The James Dean Twitter account and trademark infringement

Twitter is awash with parody accounts. In this country, a Twitter account purporting to belong to Kevin Pietersen, the England cricketer, allegedly contributed to dressing room disharmony when it transpired that his teammates were following the account and laughing at Pietersen’s alleged tweets. One of Twitter’s most followed accounts is one purporting to be the tweets of God. Fan accounts also proliferate on Twitter. It is perhaps unsurprising that a parody and/or fan account would end up the subject of litigation, in this case in the US.

The plaintiff owns the intellectual property rights related to the late actor James Dean. The plaintiff is alleging that Twitter allowed a user to create an account with the name ‘@JamesDean’ during or prior to September 2012 without express or implied permission to do so. The account appears to have been a tribute account and referred to James Dean in the third person. However, it did not state that it was an officially sanctioned account or that it was a fan account…

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