But we do get to keep our logo up for now and will continue to fight back against ProtectMarriage.com as long as it takes. They aren’t gonna bully us and we won’t let them turn themselves into victims.
I’ve uploaded the full ruling to Scribd so you can all see it for yourselves.