Samsung Galaxy ad pokes fun at Super Bowl trademark rules

The ad features comedic actors Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, who both played parts in the movie "Knocked Up."

Samsung, which knows a thing or two about patent infringement cases, is poking fun at Super Bowl trademark rules in a new commercial that promotes its Galaxy smartphones.

The ad features comedic actors Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, who both played parts in the movie "Knocked Up," with Rogen also known for his work in "Superbad" and Rudd recently starring in "This is 40."

In the spot, a corporate suit says "Samsung. The next big thing. You two. Ideas?"

Every time Rogen and Rudd try to mention "Super Bowl," the company man shushes them. When they ask why, he tells them, "We could get sued."

By whom?

"Everybody. Nobody. Who knows," he says.

At the issue is the fact that Super Bowl is a trademarked term. Its use, particularly for commercial purposes, is limited.

"Trademarked terms should not be used in commercial messages except by authorized advertisers. These advertisers have paid big bucks to be able to say that they are a Super Bowl sponsor," warns Broadcast Law Blog.

Samsung is no stranger to the issue, as evidenced by its court fight with Apple in what has been described as the patent trial of the century.

Just this week, a U.S. appeals court denied Apple a rehearing on the rejection of an injunction on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, although a series of ongoing lawsuits involving the two companies remain.

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Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)
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