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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
Dog perfume cleared in copyright case
Perfume counter
Designers are urged not to take parodies too seriously

A judge in Manhattan has ruled that a perfume for dogs which parodies a famous fashion designer does not infringe on his copyright.

The judge ruled that the dog perfume - Timmy Holedigger - could not possibly be confused with the Tommy Hilfiger brand of cologne.

The judge advised the famous designer to "chill" and see the funny side.

The company that makes the dog perfume also produces other parody brands - like CK-9 and Aramutts.

Nature Labs has been making them for three years and for much of that time it has faced legal action from the famous clothes and cologne manufacturer, Tommy Hilfiger.

On the scent

Tommy Hilfiger claimed in its lawsuit that the parody product was likely to cause customer confusion.

Dog
How much is that perfume in the window?
But the judge in Manhattan's federal court disagreed and threw out the case.

He said that even a "dense and humourless consumer" could not make that mistake and he criticised the famous name for "failing to see the humour in all this".

The judge also pointed out that other leading clothing and cologne companies had either smiled or suffered in silence when their brand names were parodied as dog perfumes.

Aramis, mocked as Aramutts for male dogs, or Liz Claiborne, humoured as Miss Claybone for bitches, had not sued.

And neither had CK-9 - the canine version of Calvin Klein's famous scent.

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The BBC's Jane Standley
"Tommy Hilfiger claimed the parody product was likely to cause customer confusion"
See also:

13 Dec 00 | Entertainment
17 Jan 99 | Health
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