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Trademarks and Free Speech

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Tags Legal SystemMonopoly and Competition

The chilling effect of copyright law on free speech is well known; but it's not the only IP law that affects free speech. Jindal campaign to keep passing out 'Tigers' sticker reports that Congressman Bobby Jindal, the popular Indian-American Republican candidate for Louisiana governor (he'll probably win—he lost last time to dem'rat Kathleen "Katrina effup" Babineaux, because of the minority and woman vote), has some supporters who are also LSU graduates or fans. Thus, the popularity of purple and gold "Tigers for Jindal" bumper stickers. Now LSU is whining, objecting to "the combination of the word 'tigers' and the purple and gold." Ridiculous. It doesn't violate anyone's rights for an LSU fan to call himself a "tiger" or to use whatever the hell color they want to on a bumper sticker.

The story also reports that LSU has objected in the past to "purple and gold confederate flags." "In that case ... the university told flag vendors and other companies authorized to use LSU's mark that the use of the colors with the confederate symbol was not condoned." Too bad I never donate to a public school, so I can't stop donating.

Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.

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