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August 14th, 2002

Goin’ to Court

I have never gone to court.

Well, a real court, anyway. I did appear once in a low-level court, to plead not guilty to the charge of operating a motor vehicle on private park land. But that’s about it. I’ve never had to deal with the ferocious lawyers, the bright lights, the jury, the audience, or the judge.

But I’m wondering if any of our Pingers have. You see, I’m a little weary of this, as my personal site is called phonezilla. Will zilla survive? Will I have to go to court? These are the trying questions.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Patrick
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 8:57:36 am
I don't think anyone needs to be afraid of 'zilla' going away in any form. Davezilla is questionable because of the logo. Other than that, Toho has crap for a trademark dispute. One can not claim a portion of a trademark as a trademark in and of itself. Example: K-Mart is not allowed to claim ownership to "K" or "Mart", but rather their combined usage as a distinguishing feature of their business. If "Wal-Mart" had named themselves "W-Mart" and gone for a trademark, "K-Mart" could have protested the publication of the mark because there is potential confusion over who owns what stores (consumers could think they are the same chain when they are not).

All that aside, davezilla is just losing the logo, not the 'zilla.'

I wonder why Toho is going after him when he isn't making money off their mark.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 10:07:38 am
But DaveZilla's logo looks nothing like Godzilla. They can't claim trademark rights to all things that look like a friggin lizard! There is a legal burden of proof - there has to be some reasonable possibility that the consumer will be confused. For example - the Hyndai Excel, Microsoft Excel, and Excel telecommunications all exist without me getting confused and accidently buying software when I really wanted a car.

I think Dave would win if he fought it. Maybe some enterprising trademark attorney willtake it on pro-bono for the notoriary and exposure it will generate.

I'm just waiting for Chris O'Donnell's attorney to come after me! After all, people do come to my website and think it belongs to the actor!

FROM: teeinep
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 10:51:41 am
Logically, if you had called it GodDave they should have come after you as well.

FROM: teeinep
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 12:21:18 pm
And I just sued some guy here who runs a kennel in Tontitown, AR. It's located on Hwy 412, a busy 4 lane highway. I boarded my dog with him, and an hour or two after I dropped my dog off, he got loose. The guy tried to recapture my dog for a few hours, then went back inside to watch some tv. Some time later, my dog was run over on the highway a few feet west of the kennel.

Anyway, this was the first time I've ever sued anyone, and was a little nervous about it. I was suing for $1800, which included the money I had invested in my dog (vaccinations, operations, etc)

The case went to court Aug 2nd and lasted about four hours. No jury, just a judge. They found the guy negligent because the judge figured the kennel owner should have called me as soon as he realized the dog would not come when called, instead of chasing him for four hours. I got $100 to replace my dog, plus $100 court costs.

Now, it cost me $600 to sue the guy since I hired a lawyer. The lawyer did a great job, and I'm grateful he even agreed to take the case. And although I'm $400 in the hole, I'd do it all again just to see the sucker sweat up there on the witness stand. Not to mention, I know he had to pay his lawyer at least a $1000 (according to my lawyer) and I'm sure he's been stressing over this for the six months leading up to the trial.

In the end, don't sweat the trial thing. The bark of a trial is bigger than the bite. In other words, I was kinda nervouse about it beforehand but once you're there, it's no big deal.

FROM: teeinep [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 12:26:36 pm
Pictures of my old dog Soprano the day we dropped him off at the kennel.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 12:51:05 pm
That's sad, teeinep -- but at least you cost the guy some money and the page on your site might alert others before they take their dog there.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Wednesday August 14, 2002 -- 2:29:50 pm
I worked for an independant architect a few years ago. When he didn't have the drawings done for a guy on time, we went to court. The guy didn't realize that every time you want something changed on a building, it doesn't magically happen. He made four major changes to the building and expected the same finish date on the drawings... it just wasn't going to happen. The judge agreed and the case was thrown out It still cost my old boss about $400. The whole point of this is that while I was in the courtroom, I thought it was just like People's Court. Everyone was sueing everyone else and 98% of the time it was due to automobile accidents.

What is this then?

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