“Apple’s lawyers have a fearsome reputation for defending the company’s intellectual property. But it sure looks like they’re bluffing in the controversy over a new Steve Jobs doll,” Jeff Roberts reports for paidContent.
“A UK newspaper caused a stir yesterday when it reported that Apple had threatened legal action against a Chinese company that plans to sell an eerie replica of its late founder starting next month,” Roberts reports. “The Daily Telegraph said Apple claims to own rights to Jobs’ likeness.”
Roberts reports, “But there is a huge problem here — Apple’s legal claim is largely bogus. While people can indeed own rights to their likeness, those rights usually apply only to living people. Unlike other forms of intellectual property like patents or copyrights, image rights do not survive beyond the grave in most places… Only about a dozen states [Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, California, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, New Jersey, Nevada, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma] recognize image rights after death. Oddly, it is Indiana that has the strongest protection, restricting commercial use of a person’s image for 100 years after their passing.”
Read more in the full article here.
Apple threatens Chinese toy manufacturer with legal action over Steve Jobs action figure – January 5, 2012