More Intellectual Property Fights Over Who Gets To Do What In New Orleans And Mardi Gras

from the 'tit-rex? dept

I've never been to New Orleans, though, it's definitely on the list of places I'd like to check out one day. However, every time I hear a story about an intellectual property dispute involving New Orleans, it makes me wonder if that place is just different than pretty much the rest of the world. We've written in the past about the "Mardi Gras Indians" -- a group of guys who dress up in elaborate costumes during Mardi Gras -- and their attempts to copyright their costumes and stop people from photographing them, using some dubious theories.

Recently, Eric Goldman pointed us to a case involving a legal fight over a copied drink between two bars in the French Quarter in New Orleans. We've discussed in the past how some bartenders want more intellectual property on their drink recipes, and now we have an ongoing case that will explore exactly that.

But perhaps more ridiculous is this other story, sent in by Bill, about a legal dispute between Mardi Gras "krewes." Not being all that familiar with how all of this works, it took me a few reads to get this, but it appears that there's one famous "krewe" called Rex, which "crowns the king of New Orleans Carnival each Mardi Gras." Rex being Latin for "king." Get it? Then there's another "krewe" which appears to be a lot less well known, but which puts on miniature parades of "toy-like" shoebox floats. It goes by the name 'tit Rex, which is a shortening of "Petit Rex," meaning "little king" -- which is fitting for a parade of miniatures... while also being a sound-alike of the dinosaur T-Rex.

Apparently a lawyer representing "Rex" is claiming that 'tit Rex infringes on their trade name and are demanding the other group change its name. Honestly, the whole thing sounds pretty silly. It doesn't sound like anyone is particularly confused here. Either way, it's pretty amazing that there's so much focus on intellectual property where it's not clear any such thing is needed. Was there really some concern that the ability of "Rex" to crown a "king" was somehow limited by this other group?
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Filed Under: 'tit rex, copyright, mardi gras, new orleans, rex, trade dress, trademark

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  1. identicon
    Richie, 9 Feb 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Hurricanes and 'tit Rex

    The Hurricane was invented during World War II, not the 1800s, and they basically do know the complete history of it.

    The 'tit Rex krewe is satirical, and trust me, NOBODY in this town would think they're a sub-krewe of Rex. Everybody is wondering why Rex decided to be such dicks about the name. (It's been changed, BTW, with an upside-down E "schwa" between R and X, so, it's not Rex anymore.)

    those people who stake claims along the parade route, and bring in ladders so they can catch the throws better than everyone around them? Everyone hates them. Not a cherished tradition, just an annoying one.

    And everybody is annoyed by Rex, which is huge and not creative and very dull, and they have the most boring throws.

    Mardi Gras is a big deal, but the krewes themselves don't make money. that's not the point.


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