Saturday, August 23, 2003

Now that's fair and balanced!

Great news for comedian Al Franken and his new book. Not only has a judge slapped down the attempt of the Fox network to sue him over his use of their "fair and balanced" trademark, calling the suit "wholly without merit," but he also called the mark "weak" and unlikely even to be a valid trademark. This means that Fox may not be able to pursue their case against Franken, but if they try, they may lose the trademark they're trying to defend. Even if they don't try, they'll still probably lose it eventually. And they should. It's obvious that it's a weak trademark that Fox News shouldn't ever have been allowed to register. It's not like they made the phrase "fair and balanced" up. The phrase has been around since long before Fox News itself. So for them to show up and suddenly announce that we can't use it anymore is ridiculous. So, good for U.S. District Judge Denny Chin for saying so, for having such a keenly-tuned bullshit detector, and for thoroughly lambasting Fox at virtually every turn.

Frankly, I never believed that Franken could lose the case for a moment. Not when he's got Judge Roy Bean on his side too.

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